Making the decision to prioritise your dental health is an important first step on your journey towards a brighter, healthier smile. But finding the right dental practice to partner with you on that journey is key. With so many options out there, how do you decide?
Start by considering what you want and need from a dentist. Are you looking for general preventive care or do you require expertise in certain treatments or conditions? Make a list of must-haves as well as preferences – location, payment options, emergency availability, etc. This will help narrow your search.
Ask people you trust for recommendations of dentists they love. Your friends and family members have firsthand experience with their dentists’ bedside manner, facilities, billing processes and more. If someone you know has a smile you admire, ask who they see!
Do your research online too. Look beyond reviews (though do read them!) to take into account credentials, services offered, before and after photos showcasing a dentist’s work, and more. A practice’s website can communicate a lot about their philosophy of care.
Book consultations with two or three top contenders. This is your chance to get a feel for the practice’s space and team and communicate your priorities to see if they’re a good match. Come prepared with questions too – everything from “What infection control protocols do you follow?” to “How soon can I typically get appointments?” No question is off limits.
Pay attention to how comfortably you communicate with the dentist during your meeting. Do they listen attentively to your concerns? Do they answer your questions thoroughly and patiently? Shared trust and understanding between you and your dentist can help ease any worries as you undergo treatment together.
Consider convenience factors too. Is the office located near your home or work to simplify your schedule? Are their hours flexible to suit your busy lifestyle? How streamlined and accessible is their billing process? Logistics matter.
While a thoughtful search is important, remember no practice or healthcare provider will tick every box. Seek the best blend of professional capability, interpersonal rapport, and logistical ease that resonates with your priorities.
Finally, pay attention to how the practice and your potential new dentist make you feel. While skills and experience matter greatly, healthcare also involves an intimate personal connection. You’ll be in capable, trusted hands at a welcoming practice home where you feel heard, respected and cared for.
Choosing your dental office is all about discovering the quality care you deserve as well as the connection that feels right. While the search takes diligence and discernment, the investment will pay dividends in your confidence, comfort and oral health for years to come. Your dental journey lies ahead – begin it with the practice and provider who can help you chart a course towards confident, lasting wellness.