Choosing a dentist can be either an easy or difficult process for you. It can be easy just like when you are choosing your primary doctor, or it can be difficult if you do not know where and what qualities to look for in a dentist.
Most of all, always remember that your dentist will be there to attend to your oral health need for a long time, unless you fire him/her. Dental health care is an ongoing process, and will likely continue until you grow old, so you better find one whom you can work with, personality-wise and skills-wise.
Here are the different ways to find your own dentist:
1. Ask for recommendations from your family and friends.
2. Ask your own doctor if he can recommend a good dentist.
3. Look online for dentist clinic reviews in your area.
4. Visit www.ada.org for a list of licensed dentists in your area.
5. Contact other local dental associations to find out the nearest dental clinics based on where you live.
Listed above are the different methods you can employ to find dentists in your area. However, finding dentist names is not enough. You still need to find the needle in the haystack, and determine which of these dentists will suit your dental needs best. To do that, you need to start asking questions.
Here are the questions to ask when looking for a suitable dentist:
1. Is the dentist part of a dental health network covered by your insurance or HMO?
2. Where is the dental office located? Can you travel there easily?
3. What are the office hours? Will you need to modify your schedule in order to fit a dentist appointment?
4. Where did the dentist earn his degree, and where did he/she train?
5. How long has the dentist been in practice?
6. What type of continuing education certifications does the dentist have?
7. How much are his/her rates?
8. Is the dentist certified to administer anesthesia?
9. Is the dentist available on call, or in case of dental emergencies?
10. Does the dentist offer payment plans for cosmetic dental procedures?
11. What do the people who recommended the dentist say about him and his services? Do you think you can get along with him?
12. Is the dental clinic clean and organized?
13. Does the dentist and the staff observe strict sterile techniques, and wear protective gear during dental procedures?
14. Is the dentist trained to care for patients with disabilities and special needs?
Those are the basic things you need to learn about a dentist before finally making your final decision. You can ask some of the questions in a phone call, or you can personally visit the dental clinic. Either way, it will be up to your instincts, and your decision-making skills to determine which dentist can work well for you.