What to look for in a new dentist

It seems to be that dreaded time of year again; time to re-enroll in benefits. If you are lucky enough to have dental insurance, you may not have the option to pick your own dentist. It doesn’t have to be such a drag if you keep these few things in mind when looking for a new dentist:

1. Ask family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for their recommendations. Post your question on…your “friends” will have a lot of opinions.

2. Ask your family doctor or local pharmacist or if you’re moving, ask your current dentist to make a recommendation.

When searching for a dentist, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends contacting your local or state dental society. The ADA provides a list of local and state dental societies on its web site, www.ada.org. Your local and state dental societies also may be listed in the telephone directory under “dentists” or “associations.”
For more recommendations from the ADA, click here  http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/finding-dentist

If you have the luxury to be choosy, the following are some things to consider:
1. Location and office hours- Are location and hours convenient with your busy schedule?
2. Cost – What are the payment options? Are they flexible? Are they competitive?
3. Personality – Do you like the dentist and/or hygienist? Are they too chatty or not chatty enough? Do they make you feel relaxed? Are you comfortable asking them questions? How professional are they? What do they do in case of an emergency?

If you are unsure or have an odd feeling about a dentist, check with your State licensing boards. Most state dental boards have a website where you can verify if the dentist is licensed. The website also should tell you whether there have been any disciplinary actions taken against him or her.

You should consider choosing an ADA member Dentist because the ADA helps members keep current with the latest information affecting dentistry to provide the best possible patient care. Seven out of ten dentists are members of the ADA. Representing the overwhelming majority of dentists, the ADA can be an effective advocate for patients and the profession. This includes the ability to deal with the insurance industry and the government on issues that affect patients.



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