According to the American Dental Association, there were 201,927 dentists active in the US in 2021. That means that pretty much wherever you live in the United States, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to seeking dental care. But being local and qualified doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the right fit for you.
We all want to find the best dentist possible. One that will truly care about our dental health and be with us every step of the way. How can you find this perfect combination where you live?
We’re going to explore everything you need to know so that you can find the perfect dentist for you.
Don’t Choose Solely Based on Location
Right off the bat, we’ve got to say we’re not against convenience. In fact, you should always choose a dentist that is reasonably convenient to get to. Otherwise, you’ll be less likely to visit them regularly.
Also, make sure that their office hours work for you. Most of us are juggling work and family commitments. If they shut early on weekdays and aren’t open at weekends, you may struggle to get there consistently.
Convenience should not be the main reason for your choice, though. You may be very fortunate and live right across the street from the best dentist in town. But the chances are you’ll have to do a little more digging to find the right one for you.
Do They Offer the Dental Treatments You Need?
At different times in our life, we need different things from our dentists. If you’ve got kids, a dentist that offers the pediatric dentistry services found here could be a great fit. They provide all the services kids need, from dental sealants to sedation dentistry for kids with dental anxiety.
If you’ve got kids who are in their teens, you may need to seek help from an orthodontist. Some general dentists are also qualified to provide those types of dental treatments.
Adult dental needs can also be complex. Issues like gum disease need attention from a dentist specializing in that kind of care. Also, as we get older, we may need dentures or dental implants.
There are many types of dental implants, including some that can replace dentures entirely. Not all dentists are qualified to carry out these kinds of dental procedures. It’s worth taking the time to investigate who the best local dentist is that can provide the treatment you need.
There are some family dentists that also offer orthodontics and pediatric dental care. You’ll need to weigh up whether it’s best to go to a one-stop shop for the whole family or whether you’ll get better care from going to several dental professionals.
You can go the old-fashioned route and ask for recommendations from other parents at the school gate. But a quick status message on WhatsApp or Facebook will probably get you faster results today.
The advantage of asking for recommendations is that you already trust the person. If they strongly recommend a dentist, you’ll feel more confident from the start.
You may also get some recommendations of dentists to avoid! Of course, everyone’s experience is different. But the feedback you receive from friends and family can help narrow your search.
Read Online Reviews Carefully
Online reviews can be a valuable resource to help you find a great local dentist. But remember to take them with a grain of salt.
People may tend to leave reviews when they’re very happy or very unhappy. When reading reviews, look out for themes:
- Does the dentist make them feel comfortable?
- Are they transparent about the cost of treatment?
- Are they satisfied with the quality of the work?
You can also learn a lot from how the dental practice responds to the reviews. If they follow up on a negative review with a combative response, they may not be as committed to customer service as they could be. On the other hand, if they’re trying to put things right, that can take the edge off a bad review.
Ask the Dentist
We can feel a little shy and awkward about going into a dentist’s office and talking to the staff. But if you’re still undecided, this can be a great way to settle your nerves.
Dental anxiety is real – about 36% of the US population suffers from it. It’s important that you and your kids feel comfortable in the dentist’s office. When you go in, ask the dentist any questions that you have about the services they offer.
Dental technology is constantly moving forward, and you want to benefit from that. Does the dental practice use the latest tools and techniques? Ask them about the technology they use and how it benefits patients.
The front-of-house team should also be able to provide you with details of:
- Dental treatments
- Insurance coverage
If the dental practice makes you feel uneasy, you probably haven’t found the best dentist for you yet.
Think About Finances
Budgeting for dental expenses can be tough. None of us really know what they will be from one checkup to the next. So investigate the financing options the dental practice offers.
The best dentist for you doesn’t just do great work, they’re one you can afford! Make sure that they offer payment plans that allow you to spread the cost if that’s something you need. Some offices will even provide interest-free terms for a set time.
Finding the Best Dentist for You
The best dentist for you is one that does great work and is conveniently located. They have the dental treatments you need, so you don’t have to visit multiple dental professionals. They also make it easy for you to pay when you get an unexpectedly large dental bill.
Are you looking for more tips on how to get the best healthcare? Our Health section is constantly updated with fresh content. Check it out today!