Finding a family dentist can be an intimidating prospect. This is especially true because people don’t know what to look for in a new dentist.
While online dentist reviews can serve as a starting point, your best bet of finding the perfect dentist is to actually visit a few and stay put when you find a truly outstanding practice.
A great dentist office should do all of the following:
- Have a Friendly, Professional Attitude
Many people are nervous about going to the dentist, so it’s important to find a dentist who prioritizes putting patients at ease. Of course, this is a subjective quality, but any good dentist will be friendly and confident so as to diminish patient anxiety.
- Offer the Newest Procedures
All dentists offer basic cleaning and repair procedures. But a great dentist will offer newer options, including some cosmetic dentistry. Dental veneer procedures, for example, are becoming far more popular (a 250% increase in procedures in the last five years) and can create the appearance of straight, white teeth with no braces or pain. It’s also important to look for varied options in replacing missing teeth (due to aging, accidents or disease); dental implants are preferable for a majority of patients, with a success rate of 98% according to published scientific literature thus far, but only 10% of American dentists currently offer implants.
- Explain Procedures Clearly
Dental patients ask a million questions: Does a root canal hurt? What is periodontal disease? What is tooth pulp? How important is flossing? Are dental X-rays dangerous? A good dentist will be able to clearly articulate answers in layman’s terms, never getting frustrated or impatient.
- Be Clear About Costs
Many people are looking for affordable dentists, but for most people out-of-pocket cost relies heavily on how a dentist works with their insurance company. The important thing is not simply how much procedures cost at any given dentist office, but rather how willing a dentist is to work within insurance constraints and be clear about what will and won’t be covered.
- Connect You With Other Providers
Most dentists can’t do everything themselves. But a good dental practice has connections with other providers and can refer patients who need additional or emergency services.
Do the dentists and hygienists at your dentist office fulfill all these criteria, or might it be time to look for a new provider? Share your thoughts in the comments.