How to Pick a New Dentist

new dentist

Choosing the right dentist is important. You’ll need to see this person at least twice a year and trust him or her to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. If you’ve recently moved or had a poor experience with your current dentist, you’ll need to find a new one that suits your needs. Going to the dentist can be stressful or unnerving for many people, so it’s also important that your provider puts you at ease and makes you feel confident about your treatments. At Dr. Flanagan’s office, we want to see everyone embrace their dental care and enjoy healthy smiles. This week, we explain how to find a dentist who’s right for you.

Where to Look

Especially if you’ve never had to choose a dentist, it can be confusing to determine where you should start looking. However, you shouldn’t let the seemingly daunting process of finding a dentist let you put off important dental care. There are a few ways you can find out about dentists in your area. These include:

·      Talking to local family, friends, and colleagues about their dentists. Everyone has to take care of their teeth, so most of your neighbors and acquaintances should be able to provide you with recommendations for local practices. If someone you talk to has a particularly glowing review about his or her dentist, this could be a good sign.

·      Using the American Dental Association’s database. All you need to do is enter your street address to find local registered practitioners. You can also refine your search by looking for dentists with a particular specialty (such as pediatric dentistry or cosmetic treatments) or those within a specific distance of your home.

·      Looking at online review sites like Yelp. You’re probably more used to using these sites to look up the best Mexican restaurant for lunch or pick a good hairdresser, but they can also be a great place to read about other patients’ experiences and get valuable information. Of course, remember that no one is perfect, so a single bad review shouldn’t deter you from considering a particular practice.

·      Dentists’ websites and blogs. If you’ve found a good prospective dentist through a neighbor’s referral, on the ADA database, or by reading online reviews, you can typically learn more about him or her on the practice’s website. This page might include additional patient reviews, pictures of the office, or videos explaining procedures, which can all inform your decision.

Questions to Ask

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few good options, you’ll want to give these dentists a quick call and ask a few questions. These include:

·      What are your hours?

·      Are you accepting new patients?

·      What types of care do you provide? It’s important that your dentist offer preventive care to proactively maintain your teeth, rather than just repairing damage.

·      What was your last continuing education course? Your dentist should stay abreast of the latest advances in the field to provide excellent care.

·      How do you handle patient emergencies?

·      Will you and your staff discuss my treatment options with me? Most patients prefer to work with dentists who are willing to communicate with them about their choices and explain their diagnoses.

·      Do you take my insurance?

·      What will you do during the first appointment? This visit should involve a cleaning, thorough exam, and x-rays.

·      How much does a routine checkup cost?

If you are satisfied by the dentist’s answers to these questions, you should schedule an appointment and try out the office. From there, you can decide if you’d like to make this dentist your regular practitioner or, if necessary, try out another one of your options.

We’d Love to Be Your New Dental Practice  

We hope you found these suggestions helpful in your search for a new dentist. If you live in the Houston, TX area, we’d love to see you for a visit. Dr. Flanagan will be available to answer your questions and explain our treatments, which include a full suite of general and cosmetic procedures. To learn more about our practice or schedule an appointment,contact Cindy Flanagan, D.D.S.

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