How to find a dentist that makes you smile

We get that going to the dentist might not be your favorite thing to do – that’s why it’s even more crucial to find a doctor who is not only professional, competent and skilled, but who, along with their office staff, makes you feel at ease and even, delighted.

Dental visits will probably never rank high on anyone’s list of favorite things to do, but by doing your due diligence, you can make sure you are at the dental practice that’s right for you!

To find a dentist, you can visit the American Dental Association at www.ada.org to find your local or state dental society. If you are moving, ask your current dentist, or talk to your family doctor or local pharmacist. The best resource for finding a dental practice is the recommendations of your friends and co-workers.
When speaking to your network, you may consider the following questions to determine if their dentist is right for you:

  • How well does the dentist explain treatment options?
  • Do they feel comfortable asking the dentist questions and getting clarification? Do they feel they are heard and understood?
  • Does the practice usually run on time, or do they often find themselves sitting around in the waiting room.
  • How friendly is the staff?
  • Does the office work with them on insurance questions and billing?
  • Is it easy to get an appointment?
  • How does the office handle emergencies?
  • What’s the billing system?
  • Have they experienced any issues in treatment or billing, and how was it handled?

Once you get a few recommendations, it’s wise to speak to at least two dental practices to figure out who your dental partner will be. Things to consider include:

Convenience: Is the office close to home, school or work? Are the office hours convenient to your schedule? What is the office policy on missed appointments? Is the office child-friendly?

Cost: Is this dentist on your dental plan? What is the cost of a standard cleaning and x-rays, or common procures such as fillings or crowns? Do they accept credit cards and/or checks? Do they offer payment plans? Is information provided about all fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled?

Professional qualifications & state licensing: The office should be able to tell you about the dentist’s training, or you can find it from the local dental society or your insurance carrier. You can also verify that the dentist is licensed or if there have been any disciplinary actions by checking your state’s dental board website. Ask how often does the dentist attends conferences and continuing education workshops.

Approach: What’s the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry? What type of anesthesia is the dentist certified to administer to help you relax or feel more comfortable during any necessary dental treatments? If you suffer from particularly high anxiety, ask about their comfort protocols.

Emergency care: What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? You should be able to contact your dentist at any time by calling an answering service, cell phone or pager.

Office appeal:

When you visit the office, is it clean and pleasant? Do all the equipment and surfaces appear sanitary? Is the staff friendly, helpful and willing to answer your questions, or do they seem hurried and agitated? Do the dentist and staff wear gloves and masks during treatments and procedures?

Special needs:

Should you have any special health needs or disabilities, ask the office if your dentist has training and/or experience in treating patients with your specific condition, and ensure they participate in your dental insurance program.

Once all the boxes have been checked, trust your gut. Does the front staff seem easy to work with? Do the hygienists seem friendly, and wanting to go over and beyond to see to your comfort and care? Do you feel ease with the dentist, their approach and bedside manner? Does the practice seem to have the patients’ best interests at heart? Yes, dental visits will probably never rank high on anyone’s list of favorite things to do, but by doing your due diligence, you can make sure you are at the dental practice that’s right for you.

At Tru Family Dental we work hard to meet the standards of exceptional care, from your first contact with us all the way through to your to your appointment and any questions that may come after. Give us a call today and see for yourself.

Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips