No matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, going to the dentist is an unavoidable part of life. Professional dental care is the only way to keep your mouth as healthy as possible throughout your life. And while the thought of going to the dentist can stir up anxiety for many people, many dentists today are skilled in techniques and approaches that can help relieve dental anxiety and reduce pain. That’s why it pays to take the time to find a dentist who is mindful of your needs and will make an effort to make you as comfortable as possible during your dental exam or treatment.
If you’re searching for a new dentist — whether you’ve moved to a new area or you just aren’t completely happy with your current dentist — follow these tips to find a new dentist who meets your needs.
1. Check with your insurance provider
If you have dental insurance, you will likely want to start there. Going to a dentist in your insurance network is the best way to get the most out of your benefits. Check your insurance provider’s website for a list of dentists in your area.
Keep in mind that even if a dentist isn’t in your insurance network, they can still file claims on your behalf. If the difference between your in-network benefits and out-of-network benefits is small, it may be worth paying a little more to go to a dentist you really like.
Other dental offices don’t accept insurance at all, which means they aren’t in-network for anyone, but can still help you file claims. In that case, you will pay for your dental care up front and be reimbursed by your insurance provider.
The decision of whether to choose someone in-network is completely up to you, and may depend on factors such as how good your dental insurance is and whether you need any major dental procedures.
2. Ask friends and family
Did your coworker get a great set of veneers? Did your friend rave about the pain-free dental treatment she received? Ask them about their dentist! One of the best ways to find a caring, qualified dentist is to get a recommendation from someone you trust.
3. Ask your doctor
Because of the very nature of medical care, many healthcare providers know each other, if only by name and reputation. When you are trying to find a dentist, your primary care physician may have some recommendations. Your doctor knows the state of your health better than anybody, so they may be able to refer you to someone they trust to address your dental needs.
4. Check with the American Dental Association (ADA)
With over 163,000 members, the American Dental Association can be a wonderful source to help you find a new dentist. Simply enter your ZIP code on their website, and you’ll receive a list of ADA members in good standing in your area. You can filter the results by distance, specialty, payment options, language, and any other criteria that is important to you.
5. Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The BBB is another wonderful source of information when it comes to finding the best dentist in your area. Its website offers a wide range of information on conduct and any complaints filed against medical professionals. Your local Department of Health will also have a record of any disciplinary information filed against the dentist you are inquiring about, so that you can make sure their conduct is professional before you even schedule your first appointment.
6. Check out online reviews
As you would with a restaurant or any other local business, always remember to check out the online reviews written by current and former patients of the dentist you have selected. Nothing will give you a better feel for the quality of their care than reading what their current and former patients have to say.
7. Look for a certified pain-free dentist
Given all of the recent advances in dental technology, it’s no longer necessary to suffer through painful or uncomfortable dental procedures. Many dentists are committed to providing their patients with pain-free dentistry through the use of innovative tools such as the DentalVibe Comfort Injection System. Visit our directory of certified pain-free dentists to find one in your area.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Before you settle on a dentist, take some time to visit or call the offices of any dentists you’re considering. If you’ve followed the previous steps, it’s very likely you have a list of several dentists to choose from. Give their offices a call and ask any questions you may have, such as whether they accept insurance, how they handle emergencies, and what steps they take to help patients relieve dental anxiety.
Also, it’s perfectly fine to ask to tour their offices prior to scheduling an appointment. If a dental office is reluctant to let you come in to view the office and meet the staff, it’s a good sign they are not completely committed to patient care and comfort. When you do go in to tour a dental office, pay attention to cleanliness and their adherence to hygiene procedures, the state of their equipment and technology, and the friendliness of the staff.
Your dental health is important, and you’re allowed to take all the time you need to choose a dental provider you feel comfortable with. You don’t have to go with the first dentist who’s recommended to you, and there is absolutely no reason to continue seeing any healthcare provider with whom you don’t feel completely comfortable.
Ideally, the relationship you establish with your dentist will last for many years, so it’s worth putting in a little extra effort to find a dentist who’s right for you. Make sure your dentist and their staff are willing to answer any questions and that they are committed to making sure you are relaxed and secure about any procedures they perform.
Find a DentalVibe dentist
Interested in finding a dentist who specializes in pain-free dental injections? Our directory of certified pain-free dentists is filled with providers who are committed to providing as close to pain-free dentistry as possible! Find a DentalVibe dentist and make dental anxiety a thing of the past!