When you’re new to an area, it can be intimidating to find a dentist near you that will be the best choice for your entire family. Fortunately, by knowing what to look for, you can whittle down the possibilities in no time. Here are just a few tips for finding a great dental practice.
Use Online Search Tools
The Internet is packed with useful tools to help people to find different businesses, and finding a dentist is no different. Use your favorite search engine to do a quick search for “best dentists near me.” In addition to finding practice addresses, phone numbers, and photos in an instant, you can also find each dentist’s website so that you can explore their practice from the comfort of your own home. You can also go to a site specifically designed to help you find a dentist.
The American Dental Association maintains lists of registered dentists across the country. The website gives patients the option of either entering their own address to find dentists near their home, or searching for dentists based on their location, specialty, or last name.
The Opt-In Network
At Opt-In Dental Advantage, we are not only interested in giving you lists of dentists near you, but in connecting you with dentists who meet our standards of quality and ethics. While we may not be the deciding factor in your choice, we can give you a starting point in your search.
After you find one or more dental practices that you are interested in, take the time to check the dentists’ qualifications. Search online for your state’s dental licensee board, and look to see what kind of license your prospective dentist carries. For example, if you are looking for a periodontist who offers dental implants or might offer another type of in-office dental surgery, make sure that they carry an oral and maxillofacial surgery permit, not just a general dentistry license.
Also, look into the dentist’s educational background to see where they went to school, when they graduated, and whether or not they have kept up with continuing education. Check to see if they belong to any professional associations, such as the ADA, local dental associations, and state dental associations. These types of professional memberships help dentists to stay up-to-date on all of the latest dental research, which protects you as a patient.
Look for Patient Reviews
A good recommendation can help you to narrow down your search fast, which is why it is a good idea to look for patient reviews. Talk with friends and family members about who they use, why they use that dentist, and what they like about the office. Check the dentist’s web pages and social media pages to look for patient comments and reviews.
Look for reviews that seem to offer a fair, objective opinion, and keep in mind that people are more likely to comment when they are upset. If you read negative reviews, see whether or not the dentist or the patient directly commented on the negative feedback. A practice that communicates kindly and intelligently with patients will be easier to work with than a practice that ignores comments or handles them unprofessionally.
Get a First Impression
Last but not least, don’t be afraid to stop by different dental practices to get a good first impression. Pay attention to how you are greeted when you enter the room, and whether or not the practice seems eager to earn your business. Taking the time to talk with the actual staff members or the dentist can make finding the best practice for you much easier. While the ultimate choice of dentists will be up to you and your priorities, by following this guide, you will at least find a competent and well-regarded dentist-and that is always worth the effort.