Switching dentists can be stressful. Maybe you’re new to the city, maybe your childhood dentist just announced her retirement, or maybe you and your current dentist just don’t click. We’ve put together a checklist to help you find a dentist who meets your needs.
- Recommendations Trump Google searches. The best way to find a dentist you’ll like is to ask friends, family, and coworkers for recommendations. Try to ask people whose personalities and dental needs are similar to your own.
- Stalk their Social Media. Social media pages can help you get a sense of the feel for the practice. While it's not a foolproof way to find a great dentist, social media can help you rule out offices where you'll have a personality clash.
- Check their reviews. Compare reviews from a few different sites, and always look at the bad ones first. Why did people leave the office? Why were they unhappy? For instance, if the bad reviews are “I was late to my appointment and they didn’t see me,” that dentist is toxic for the perpetually tardy, but great for someone trying to squeeze in dental care on a lunch break.
- Explore the website. Many offices now include videos, so you can see if you like the people who work there and would feel comfortable in the space. Check the education credentials, to make sure that this team has the experience and skills needed to care for your teeth. You should also check:
- Hours and location. The best dentist in the world won’t help if you can never get into the office while they’re open.
- Services offered. If you have complex needs, can the office take care of them? If you’re worried that you may need more care later, is this office equipped to help you?
- Payment options. Does the office take insurance? Does it take yours? If you’re uninsured, does the office offer payment plans or in-house dental savings plans?
- Contact options. Does the office offer electronic contact options, or are you limited to making a phone call during the workday? Will you be able to reach someone when you need help?
- FAQs. The FAQs answered by the site can give you an idea of the dentist’s focus and typical patients.
5. Make the call. Once you’ve narrowed your list down, put the possibilities in order, call your top choice, and try to book an appointment. If the first office won’t see you, try the next one, and so on. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure if you like a dentist is to make an appointment. And if the office isn’t your style? You can always switch again before your next cleaning.