Photograph of a young girl with blonde hair smiling & hugging a hygienist at a dentist office with her parents behind her.

How to Choose the Right Dentist for You and Your Family

It is a good idea to find a dentist that you personally like and trust. Different patients value different traits in dentists, so asking for a recommendation from a friend or family member may not be effective in helping you to find a dentist that is the right fit. If you’re looking for a new dentist for your family, here are some steps you can take to ensure that you find a dentist that best meets your needs.


Check Dental Insurance Coverage


If you have dental insurance, you’ll need to ensure that any dental provider that you choose will accept your insurance plan. You can start your search by looking through the directory of providers on the dental insurance plan’s website. You can often refine the search results based on whether the provider is currently accepting new patients, the gender of the provider, and their specialty. You’ll still want to call the office directly to ensure that they accept your dental insurance plan, as the information found on insurance websites may not be up to date.

If you don’t have dental insurance coverage, you’ll need to ask for the self pay rates at whatever dentist you choose. Often, there is a discount for self pay patients if you’re able to pay the entire bill upfront. Additionally, many dental providers offer payment plans for more expensive procedures.


Learn About Office Hours and Policies


You’ll also want to learn what the practice’s office hours and policies are. If you work during the day, having a dental practice that stays late at least one night a week can be more convenient for you than needing to take time off of work each time that you schedule a dentist appointment. You should also learn about the office’s policies. What happens if you need to cancel an appointment? How much notice do you need? Are certain procedures available only through self pay?


Visit the Office


You can also ask to visit the dentist’s office to see what it is like. You should see how clean the office is, what kind of equipment is available onsite, and how busy the waiting room is. If people sit for long periods of time in the waiting room, does it mean that you can also expect to wait? 


Pain Management Approaches


There are many different pain management strategies that dentists use. This ranges from sedation dentistry and nitrous oxide to opiate-free practices. If you have a wisdom tooth extraction, what kind of pain management could you expect? You want to be comfortable with the level of pain management that is available.


Read Online Reviews


Reading online reviews from websites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook can be a good way to gauge how other people in the community view a dental practice. You’ll want to look at the overall number of reviews and the ratings. A practice with thousands of reviews that are mostly positive would probably be a better bet over a practice with two five out of five star reviews. Pay careful attention to negative reviews. A negative review about an insurance billing issue has little bearing on what it would be like for a self-pay patient.


Accept it Might Require Several Attempts


You might not find the right dentist on your first attempt. You might need to schedule an appointment to see that a certain dental practice isn’t for you. This is okay. You are not committed to any single practice, especially if it isn’t the best fit.


Ready to Get Started?


If you are ready to start your journey to dental health with a cutting-edge practice committed to personalized care, contact The Center for High Tech Dentistry today at 212-988-8822 to schedule your first appointment.