We all want the best dental care for ourselves and our family, so when it comes to choosing your general dentist, you shouldn’t go with the first referral you get or the first practice you stumble across!
Maybe you’ve moved to a new city, or simply across town, and you’re currently seeking a new general dentist that will be just as good as your previous one was at tackling your oral care needs. Whatever your reasoning may be, these tips below will help you to always choose the right one for you, and help you get the most out of each visit you pay them!
1. Factor Referrals and Recommendations Into Your Decision
Just because we said you couldn’t only rely on your referrals, doesn’t mean that you can’t take them into consideration! When your family or friends recommend a new dentist to you in a new area, it certainly doesn’t hurt to research them or even stop by the practice for a consultation. You may get lucky with a recommendation: chances are your friends and family will point you in the right direction.
If you’re moving, you may even be able to get your current general dentist to help out with this. You can ask them about their knowledge of practitioners in the area, and they may be able to send a referral in to their office for you. This would certainly ease the process! All you need to do is have a quick conversation with your current dentist to get the ball rolling.
2. Research, Research, Research
Let’s say you don’t know anyone in the area, or no one was able to provide you with a referral. Maybe you’ve never had a general dentist before, therefore having no one to send you to a new office. That’s okay! Research is just as good.
When researching a general dentist in a new area, you don’t want to just skim, or only visit the website of one or two and make a decision from there. Research will involve many different areas; this includes online reviews and testimonials, their social media profiles, and any other review websites you can possibly get your hands on.
Online reviews will be some of the best insights you can get into a practice you’re considering. If you had a great dentist before, try to think of what qualities they had that you enjoyed and apply these requirements or expectations as you search for someone new. If you’ve never had a dentist before, simply consider what you’d like to see from one and use that as your criteria.
These pre-set expectations will help you to add or take away value from the reviews you stumble across. The most positive, credible reviews on a company page are honest insights into what the patient experience there is like.
3. Think: Are They Accessible?
This may be a minute detail in the grand scheme of choosing a dentist, but is still important. Accessibility may not be a huge initial concern, but may become one in the event of an emergency or even just coordinating your schedule. Having to take a trip all the way across town, whether it’s just for yourself or your entire family, could be taxing. It’s best to, if possible, find someone you love that’s in your area. If no one’s around, it’s okay to branch out. Just make sure you can commit to that practice!
4. Use Your Consultation
A consultation can be very telling of a specialist’s experience, expertise, and the general tone of their office. Once you pass the initial research stage, you may discover a few specialists that you feel may fit the bill. A consultation is a great way to have a platform where you can ask questions, learn more about what they do and how they can help you, and make the final call as to whether or not you’ll go with them.
Many places offer free consultations, so this branch of your research shouldn’t cost you a penny. Just make sure you double check that there’s no fee!
At the end of the process, you should end up with a specialist that is able to meet your dental needs and goals, is qualified to do so, and is someone you feel comfortable with.