Tips on Choosing the Right Dentist

Dental Health
By:Spirit Dental
June 18, 2015

Updated Nov. 2022

Seeing a dentist regularly for checkups, cleanings, and restorative treatments can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, bright, and strong. But if you aren’t comfortable with your dentist or you don’t feel like you’re receiving the highest quality care, you may be reluctant to schedule your appointments.  

Whether you aren’t happy with your current dentist or you’ve moved and are in search of a new dentist, choosing the right one can help you feel at ease every time you need to have your mouth examined. But how can you be sure you’re making a smart choice? Check out the tips below to learn about some of the best ways to select a great dentist

Ask around

When it comes to finding any medical provider, getting referrals from people you trust is a good way to go. Consider talking to friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. After all, they can tell you about their direct experience with a dentist, and you can use that information to gauge if that dentist would also meet your needs. 

If that doesn’t point you in the right direction, consider asking a medical professional, such as your doctor, chiropractor, or pharmacist, for some recommendations.

Moving away? Consider asking your current dentist for recommendations. He or she might know one or more talented dentists who will be able to help keep your mouth healthy once you’ve settled into your new home.

Research and compare dentists

Don’t just take a person’s word for it; research a dentist yourself. Whether you’re searching online for dentists in your area or you’re relying on referrals, see what information appears when you look up information about a provider. Head to their website to learn more about how their office works, and to see what services they provide and what fees they charge. Also, try to access details about their background, such as their education, certifications, and experience. 

Perhaps you don’t feel comfortable seeing a dentist who hasn’t been practicing that long. Maybe you want to go to someone who uses the latest technology to diagnose and treat patients. Or, you might want a dentist who has specialized training in areas like root canals, gum disease, or dental implants

The right research can provide you with the answers you need. Then, you can compare dentists and narrow down your options to those who would likely be the best fit for your needs. 

Check reviews online

Take your research a step further by reading reviews written by patients. Even if you get a referral from someone you trust, checking out reviews can be super helpful because you can learn from people’s good and bad experiences. 

Rather than only being exposed to the positive stories that came with a referral, you can see if anyone had negative things to say about the same provider. This may give you greater insight into whether someone is a good choice after all.  

Confirm insurance coverage

Dental insurance can help you save money whenever you need to see the dentist. But not all dentists accept all the dental plans that are available in your area. So, to be sure you can take advantage of your insurance, simply contact a dentist directly to confirm that they accept the policy you’re enrolled in. 

Keep in mind that the amount of support you can receive may be based on whether a dentist is in-network or out-of-network. Oftentimes, selecting an in-network dentist is the best way to save the most money, especially if you have a plan that doesn’t provide any coverage for out-of-network providers. 

Note: Your insurance company might be able to give you a list of in-network dentists in your area. This might be another easy way to choose a dentist you can trust! 

Ask for a consultation

Reading about a dentist and interacting with them in person are two completely different things. That’s why it’s a great idea to make an appointment to meet a potential new dentist. 

By meeting with a dentist, you can see how clean their exam rooms are and how organized the staff is. Plus, you can use this as an opportunity to ask questions, discuss expectations, and talk about your oral health. 

By the end of your appointment, you might feel that the dentist is a great fit for your needs, or you might know that you have to keep looking. 

Finding the right dentist doesn’t need to be a challenge

Though it might seem like a daunting process at first, finding the ideal dentist doesn’t have to be tough. Just have a strategy in place so you can follow a few simple steps that can lead you in the right direction. And, remember, you might be able to use your insurance as a guide by looking into the in-network dentists that provide high-quality care.  




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