Tips For Finding A Good Dentist

March 10, 2020 / Dental Advice

What To Look For In A Dentist’s Office

Do you like going to the dentist? If you’re like me and a lot of other people, going to the dentist can inspire a range of feelings from boredom to crippling anxiety, but usually nothing close to resembling joy. While the procedures of cleaning and x-rays and filling cavities don’t change from one dentist to the next, not all dentists are created equal, and some dentists and their assistants and their offices have certain things to look for that may be signs of good practice, or warning flags.

How Can I Find A Good Dentist?

As we become adults, we realize that there are a few people we need to be able to rely upon on a regular basis. A good mechanic, a trustworthy lawyer, and a gentle dentist are important relationships to develop as their services become more important to our lives. Often, we can rely on our friends or relatives for recommendations, but how do we find a good dentist when we move to a new location? There are currently several online services dedicated specifically to helping consumers locate quality dentists. 1-800-DENTIST and Delta Dental are currently two of the most popular options online for locating local dentists, and they provide good information upfront for determining which dentist may be a good fit for you and your family’s needs.

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Tips For How To Find A Good Dentist

What Should I Look For When Finding A Dentist?

Everyone has different hopes or fears when it comes to finding a dentist. When I first used Delta Dental, I was happy to be able to look at their profiles and educational backgrounds to help myself choose. At the time I was very phobic of the dentist, having had some bad childhood experiences, and I have a relatively small mouth, so I decided I wanted a female dentist with a good educational background and at least ten years of experience. I found exactly that, and even though I was still nervous, I felt confident in my choice. I spoke with the doctor and conveyed my fears, and the doctor was not only sympathetic but was just as efficient and gentle as I had hoped she would be. I was very pleased with her work, and it all went as smoothly as I could hope for needing four fillings replaced, two new cavities filled, and eventually a root canal. While I can’t say I was ever exactly comfortable, it was as pleasant an experience as I could hope for.

What Are Some Red Flags When Finding A Dentist?

After a couple of years of seeing my new dentist, I started having some concerns. Once a year the office manager would insist that I needed something called a deep cleaning, even though I was getting my teeth cleaned at their office twice a year. When I said I didn’t want it, she became quite adamant and enlisted the dentist to pressure me into getting the extra cleaning. Around this time, I also noticed that none of the staff of dental hygienists stayed for more than about six months. At first, I thought that maybe the office was being used for training purposes and that the staff were just rotating through until I asked one of the assistants who quietly told me that staff don’t like working there because of the attitude of the office manager (who turned out to be the dentist’s husband) and that they did not feel respected in the workplace. I also noticed that equipment was not being updated or replaced with more modern versions, which seemed strange, and that clientele seemed to be dropping off. After having enough of the pressure sales, disgruntled employees and outdated facility, I finally realized that this was not the office for me, and used Delta again to look for a better fit.

What Are Some Signs Of A Good Dentist?

The next dentist I found was like a breath of fresh air. Before scheduling an appointment, I went to the office and asked to have a look around. I found a very modern facility, and they informed me that they do most of the work for fabricating bridges and implants in house and that the doctor was committed to providing the most advanced care possible, while prices were no different and they still accepted my insurance. They even had very reasonable rates that helped me out when I changed jobs and had a brief lapse in my insurance coverage. The staff had all been there for several years and were very happy with their environments, and in the five years I have been there since, I have never once heard the words deep cleaning, and I have even come to enjoy my trips to the dentist because of the calm care of the staff and especially the hygienists.

While examining educational and career experiences are a good place to start when finding a good dentist, you may want to consider what other aspects are important to you before committing to an appointment. Advanced technology, happy employees, and a relaxed environment might have enough of an impact on your in-chair experience to influence your decision on which dentist to choose, and considering the importance and impact of good dentistry and dental hygiene on our lives, be persistent in interviewing before committing because it is your right to be comfortable at the dentist!

About Our Guest Writer:

M.R. Felker, Content Writer.  M.R. Felker lives near San Diego, travels frequently with his amazing wife, and likes to live dangerously by accepting candy from strangers.

M.R. Felker

Advertising Disclosure: This post may contain promotional links. Watch the Review may be compensated if you use these links.

Find A Good Dentist FAQs

If I go to a new dentist, what happens to my old dental records?

Your dental records are yours. When you move to a new dentist, if your old dentist will not give you your records directly, your new dentist should be able to requisition them. If your old dentist still refuses to give up your records, you may want to speak to the American Dental Association for assistance.

My child is really scared of the dentist. What can I do?

Talk to your dentist and hopefully he or she can get a little creative. Many dentists have videos they can play to distract a child, and some even dress up in costume. If your dentist won’t make any effort to accommodate a nervous patient of any age, they may not be the right fit for you.

Is radiation from dental x-rays something I should worry about?

No. X-ray radiation has decreased dramatically over the years and is perfectly safe. The lead cape draped over you during the process is mostly used as an almost outdated precaution. If it were dangerous, there would be incidents of people who need large amounts of dental work getting cancer and there is no such correlation.

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