Begin the Search
It is generally acknowledged that more than 46 percent of consumers do not have a general dentist. Many consumers turn to the phone book to search for a new family dentist. However, this tool may not be the most reliable source of information. Family, friends, neighbors or co-workers can be excellent sources, and can refer you to a dentist they feel comfortable visiting. Ask your family physician or local pharmacist. If you are moving, your current dentist may be able to make a recommendation. Last, call your local or state dental society.
Questions you should ask your sources:
> What do they like about the office?
> What do they like about the dentist?
Start With a Consultation
Call or visit more than one dentist before making a decision. During a consultation, note dental office and talk to the dentist about services available to you and your family. Here are some question you might ask:
> Is the dentist a member of organized dentistry (AGD, American Dental Association, etc.)?
> What is the dentist’s commitment to continuing dental education?
> What dental procedures are completed in-office?
> What procedures will be referred out?
> How does the dental team stay up-to-date with the latest procedures?
> How are dental emergencies handled?
After you have selected the dentist and dental office that meets your expectations and your needs, set up an appointment for a general exam, which consists of a cleaning, x-rays and medical health history. This visit is your opportunity to decide if the dentist and dental team:
> Are personable, patient and caring.
> Take time to answer your questions.
> Are considerate of your time and comfort.
> Demonstrate the professionalism you expect.