How to find a dentist

How to find a dentist

Jan 4, 2024

Mother and toddler smiling and playing with toys

Choosing a new dentist

Perhaps you've relocated, your dentist has retired or moved, or you are simply dissatisfied with your current dental care. For any reason -you're in the market for a new dentist. Choosing a healthcare practitioner for your family is not a decision to be taken lightly, trust is built through years of care and collaboration between the doctor and patient.

Most people do not know what to look for or what to ask and resort to choosing the first appointment available at the closest dental office, even if it's not the best fit. A year or two later, they're back to square one searching again. Recommendations from friends and family can be a great place to start but every family and their needs are different. So, what can you do to make sure that the dentist you choose can provide quality care for the long haul? Ask yourself, and your prospective dentists these 5 questions.

What type of care do I need now, and in the future?

Maybe your first appointment will consist of a check-up, a few x-rays, and a cleaning. Any dentist should be able to provide you with these simple services. But what about the future? Do you foresee yourself or your family members needing braces? Have you been considering veneers or other cosmetic procedures? Do you have kids? Considering the answers to questions like these can help you determine if you need to find a dentist or clinic that specializes in orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, etc. This way, you're able to keep all your treatments and procedures under one roof with a dentist who knows your history.

What is the clinic's location and hours?

It's not uncommon for a dental clinic to be closed on the weekend, and those who are open will typically fill their Saturday and Sunday appointments weeks or even months in advance. If you work long or odd hours you may prefer to find a dentist with flexible hours outside of your work schedule. Choosing a dentist nearby not only means less time stuck in traffic, it also means easier and quicker access if you or a family member needs emergency or urgent care. Especially if you or your family member has a history of oral health problems, a dentist who accepts emergency or walk-in appointments can save you thousands.

What are the facilities and equipment like?

Now that you've narrowed down your list of potential dentists, it's time to consider the clinic and its equipment. A reliable dentist will stay up to date on the newest equipment and technology. Investing in their practice shows commitment to high-quality care. Plus, modern equipment and facilities can ultimately equate to more accurate diagnoses and efficient treatments. Since dental procedures are up close and personal, it is also important to pay close attention to the cleanliness and hygiene of the facilities and staff.

Do they accept my insurance or offer payment plans?

It's important to understand the pricing structure and payment options your clinic offers. If you do hold dental insurance, you must ensure the clinic accepts your insurance and whether or not they offer direct billing if that is something necessary for you. If you're uninsured, a clinic that accepts payment plans may be important for you. Dental procedures and treatments can become very expensive. Having a dentist who is willing to work with you to create a payment plan can make all the difference between accessing the treatment you need and having to live with pain or discomfort.

What do I need to know about my dentist's experience & history?

You've narrowed it down to 2 or 3 clinics and you're ready to choose. One of the most important things you must consider is the dentist's education, experience, history, and standing with the local dental authority. Information regarding your dentist's standing including any malpractice claims is usually readily available online depending on where you live. It is also helpful to use a trusted platform like Google or Trustpilot to check online reviews of any prospects.

The final step

The best way to make your final decision is to visit the clinic in person, pay attention to the atmosphere, and speak to the staff about any questions or concerns you may have. Taking the time to choose carefully is the first step to what should be a long and confident relationship between you and your dentist. The decision can be overwhelming, but snapsmile can help. We screen all our partner clinics carefully and hold our network of dentists to the highest ethical standards of care. Register here to get connected with top-rated dentists in your area. Complete an appointment with one of our partner clinics and get rewarded.

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