Finding a new dentist can be a challenge. Before making a selection, patients should research each provider's qualifications and services. It is crucial to find a dentist who is the right fit for your needs to protect your oral health for years to come.
When looking for a new dentist, you need more than a place to get your teeth cleaned. You are looking for a member of your total health care team, so it is essential to do the necessary research before making a decision.
Dental care is available at Smile Dental Studio in Phoenix and the surrounding area. Our team offers various dentistry services to help patients achieve and maintain a healthy mouth. Call us at (602) 789-1131 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment today.
List of Must-Haves
Before starting the search, a prospective patient needs to figure out what is most important to them and their family regarding dental care. For example, many people like their dentist to be near home, work, or school and have convenient office hours. By doing a little research on one's "must-haves," prospective patients will be able to determine if it is even worth their time to schedule an appointment at a practice in the first place.
Dental Services Needed
When searching for a new dentist, people should consider what dental services they need. People should determine which branch of dentistry they require treatment from when looking for a dentist. While general dentists perform routine checkups and cleanings, not every practice offers specialty treatments.
Finding the right dentist gives people a comfortable place to receive routine check-ups and a safe and trusted place to turn for a procedure or dental emergency. Look for a practice that is clean, comfortable, and relaxing. The dental team should be friendly and reassuring from the moment each patient walks through the door. The right provider understands dental anxiety and knows how to combat nervousness.
People should also consider their preferences and needs when looking for the right dentist. Some patients may have a strong preference for a male or female dentist. Larger dental practices often employ several dentists who may rotate their duties. Patients who opt for a larger practice may discover that they can not choose their dentist. Patients who prefer working with one dentist may choose a solo practice instead. A smaller dental team can ensure that a patient sees the same provider during each visit.
Insurance & Payment
Insurance companies can provide a list of qualified dental providers. Keep in mind that different practices have varying payment policies. Patients who plan to use dental insurance must confirm that their chosen provider accepts their insurance plan. Uninsured patients may want to research information about cash payments or payment plans. It is beneficial to ask about a provider's policies before seeking treatment.
Get the Overall Picture
Once one has compiled a good list of candidates, it is time to head to the dentists' websites to learn more about the office and see if they have a social media presence to help get the overall picture.
Using Review Websites
It is best to compare multiple reviews from different websites to get a complete picture.
Online review sites are one of the best places to start looking for a nearby dentist. It is best to compare multiple reviews from different websites to get a complete picture. Some review sites remove negative reviews or tend to hide them at the bottom. Be sure to filter the reviews by the most recent and look for patterns appearing in the comments that may indicate a problem.
Google contains more than half of all reviews worldwide. A practice with multiple positive reviews will be one of the first things a prospective patient sees when searching for the right dentist. Google reviews are very popular and are an excellent place to start to help add or eliminate providers from your list.
Healthgrades has millions of reviews for dentists and offers a search function to find a dentist in the area quickly. Patients can also use this site to request an appointment. Zocdoc is another website that also lets patients search for dentists using ZIP code, insurance, availability, and languages.
Vitals and 1-800-Dentist are two other web resources. 1-800-Dentist takes it a bit further, asking patients to fill out a short questionnaire. Once it has been completed, an operator calls the patient with options that meet the criteria they indicated.
When using a review site, individuals should look beyond the number of stars and focus on the patient's comments. After reading several, they can better understand what people like and do not like about a particular dental practice.
One of the strongest recommendations for the right dentist can come from one’s own family, close friends, and co-workers.
One of the strongest recommendations for the right dentist can come from one's own family, close friends, and co-workers. Individuals may want to ask people they know and trust who they turn to for their oral health needs. It is also good to find people who have had work done beyond a standard cleaning. A person who has had considerable work done and still raves about their dentist may have a provider to consider.
It is also helpful to ask one's family doctor or local pharmacist for a referral. These medical professionals have extensive knowledge about their area and often get feedback from patients. Those who are moving may want to ask their current dentist for a recommendation.
Social Media Search
Over recent years, medical professionals have been using this tool to draw in prospective patients.
Social media represents a significant part of our everyday lives. Over recent years, medical professionals have been using this tool to draw in prospective patients. Next to Google, Facebook remains the second-largest review platform. When people search for a local dental practice on Facebook, dentists with strong recommendations typically show up at the top of search results.
Once individuals have a shortlist of options, it can help search for individual practices on Facebook. Dentists with a business page often feature posts showcasing their services, staff, and patient testimonials. This can provide valuable information about whether or not a practice would be a good fit.
Nextdoor is a less well-known social media option. This neighborhood-focused website requires users to provide proof of where they live when they join. Then, they will be able to communicate with people directly in their community. This can be a great resource to find unbiased and honest patient reviews.
Local and state dental societies are also good resources.
Local and state dental societies are also good resources. One can find a list of these societies on the American Dental Association’s (ADA) website. These societies will show which dentists in the community are members. Additionally, one can use the ADA website to search for member dentists in the community by location, the type of dentist, and the maximum distance from your preferred location.
Most importantly, the right dentist will be board-certified and have a current registration with their state’s dental board.
Insurance providers have search tools to help patients determine whether a dentist is within their network.
Choosing a new dentist can be challenging, but the right resources can make this task easier. Patients should begin their search by contacting their dental insurance provider. Insurance providers have search tools to help patients determine whether a dentist is within their network. Using this tool, patients can filter their search and locate providers with different specialties.