The reality is that if you’re considering a dentist for you and/or your family, or you’re looking to switch dentists due to a poor experience, there are many factors you should consider. First and foremost, finding a dentist that matches your particular needs is critical. There are dentists who specialize in certain treatments or procedures and there are generalists who can do a little bit of everything.
When considering a dentist, treat it like you’re interviewing candidates for a job. Talk to people on the phone, have a consultation, get a sense of the environment, etc. By putting in this effort you’ll be able to find the right fit for you. In addition, here are specific aspects of a dental office to consider.
Tips for Finding a Top Dentist
Reputation & Reviews: One of the quickest ways to shrink your list of potential dentists you want to see is to simply look at the reviews and star ratings available online. While it is true these ratings aren’t necessarily enough to go on, they are a great way to understand what people think of the office and the doctor(s). In addition, offices with more reviews are clearly invested in getting feedback from patients, so the quantity and quality of reviews are important to consider.
Office Experience & Environment: Is the office inviting and comfortable? Either seek out images or videos online of the office to get a feeling for the environment or request a tour. This will help you get a feeling for the environment and if it matches with what you’re looking for in your local dental office. In addition, social media channels often offer a behind the scenes look into an office and can help you get to know the personality of the team that works there.
Location: A pretty straightforward consideration, but it’s important to find an office that is easy for you to travel to. Whether it is close to your work or home, find a local dentist that fits into your daily travel routine.
ADA Membership: Members of the American Dental Association (ADA) agree to follow a code of ethics in order to become a member. From “respecting a patient’s wants and needs” to “do no harm,” ADA dentist members pride themselves on offering the best care possible to their patients. See the video below for more on what the ADA’s Code of Ethics mean.
Word of Mouth: If you’re looking for a dentist in your community, odds are you know someone that goes to that dentist. Speak to those people and get a first hand perspective from someone. Ask about the good and the bad and try to get a well rounded account of the doctor(s) and the office staff.
Insurance Accepted: There are three common types of dental insurance plans: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO), and Discount or Referral Dental Plans. It is important to find out if the dentist you are considering is in your insurance network. Talk to the office staff to learn more about this.
When to Switch Dentists
The truth is only you will know when it is time to change dentists. Whether it is how you’re treated when in the office or the results you’re getting from your treatment, there are many things to consider when deciding if you should switch dentists. At the very least, if you’re wondering if you should switch dentists, go through the tips above and do your research. You may end up finding what may be a better fit for your particular life stage and dental needs.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation or to see if our office can help with your particular dental needs, contact us today.