If you’ve just moved to a new area and you’re looking for a new dentist, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. You want to find the best dentist for yourself or your entire family who can care for the health of your teeth for years to come.
Many areas have no shortage of dentists, but finding someone you’re comfortable with and can trust can take a little research and effort. If you’re wondering how to find the “best dentist near me”, check out these simple tips for making your search a little bit easier:
1. Looking to Find the “Best Dentist Near Me”? Start With Referrals
When you’re looking for “a dentist near me”, the best place to start is often by using friends or coworkers if they have a dentist that they trust nearby. Getting a handful of recommendations to start with can point you in the right direction, so you’re not just choosing blindly from a Google search.
Once you’ve gathered 4 or 5 recommendations, you can further narrow down your options to find the dentist that’s best for your needs. When narrowing down your recommendations, consider the proximity of the dentist, their specialities (are they mostly a pediatric dentist and you’re looking for someone for yourself?), whether or not they accept your insurance, and so on.
2. Conduct An Online Search
To find a great dentist near you, conduct an online search using terms such as “best dentist near me” or “dentist near me”. You can also search for the dentists that were recommended to you to learn more about their practice. Check out the dentist’s website to learn more about their staff, their policies, their credentials, and their specialities.
Many questions that you might have about how a dentist conducts procedures or about the services they offer can be found on their individual website. Many dentist websites also have a “chat” function so you can ask questions upfront without needing to go into the office. Asking questions upfront this way can help you narrow down your search for the perfect dentist.
3. Check Dental Associations
The American Dental Association keeps a full registry of all of the registered dentists throughout the country. You can use their database to search for dentists near you. You can search for a dentist based on their name, their speciality, their location, their education, and more. The American Dental Association website is a great resource for learning more about each dentist that you’re considering.
You can also search the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) for a list of registered dentists and their complete biographies. Members of this registry are fully qualified Doctors of Dentistry and members of their association focus on research and training as it pertains to dental sleep medicine and sleep disorders.
4. Seek Patient Reviews
Though all of these efforts can help you find many great dentists in your area, it’s always worth the time to seek patient reviews. You can find reviews and feedback from actual patients to learn more about their experience with the staff and the dentist. Reviews can be found on the dentist’s web page, on social media, or on review pages such as “Yelp” or “Google Reviews”.
Look for reviews that offer an objective, fair review. Keep in mind that people are most likely to leave a review when they have a complaint to make, so don’t assume that one bad review means the dentist isn’t a great choice. Look for a good balance of mostly good reviews.
5. Get a First Impression
The last thing you can do to help you find the best dentist near you is to actually stop by their practice to get an in-person impression. Notice how you’re greeted when you enter the office. Is the staff helpful and friendly? Do they seem eager to assist you, or do you get the impression that they can’t be bothered?
Note the cleanliness of the office and how long it takes for waiting patients to be seen. You might notice if their equipment is clean and up to date and if the dentists and hygienists are wearing protective gear and gloves.
By taking the time to interact with the staff and possibly even the dentist, you can get a better feel for whether or not you’ve found the right dentist for you.
Other Questions to Consider
Aside from the above tips, there are specific questions you can ask of each potential dentist. These might include:
- Does the dentist offer hours that fit your schedule?
- Is their office located near your workplace or home?
- How do they approach preventative dentistry?
- How do they handle any after-hour emergencies?
- Do they have a missed-appointments policy, and how might it affect me?
You owe it to yourself to spend the time getting to know a potential dentist before moving forward. Dental care is a personal service, and you want a relationship that you can be comfortable with for many years to come.
Come In and Learn More About Our Dental Team!
Now that you’ve learned more about what to look for in the “best dentist near me”, we invite you to meet the team at Willow Creek Dental. We take a lot of pride in serving the health needs of our family, dentistry patients.
We’re here to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that you can be proud of! Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to ask any questions you might have about our practice. We look forward to hearing from you!