3 Tips For Finding A Great Dentist

woman at dentist

Maintaining proper tooth care and dental hygiene is crucial for overall well-being. Choosing a dentist is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Whether you find yourself without a dentist, have neglected dental care for a while, or have recently relocated, it can be challenging to find a trusted dental professional. With numerous dentists available, initiating the search can feel overwhelming, considering they will be working in your mouth for extended periods of time. It’s essential to have confidence and satisfaction in your dentist. To assist you in navigating the process of selecting a dentist, here are three valuable tips to consider:

Ask around

When embarking on your search for a dentist, the best place to begin is by seeking referrals from friends, co-workers, and family members. If you have recently moved to a new area, approach a neighbor within your age range for recommendations. For those in need of a family dentist, consider asking a neighbor who has children. Additionally, if you are switching dentists and were satisfied with your previous one, don’t hesitate to ask them or their office staff for recommendations.

Receiving a recommendation from a patient who has actually received treatment at a particular dental office provides valuable insight. They can provide information on the office staff, the dentist, the hygienist, and even potential insurance or billing matters related to that practice. As Albert Einstein wisely stated, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Furthermore, if you have dental insurance, you can utilize the search function on your insurance provider’s website to identify dentists in your general vicinity. This way, you can ensure that they accept your insurance coverage.

By leveraging personal recommendations and utilizing available resources, you can gather a list of potential dentists to evaluate and choose from.

Have a list of questions

Starting with the basic questions of prices for the most common services and what insurances they accept, prepare a list of questions to ask each prospective dentist and/or dental office. This will give you a good reference point to tell the differences between the practices. Some things you could ask would be how the practice handles emergencies outside of regular business hours and its policy regarding missed appointments. You might want to seek out detailed information on the dentist’s training and approach to preventive dentistry, and how long newcomers must wait for a non-emergency appointment. For some people interested in a holistic approach, you would want to ask about whether the dentist is ok with you refusing fluoride treatments and if they can do amalgam fillings rather than silver mercury-laced fillings. It can be difficult to find a dentist with a more holistic approach, but there are holistic dentists out there if you look hard enough. With a combination of a trusted referral and asking the right questions, you can find quite a few practices who try to minimize chemical exposure.

Confirm affordability

You’ll first want to confirm that the new dentist takes your insurance (if you have insurance, of course). The prices between dentists in the same geographic area can vary wildly. If you are truly on your own, you might want to visit a couple of dentists’ offices to have a look. Although this seems obvious, a dentist with televisions in the ceiling and a fancy three-dimensional, full-color computerized x-ray display that shows your teeth in HD resolution will be more expensive than one with a more bare-bones office more focused on patient care than expensive tools. It all depends on what you value (and what your insurance might cover). Don’t wait until you’re sitting in the chair to ask these questions and compare prices; you might be unpleasantly surprised. If you are uninsured and money is tight, consider going to a dental school where students in training will perform basic procedures under faculty supervision at reduced prices. A full list of dental schools in the USA is available at the American Dental Association’s (ADA) website.

Alliance Direct Benefits members can save up to 60% on almost all dental procedures with thousands of dentists nationwide with the optional Discount Dental Plan. Minor and major procedures are included, as well as orthodontics for children and adults. For more information, and to become an Alliance member, visit the Alliance Direct Benefits website today or call us at 1-800-733-2242 (M-F, 7am-5:30pm Central Time).