The health of your teeth and gums is vitally important to your overall health. So finding a dentist who takes your oral care as seriously as you do is also important. Here are a few objective criteria you can look at when deciding on where to take your teeth.
- Education and Licensure.
It may seem like an unnecessary step, but you should always make sure your potential dentist candidates has graduated from a reputable school of dentistry. You should also make sure they’re legally licensed in your state. Some states (like New Hampshire and South Dakota) have specific dental board registries you can check, while others (such as Washington or Florida) list dentists’ license under a broader “healthcare” or even just “professional” page.
- Services Offered.
Knowing what specific services you need can help narrow your search. Most general dentists can perform dental cleanings and routine dental exams. Cosmetic dentists, on the other hand, will specialize in more extensive procedures, such as dental veneers, dental crowns, and dental implants. If you’re not sure what you need, find a dentist for a basic exam. If they think you need more specialized care, they can recommend any specialists they know.
Unfortunately, money matters. Finding a dentist who accepts your insurance is the ideal situation, but if you have no insurance (or if the procedure you need isn’t covered by your policy), look for a dentist who offer financing options. It doesn’t hurt to allocate a certain percentage of your savings to out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses, if you don’t already do so.
For a more subjective approach, you can read patient reviews for any potential dentist on your list, to see what other people say about their experiences. But when all is said and done, finding a dentist you just feel comfortable with, who can put you at ease, no matter the procedure… in short, finding a dentist you can trust, is the most important step of all. Good references here: Kirkland family dentistry