When most folks are choosing a dentist they tend to choose the first one they come across in their Internet search results. That’s because too many of us only go to a dentist in Durham when there’s some kind of very painful oral emergency that pops up.
Even in cases where urgency is the main concern, you should still devote some time and effort into doing the sufficient research to ensure that the dental office you are choosing is equipped and ready to serve all your dental needs.
Now let’s suppose you’re not seeking out emergency dental help due to a chipped tooth or broken crown and, instead, you’ve decided to find the right dentist to give you a routine checkup and cleaning. Should you be satisfied with the work that he or she does on this first visit, you may have just found a dentist in your area who you can rely upon for years to come.
Conducting Your Search
You can literally ask anyone you trust for their opinion on a good dentist in your area. Talk to family members, friends, your neighbors, even co-workers to find out who they use and if they are satisfied with the level of care provided by their dental professional.
For a second and more critical opinion perhaps, you might talk to your doctor or your nearby pharmacist to see if he or she have any names to recommend as the best dentists in the local area. They might have information or expertise that your family and friends may not have and you could be getting better advice as to the reasons why these dentists would be a good fit for your needs.
When you want a recommendation for a good dentist, ask a dentist. This is something you may wish to do should you be planning to move from your current area to another.
And finally, yes, go online and do some research on the best rated dentists in your area. There are a number of websites out there where patients can discuss and rate the care they have received from dental offices around the country. Simply visit one or more of these types of sites and enter your zip code. From there you will be given a myriad of listings for awesome (and maybe not so awesome) dentists in your area.
Picking from the Candidates
Chances are you’re going to receive a whole list of names and reasons why you should visit. With so many responses you may find it a bit of a challenge to decide on which to choose. To help you select the best dentist for you, it may be necessary to go on a few initial consultations first and most will offer these introductory meetings as a way to get comfortable with the person you are hiring to do you dental work.
But don’t just let them do all the talking, you should take the initiative and bring along a set of questions to ask in order to determine if this dentist is a good fit. These are just some of the queries you may want to keep in mind when it’s time to walk into your initial consultation:
A good place to start because these hours are when you will be able to have work done. Not all dentists keep the same hours so you should decide if the dental office is open when you need them on your schedule or if you are going to have a tough time making an appointment for a cleaning when you’re available to get one.
Even more important, asking about their policies about dental emergencies and seeing the dentist during off-hours. If you can’t depend on your dentist all the time, you can’t depend on them at all.
We’re talking about a dentist “in your area”. But how you define that is going to be up to you. Are you looking for a dentist within walking distance of your home or place of employment or is a short drive acceptable? Perhaps the dentist you like best is a good 25 minutes away by car, is that too far to travel for good dental care?
Training and Education
You might want to ask what kind of resume they hold in terms of his or her educational background. Where and how was the dentist trained in their craft and what school or schools did he or she attend? This can tell you a lot about the quality of care, their approach to preventive dentistry, and knowledge about the dental industry.