So you’re new to the area and you need a new dentist. Unfortunately, you haven’t had to find a new dentist in a long time! You’ve forgotten how to go about it, and the idea of calling around is stressful.
That doesn’t stop you from needing dental work done. What should you do?
We’re here to offer some advice. Keep reading for a few things that you should do when you’re choosing a dentist.
1. Read Online Reviews
Online reviews are a fantastic resource when it comes to navigating your various dentist options. You no longer have to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations (though that’s still helpful).
After you’ve asked the people you know about potential dentists, take your search to the web. If you look for “dentists near me” or “dentists in Lexington, KY,” you’re sure to get plenty of results.
Each result should have a Google My Business page. That page will have all of the important information about the dentist (their location and contact information, at least) and it will likely have some reviews from previous or current patients.
You want to pick a dentist with a high star rating. This shows that they have more happy patients than unhappy ones (remember: unhappy people are always happy to share their bad experiences).
When you look at reviews, look for ones that are relevant to you. For example, if you aren’t looking for a dentist for a child, reviews about pediatric dentistry won’t be relevant to you.
Once you have a few dentist’s offices that have good reputations, it’s time to move on to the next step!
2. Consider Accessibility
Accessibility is everything when you’re choosing a dentist. You won’t visit a dentist’s office if it’s not convenient to you, and that can get in the way of your dental care.
Accessibility breaks down into two parts.
First, where is the dentist’s office? Is it somewhere that you can reasonably go, or is it too far out of the way?
If you take public transportation, make sure that the dentist’s office is close enough to a stop for you to access. If not, make sure that it’s at least within a close distance to somewhere that you go often.
This doesn’t mean that it has to be near your home (although that’s also convenient). It can be near your work, your college, your child’s school, or anywhere else that’s easy to get to for appointments.
You also have to consider the hours that the dental practice operates. Make sure that they fit within your work or school schedule if you’re unable to take time off.
3. Check Costs & Insurance Options
Cost is another large factor for most people when it comes to choosing a new dentist. Being able to afford dental care is crucial. You don’t want to have a dental emergency just to realize that you can’t afford to get a filling, root canal, or another service.
If you don’t see options for insurance or payment on the dentist’s website, never be afraid to reach out. All good dental practices are transparent about their costs to make sure that no one has to go without care.
4. Look at Offered Services
Did you know that not all dentists offer the same services? That’s right, if you’re looking for something specific, you need to make sure that the dentist has what you need.
Most people are looking for general dentists. General dentists can treat people of all ages, so they’re good for families with older children and adults. They offer a wide range of restorative and preventative services.
A general dentist will help you take care of your general oral hygiene. They can do routine cleanings, check-ups, fillings, and more. They’re also able to refer you to orthodontists or oral surgeons if necessary.
What if you want to modify your smile and make it better than ever? You’ll want to find a dental practice that offers cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic dentists receive extra training so they’re able to make safe aesthetic alterations to their patients’ smiles. They provide services like teeth whitening, dental implants, and porcelain veneers. Some will also do mild tooth straightening with clear aligners.
Figure out your dental care priorities and make sure that the dental practice you choose can meet all of your needs.
5. Check Credentials
So now that you’ve found an accessible dentist that offers the services that you need, it’s time to check the dentist’s credentials.
Keep in mind that all dentists have gone through rigorous education and testing. Good dentists, however, are committed to continuing their education and they never stop learning.
It doesn’t hurt to call and “interview” your potential dentist to ask them about their experience, especially if you’re looking for help for a specific dental problem. Most dentists will be happy to share their expertise with potential patients.
6. Gauge Your Own Comfort Level
When you pick a dentist, don’t feel like you have to commit to them after your first appointment. Make sure that you feel comfortable and that you know this dentist is a good fit for you or your family.
When you go to your first appointment, consider how you feel when you first arrive. Is the waiting area modern and comfortable? Do the people at the front desk make you feel safe and welcome?
When you have your actual appointment, does the dentist’s equipment look up-to-date? Does the dentist have a great bedside manner?
These things all matter!
Choosing a Dentist Is Easy
Don’t make choosing a dentist more difficult than it has to be. These tips should put you on the right track. Keep them in mind and you’ll find your ideal dentist in time for your next check-up.
Are you looking for a great dentist in Lexington, KY? We want to meet you! At Sloan Dental, we pride ourselves on our professionalism and commitment to our patients.
Contact us to set up an appointment today.