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The most direct way to start your search for a new dentist is to consult your insurance provider’s directory. This will tell you which dentists in your area are in your network. It’s a good way to create a list of potential dentists to consider, but there should be more to your search. Looking into each dentist’s reputation, services, and location should help you narrow down your choices.

Check Online Reviews

Check Yelp, Google, and other consumer advocacy websites to see what past patients had to say about each dentist. While you should expect some negative reviews for each dentist, you should limit your choices to dentists with a larger number of positive reviews. Additionally, look for several reviews that mention the same complaints. For example, if three or four patients said the dentist’s staff rarely answered the phones, it’s reasonable to expect communication issues with that dentist.

Look at Available Services

You should also consider the services offered by each dentist on your list. Be sure you choose a dentist with weekend and evening hours and make sure they treat emergencies without an appointment. You should also make sure you choose a dentist that provides comprehensive oral care since some dentists only provide basic care. You might not want to be referred to specialists for orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and oral surgery. It’s best to find one office that performs all of these services.

Consider the Location

When a dental emergency does occur, you won’t want to travel a long distance to get to your dentist. Try to find a dentist that’s reasonably close to your home. This will also be convenient when you need a friend or family member to drive you home after oral surgery. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to see your dentist every six months for checkups. If your dentist is located too far away, you might use that distance as an excuse to cancel those important office visits.

Even after you go through the process of choosing a dentist, you should take your intuition or instincts into account. If you don’t feel confident in a dentist’s abilities or if the staff’s demeanor rubs you the wrong way, you should feel free to continue your search. In addition to considering qualifications, it’s important to feel as though you can trust your new dentist with your oral care needs.