Find us on Google+

Educational Consumer Tips

Finding a Reliable Dentist

Author: Rachel Gelb
Category: Health

A good dentist is a vital part of keeping up with dental health. It’s likely that if you do not feel comfortable with your dentist, you will avoid routine check-ups and other necessary appointments.  Use these tips as a guide when seeking a dentist.

Tips on Choosing a Dentist:

Ask for Suggestions.  Ask friends, family members, and your primary care provider for recommendations. Check out the reputations of local dentists at Read the dentist’s reviews and complaints. Be sure to ask your insurance company or dental health care provider if there are specific dentists you must go to in order to receive coverage. If you are moving out of town, ask your current dentist for a referral.
Check Credentials.  Ask if the dentist is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) or the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Members of these organizations are required to adhere to high ethical standards of conduct. Check your state’s board of registration to make sure the dentist is properly licensed.

Think About Accessibility.  Find a dentist located near your home or workplace that is convenient to travel to for appointments. Find out if the dentist’s hours of operation work with your schedule. Ask how far in advance you must schedule appointments. Lastly, find out how quickly you could been seen in the case of an emergency.

Schedule a Consultation.  Schedule consultations to meet with the prospective dentists. Ask how long the dentist has been practicing and if they participate in continuing education classes to stay current in their field. Make sure you feel comfortable with the dentist and they respond to all of your questions and concerns. Ask what procedures are performed in their office and which procedures are referred out to another location. Note if the office is clean and the staff members are friendly and polite. If you have children, look to see if the office is child-friendly and provides toys and books in the waiting area.

Ask How the Dentist Reduces Stress.  Many patients avoid the dentist due to fear and anxiety. If you are one of these people, ask how the dentist will help you to relax and reduce your anxiety. Ask if the dentist is certified to administer nitrous oxide or other sedatives to make their patients comfortable during their appointments.

About the Author: Rachel Gelb is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

Questions and Comments

Comment Submitted 2/24/2014

I always have a hard time finding a dentist. I don't like having to trust the reviews of random strangers, but sometimes that's all I have. I think it's really best to find a dentist from a friend or family member. **** * ******************************

Comment Submitted 2/25/2014

I have always been so scared of visiting the dentist. I just moved to a new city last month and have been putting off finding a good dentist, even though I know that I have some extensive dental work that needs to be done. Your tips are very helpful, and things that I wouldn't initially think of when I'm trying to find a good dentist. Usually, I look for the cheapest, but I really need to start looking for someone who makes me feel comfortable at their office. ***************

Comment Submitted 10/1/2014

I need a dentist in my area. I just moved here and have no friends or a reliable neighbor. Can you give me some names of dentists in this area? Also I have no dental insurance. I do have medical but my co pay is $800 a month. I am a senior and cannot afford to purchase dental insurance. I broke a tooth. I went to a dental clinic with a sliding scale for payment but was told that they could take the change of an extraction because my tooth could break and they were not prepared to handle an emergency like that. But was not able to refer me out. Only told that I needed to look around for someone inexpensive and that would do extractions.
Views expressed on this page are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Better Business Bureau.

Rate this tip

Rate this tip by choosing the stars below.
Average Rating:

Submit a Comment or Question on this tip

  1. (This is the name that will be displayed to the public)