If you've moved to a new area or simply want to switch dentists, it can be a difficult decision. Many people stay with the same dental professional their entire lives, but this isn't always possible. We're going to look at seven key tips so that you know what to look for when trying to find the right dentist for you.
1. Do a search online and check reviews
One of the most simple ways to find dentistry options in your area is to search for them online. You can perform a basic web search, like by entering something similar to "best dentist in Bellevue area".
Another great thing about using the internet to help your search for a dentist is that you can also quickly and easily look at reviews from lots of different people. While you should be careful with some of these reviews, they should give you a general idea of the sort of things people are saying about different dentists in your area.
2. Ask for recommendations from people you know
While online reviews are great, nothing beats a recommendation from someone you know, like friends or family. If you're in a new area, try asking at work or one of your neighbours. Practically everyone has a dentist, and most of them have one they're happy with and have been seeing for a number of years so it's quite easy to get a good recommendation from someone reliable.
3. Make sure you check all their qualifications
While all your dentists should be qualified — or they wouldn't be able to practice — you might want to check their qualifications slightly more carefully. Many dentists will have them displayed prominently in their practice, so it's an easy thing to check. If they don't, you might want to question why.
Did they complete their dental education recently or a long time ago? Was it in this country or somewhere else? Was it at a well-known institution or not? These are all things that could affect your decision.
4. Check what other services they provide
While simple dental care should be your priority, you might also want additional services that may be on offer. Check what you can get at the same practice, like teeth whitening, hygiene services and other cosmetic dental procedures.
5. Make sure you can afford it
Before you agree to a treatment, discuss the cost fully with your dentist. If you can't afford to pay up-front, check if they offer payment plans or other ways to make things easier for you.
6. Check their location
If you find a well-recommended dentist but they're an hour away, it might not be the right choice. Make sure you can access your potential dentist easily.
7. Talk to your dentist
While some of these tips can be done over the phone or on the internet, nothing beats actually chatting to your dentist to make sure they're the right fit for you. After all, you don't want to let someone you don't get along with poke around in your mouth, no matter how qualified they are.