• May 28, 2024

Family Dentistry 101 How to Find the Best Dentist in Your Area

Mother Teresa once said peace starts with a smile. It also communicates your personality and enhances your first impressions. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 48% of people say a smile is the most memorable feature. For these reasons, you should do everything possible to perfect it. The best way to enhance your smile is by setting up regular appointments with a dentist to ensure your pearly whites glitter.

Ideally, you should have a family dentist who knows your history and can care for your entire family’s dental health. However, this is not always the case, especially if you moved recently. So, here’s how to find the best dentist in your area.

Consider Specialty

The first thing you should consider when searching for a dentist is what type of care you expect. Remember, dentists focus on a specialty when studying for their certification. Specializations make them better at treating specific conditions. Dental specialties include orthodontics and periodontics. Orthodontics deals with infections and injuries in the dental pulp or the tooth’s nerve, while periodontics treats gum diseases and related issues.

Why is specialization a big deal? Say you want to improve your smile and overall facial aesthetics. You commit to the first dentist you find in your area only to find out they are an endodontist specializing in root canal treatment. Chances are that they won’t help you because a cosmetic dentist is best suited to handle your problem.

Start your search by determining your dental needs to guide you on how to find the best dentist in your area. The idea is to narrow your options and shorten the time you will spend finding a good dentist in your area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.), 1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 has cavities. If you are part of these statistics, and you’ve been battling pain, you might want to visit an endodontist.

Ask For Recommendations

What would you rather prefer? Make an appointment with a local orthodontist based on Google’s first page results, or ask for a recommendation from friends and family. While they both work fine, if you care about your health and are concerned about getting the best dental treatment, then the answer is quite simple. You should ask people you trust to recommend a reputed dentist -it’s the better option. But why is this important?

Reputable dentists offer the best services. Ask family and friends who recently had a dental procedure to recommend a trusted dentist in your locality. If they had a good experience that solved their problem, chances are that the dentist is good at what they do, and you will also like their services.

Dentists with a good reputation follow guidelines and prioritize their patients’ needs. Finding a good dentist is even more important for individuals with children because their teeth are still developing. Top-notch dentists ensure they get the best dental care and grow up with healthy teeth. On the flip side, a wrong procedure could spell problems for the rest of their lives. However, you could still do an online search for good dentists in your area if you can’t find good recommendations.

Check Their Website

Once you find several options from online searches and recommendations, proceed to check the dentist’s website. It’s part of due diligence and the silver lining of how to find the best dentist in your area. The website provides you with critical information regardless of whether they came highly recommended or if you found them online.

Important information you should check includes whether the website looks professional enough and whether it offers the services you need. What is the feedback from past patients? You should also check out their reviews and licenses.

A website says a lot about a dental firm’s reputation. For instance, well-designed websites imply the dentist is up-to-date and dedicated to providing top-of-the-class services. Professionals who are ready to invest in the latest and most convenient forms of communication care about their patient’s satisfaction and feedback.

What does a bad website indicate? You got it right; it indicates potentially poor services. It means the dentist makes little effort to keep up with the latest trends and is likely outdated in their practice. For instance, you don’t want to seek dental crowns services if their website lacks information on the latest practices – unless you want to risk shoddy work, which could spiral into more dental problems.

Choose Dentists with License and Board Certification

Another important step on how to find the best dentist in your area is understanding dentists need to be board-certified and licensed. So, when you visit local denture dentists ask to see their license. The license confirms that they meet all the requirements set by the state board of dentistry and have passed the three-tier basic requirements: educational requirement, written examination, and clinical assessment. For instance, nearly all U.S. states require a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree from a university-based dental education program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).

A dentist who doesn’t have the right certifications or fails to renew their license is likely incompetent, unscrupulous, or unqualified. Fake dentists use unregulated equipment, don’t wear gloves, and perform risky procedures without following due process. Therefore, you risk infections and losing teeth altogether. Luckily, the American Board of Dentists provides standardization to dentists in the U.S.A. to safeguard patients’ wellbeing.

Prioritize Experience

Would you trust a pilot to fly you if they have no experience? Why should your dental health be any different? Your relationship with your dentist will likely last for more than a year, and the dentist you commit to could mean the difference between great service and an experience you might regret forever. Do your due diligence and choose a dentist with sufficient experience.

Seasoned dentists have performed hundreds of procedures. In fact, complicated and horrific cases are part of their extensive careers. This means there isn’t a problem they can’t handle. As such, you should rest assured they will treat your problem conclusively.

However, a diligent graduate will get the job done. Fresh graduates are also equipped through internships to handle patients. While experience shouldn’t be the dealbreaker, seasoned dentists are likelier to undertake dental procedures more successfully. In fact, green dentists will refer you to experienced doctors if you need complex procedures.

For instance, cosmetic dentistry services can be detrimental if the dentist isn’t well-versed in the procedures. Whether you want teeth whitening, dental implants, or veneers, it is crucial that you take time to find an experienced dentist because some cosmetic procedures are irreversible.

Consider Reviews

Like other professionals, you can determine the quality of services a dental clinic offers by checking reviews from previous clients. Reviews and ratings provide a sneak peek of the satisfaction you’ll get from their services. Don’t stop at the facility website – go a step further and check review sites like Rank My Dentist. These independent sites provide more dependable, unaltered ratings.

Ideally, you should make an appointment with dentists who boast numerous positive reviews. Too many negative reviews mean the dentist provides subpar services and might affect your dental health negatively. Don’t forget to check the negative reviews for a broad perspective of their services.

Remember to take reviews with a pinch of salt. Ratings that are characterized by 5-star-only reviews could be fake. A good dentist should be trustworthy and have good reviews, especially if you need specific services like tooth whitening.

Focus on Accessibility and Location

Do you have special needs or requirements? Here is how to find the best dentist in your area. First, you should search for dentists who can accommodate your needs. You should check their websites to see if their offices are accessible and make a call if this isn’t specified. You can tell them you need extra help with mobility issues or getting in and out of your wheelchair. Asking for this information will go a long way, especially if you want to commit to them for a long period.

Additionally, you should consider your dentist’s location. For instance, you should opt for individuals working from a local dentist office closer to you, especially if you live in rural areas. This minimizes the distance you’ll have to travel to their office.

Choosing an establishment within proximity reduces transport costs and ensures you get access to emergency services quickly. Finding a dentist whose office is closer to your home is also crucial if you have young children. However, you shouldn’t compromise on service quality.

Do They Accept Insurance?

The roadmap on how to find the best dentist in your area is incomplete without considering their insurance terms. Start by checking whether the dental health provider accepts insurance. If they do, are they in your dental insurance network? If unsure, you should check with your insurance provider for a list of eligible local dentists. You can find this list on your employer’s or health insurer’s website.

However, don’t fret if your preferred dentist isn’t on the list. Sometimes, the charges between out-of-network and in-network don’t vary much. In any case, the benefits from out-of-network dentists might overshadow the cost difference.

Remember that some plans have waiting periods while others only cover a fraction of major work costs. For instance, you might have to wait for a year before the policy starts to cover dental implants. Therefore, you won’t get the benefits of full family dentistry services. Ensure you discuss the details with your health providers to see if you can get discounts.

Visit the Dentist Offices

Another crucial step on how to find the best dentist in your area is making a physical visit to the office. While your dentist may seem great on their website, you should always make an appointment and pay a visit to their offices before you embark on treatment. The idea is to get a feel of their set-up and determine the time you will spend to and from their offices. Additionally, it provides a first-hand experience of the services, since you’ll get to see how they treat their customers.

Is the reception friendly enough? You should avoid committing to dentists who treat clients poorly. Take your due diligence to the next level and examine the place and state of their machines. For instance, you can’t trust an implant dentist who doesn’t have the right tools to perform specialized surgery. If you want to make an implant dentist appointment, ensure the tools and machines like physiodispenser are the latest, high quality and well taken care of hygienically.

Ask Questions

The last tip in our guide on how to find the best dentist in your area is to ask your dentist relevant questions regarding their services. For instance, you could ask them if they offer nutritional counseling and inquire about their primary goals in patient care. You should also ask about the cost of services. Lastly, ask them about their staff qualifications and how long they have been in service.

Understand that dentists who don’t have lots of experience are not necessarily inefficient. However, if you commit to them, you should ensure they have positive reviews and ratings on their website and from family and friends. For instance, periodontics specialists must have a reputation for treating gum diseases and conditions like gum recessions and bone loss.

Don’t be afraid to ask the dentist necessary questions about their services, equipment, schedule, and availability during emergencies. The dentist should be willing and ready to answer your questions and volunteer for more information. Their answers will help you make the best decision for you and your family. If they are hesitant, you might want to take a step back and evaluate your choice. That is the blueprint of how to find the best dentist in your area.

Your dental health can break or make your social standing. A bright smile is welcoming, while a fresh breath enhances your esteem. Take a bold step, do due diligence, and find a reputable dentist. You’ll never be the same again!

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