Choosing the best dentist for your family can be a real challenge. You know that dental care is important, but you’re so busy. You’re balancing your kids, spouse, career, and household chores. Taking the time out to find a reliable dentist might be pretty low on your to-do list, even though you know that you need to tackle this task.
But it truly doesn’t need to be difficult to find a reliable dentist. Here are some tips.
Key Tips for Choosing the Best Dentist
Enlist Your Family and Friends
First off, enlist your family and friends. Ask them who they use and if they like them. Dig a bit deeper. Find out why they like the dentist. For example, ask questions such as:
- Do they keep their appointments running on time?
- Are they greeted by the front desk in a timely manner?
- Is the waiting room calm?
- Does the dentist or hygienist ask them questions to craft a treatment plan?
- The answer to every one of these questions should be, “yes!”
This gives you some real insight into why your friends like their dentist rather than a generic “Yes, he’s very nice” which doesn’t give you much valuable feedback.
Conduct Internet Research
Now that your friends have armed you with a recommendation or two, hit the internet to conduct a little research. Search for the dentist’s name and scan through the search results. You will find Google reviews and social site check-ins.
Read over the most recent reviews. You don’t need to go really far back, as conditions change over time. You should focus only on newer patient feedback. You will quickly discern whether patients like the dentist or not. If patients sing praise for the dentist, it’s a great sign. If you see a barrage of complaints, move on to researching the next dentist on the list.
Check with the American Dental Association
After you’ve found overall favorable patient reviews, browse over to the American Dental Association’s Find-a-Dentist page. Put the dentist’s information into the search tool to find out if the dentist is an ADA member.
This is important because the ADA is the nation’s premier advocacy group for dental health. Membership in the ADA shows that the dentist is committed to his profession and his patients. ADA dentists commit to following strict ethics guidelines and putting patient care first.
That’s a reassurance that you definitely want for your family!
Check with Your Dental Insurance Company
A sad truth is that dental expenses can add up quickly. Therefore, you need to make sure that the dentist you have selected will accept your dental insurance. Doing this before you schedule your family’s first appointments will ensure that you don’t rack up a stack of dental bills.
There are three ways you can find out if your dentist is in your insurance network. First, you can call the toll-free number on your insurance card and speak with customer service. Second, check the insurance card for a website. Many insurance companies now have an online directory of providers. Third, you can call the dentist’s office and ask the front desk if they can help you. This is the least preferred way. You’ll want the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you saw firsthand that your family is covered.
Finding a reliable dentist is important to your family’s well-being. Children who start going to the dentist when they are young have increased odds of a lifetime of healthy teeth. While you are certainly very busy and always pressed for time, carve out an hour or two to check finding the best dentist for your family off your long to-do list.
Author Bio: Dr. Holly Gregory is a dentist with Houston Dental Implants, Family Dentistry, Oral Surgery, and Periodontics in Humble, TX. She is a lifelong Texan and enjoys writing to share oral health tips with online readers. When she’s not practicing dentistry or writing, Dr. Gregory enjoys spending time with her family.