Whether you are looking for a new dentist after moving to a new city, your employer has switched to a different dental insurance plan or you’re simply not satisfied with your current dentist for any reason, there are plenty of simple and straightforward strategies that you can use to find a good dentist near you. The best approach to finding the best dentist for you is to take it in stages. Get some recommendations and put together a short list of dentists to inquire about further. Let’s take a look at some of the most important steps to consider when narrowing down your list of potential new dentists.
Your dental insurance network
Your dental insurance might be a factor in choosing your new dentist, especially when it comes to preventative dental care like hygienist visits. Since dental insurance does not work in the same way as medical insurance, it’s important to take some time to check out your dental insurance policy to see what’s included. Your healthcare provider should have a list of participating local dentist offices that you can look at when starting your search.
Choosing an ADA-accredited dentist
Many insurance plans will recommend that you only see a dentist who is registered with the American Dental Association (ADA). However, this is not always absolutely necessary. If you are not comfortable with an ADA-registered dentist for any reason, there are other organizations to consider where you may be able to find good dentists. These include the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and the Academy of General Dentistry.
Type of dental work
The type of dental work that you are looking for is a crucial factor to take into consideration when choosing the right dentist for you. If you mainly want regular check-ups and hygiene work, the field is quite wide. Look for an office that is covered by your dental insurance and where you feel comfortable in a friendly and professional environment. On the other hand, a dentist who specializes in sleep medicine might be the better choice for you if you have questions or concerns about teeth grinding, sleep apnoea, and other sleep habits. If you are looking for cosmetic work like tooth alignment and other aesthetic dental treatments, search for an orthodontist or a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry with plenty of good reviews and before and after evidence of their past work.
Finding a dentist for your kids
If you want to find a dentist that is suitable for your whole family, a family or paediatric dentist might be right for you. These dentists go through the same rigorous training as any other dentist, but their offices tend to be set up to be more accommodating for the younger generation. Take your child with you when you are looking for the right dentist’s office, since their first impression when you visit a place is going to be important in choosing somewhere that makes your child feel safe.
Ask people you trust
To get you started on your journey to finding the right dentist, it’s a good idea to ask people in your life that you trust for recommendations. People that you know such as family, friends and co-workers who have a bright and healthy smile may be happy to help by sharing details of their dentist with you.
Get a referral
Another way to find a good dentist in your area is to ask your family doctor or your local pharmacist for a referral. You can usually expect these medical professionals to have carefully vetted any dentists that they use, and will often get feedback on dentists near to them, making them an ideal source of advice for anybody looking for a new dentist.
Search dental society databases
Compare the various practices from different dental associations such as the ADA, AGD, and AADSM for example. Each dental society has a website that you can go to and search through a database of all registered dentists in your area to help you find one that might be a good fit for you.
Once you have found some suitable dentists, the final step is to visit their offices to ask questions and check out what they offer in-person.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has a particular interest in mental health and well-being.
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