top of page

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DENTIST FOR YOU

The process of choosing a dentist can be complicated and confusing! 

Here are some things to consider when looking for a new dentist: 

Do some RESEARCH:                                                                                                                                      Ask for recommendations from friends, search Yelp and Google, see who is close (why not).

Pay a VISIT:

      Take some to go out of your way and visit the dental office of the practice you're considering

      During your visit, make mental notes on: 

             -cleanliness

             -convenience

             -friendliness

             -enthusiastic

 

ASK QUESTION:

            Ask specifics about the practice. Asking questions about your priorities and/or concerns can give you a better idea of how suitable the practice may be for you. 

Here are some ideas for questions to ask:

     -Does the doctor use magnification and illumination (helps them see better with a head-mounted light and magnifying glasses),

     -Does the office have digital x-rays? (digital x-rays are better because they require less radiation, are easier to view, do not fade in time, do not require environmentally unfriendly chemicals to prepare them, rarely are lost, etc.)   

     -Does the doctor do braces (some are more comfortable staying within one office and others prefer to see a specialist),

     -Does the dentist do their own root canals or do they refer to a specialist?

     -Does the dentist see children?

     -Does the dentist use cavity disclosing dye (I have found that a dye/stain used to highlight bacteria helps to ensure complete cavity removal and a better long-term result.   That being said, it seems to me that very few dentists routinely use this technique because it is time-consuming to keep coating and removing the decay.)

      -Does the dentist use a 3D scanner to make same-day crowns? (same-day crowns often leave more tooth structure and are therefore healthier for the gums and nerve of the tooth.)

 PLEASE NOTE: While many dentists refer out some or all of the specialist categories, I have seen many general dentists who are magnificent at root canals, braces, children’s dentistry, gum surgery, oral surgery, sleep dentistry, cosmetic surgery, TMD therapy = Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction therapy, and even more.

  1. Hopefully, you will just know.   Remember, you will never find a dentist who has everything on your bucket list.   Find a dentist and dental team that treat you well.

If I were choosing a dentist for myself, I would first do an unannounced drop in.   If I made an appointment, showed up for that appointment and within 5 minutes decided that this was not the office for me, I would not want to continue with the appointment and yet it would be a hardship on the office and uncomfortable for me to terminate the appointment.

  1. Do your research:  Ask for recommendations from friends, search Yelp and Google, see who is close (why not).

  2. Once you have identified several practices that look interesting, go in unannounced.   I would say something like, “I am new to the area and looking for a dentist”.   When they suggest scheduling an appointment I would say something like, “I don’t yet know my schedule but I would love to take a card and call back when I do know it”.

  3. While there, I would make mental notes:  Is it clean, is it convenient, are they friendly, did they seem happy.  I might ask specifics about their practice.   

  4. The following is a list of important topics from which you can select some to ask.   You might not want to ask all but you can get an idea of the suitability of the office for you if you ask what is most important to you.  i.e.; Does the doctor use magnification and illumination (helps them see better with a head mounted light and magnifying glasses), Does the office have digital x-rays? (digital x-rays are better because they require less radiation, are easier to view, do not fade in time, do not require environmentally unfriendly chemicals to prepare them, rarely are lost, etc. etc.),   Does the doctor do braces (some are more comfortable staying within one office and others prefer to see a specialist), Does the dentist do their own root canals or do they refer to a specialist?, Does the dentist see children?, Does the dentist use cavity disclosing dye (I have found that a dye/stain used to highlight bacteria helps to ensure complete cavity removal and a better long term result.   That being said, it seems to me that very few dentists routinely use this technique because it is time consuming to keep coating and removing decay.), Does the dentist use a 3D scanner to make same day crowns? (same day crowns often leave more tooth structure and are therefore healthier for the gums and nerve of the tooth.), PLEASE NOTE: While many dentists refer out some or all of the specialist categories, I have seem many general dentists who are magnificent at root canals, braces, children’s dentistry, gum surgery, oral surgery, sleep dentistry, cosmetic surgery, TMD therapy = Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction therapy, and even more.

  5. Make notes about your impression when you go back to your car.

  6. Hopefully, you will just know.   Remember, you will never find a dentist who has everything on your bucket list.   Find a dentist and dental team that treat you well.

 

Be sure to see my topic: HOW TO BE A GOOD PATIENT.  While this might not interest you at first, being a good patient will help establish a good dentist/patient relationship and this can only have positive rewards for both parties.   Good Luck!

bottom of page