How to Find Local DentistIt used to be that there was just one or two dentists to choose from in your part of town, and you went to whichever one was closest. These days, however, there are quite a few local dentists competing for your attention. How do you find a local dentist who has everything you're looking for in a dental professional? Here are a few tips.
1. Ask Your Friends
The best way to find a local dentist is still the old-fashioned way: by asking people you trust. As you ask around, you'll find some people who are absolutely passionate about their dentist, claiming that he or she is positively the gentlest, or most sympathetic, or most skilled dentist they've ever had. Asking people you trust for dentist recommendations is a great way to find local dentists who might be your next dentist.
2. Narrow Down the List
After you receive a few recommendations from your friends, family members, and co-workers, start to pare the list down. Obviously, distance from your home or work will be a consideration; other considerations might include:
• How much experience does the dentist have?
• If you have a specific purpose to your dental visit, does he or she have experience solving your particular dental issue?
• What professional associations is the dentist a part of?
• Does the dentist offer emergency care if something goes wrong?
Asking these types of questions will help you find a local dentist who's right for you.
3. Watch Out for These Signs
Going to a dentist for the first time is your opportunity to see how you feel about the dentist you've found. Some signs might indicate that your dentist might be more interested in what's in your wallet than what is in your mouth. Here are a few:
• The waiting room and the exam room are full of advertisements for non-essential procedures.
• The dentist is pushing a particular “holistic” treatment that includes expensive vitamins or herbs.
• The dentist speaks to you more like a salesperson than like a medical professional.
When you find a local dentist you like, stick with him or her. The long-term health of your mouth depends in large part on building a trusting relationship with your dentist.