Are you in the market for a new dentist? Maybe you’re moving to a new city or state, or you’ve outgrown your previous dental practice. Or maybe you have a big procedure coming up, like a wisdom tooth extraction or veneers, and you want to find a specialist. No matter what the reason may be, finding a reliable, skilled dentist is a key component of your oral health!
But finding a new dentist isn’t always as easy as it sounds. There are plenty of different options to choose from, and sometimes dental practices share the same set of services. How do you know what to look for in a new dental practice? What separates the outstanding dentists from the mediocre?
We’re glad you asked. The answers aren’t always black and white, and it helps to have a few key criteria to keep in mind when evaluating dental practices. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself when searching for a new dental practice to call home:
1. Do they have any professional memberships?
Before receiving the DDS title, dentists go through a comprehensive training and assessment program. At the same time, the dental industry is constantly changing. Your dentist should be up to date on trending research and development to ensure that their procedures follow the latest and greatest advancements. This includes anything from new technologies and tools to updated best practices and procedures.
A great way to ensure that your dentist stays connected to dental research and development is by checking to see what kinds of professional organizations they belong to. Memberships often include things like:
- Access to updated clinical guidelines
- Educational resources, such as videos, content, journal publications, recent study results, and more
- Requirements for dentists to maintain good standing with other professional organizations
- Requirements for ongoing learning and development through dental conferences, workshops, and classes
- Requirements for proven expertise within a given area
- Updates on industry trends and dental practices across the country
A few good national memberships to look for are The American Dental Association (ADA), The American Orthodontic Society (AOS), and the American Academy of General Dentistry (AAGD). Look for regional memberships, too: your dentist of choice should be actively engaged in improving the oral health of your local community.
2. What do their reviews say?
We’re all used to checking out reviews before we buy something from a new company—but if you aren’t doing the same for your dentist, you could be missing out on a lot. Reviews from past and current patients can speak volumes about a dental practice’s policies, procedures, and chairside manner.
Take some time to look for reviews so that you can gain insight into their office atmosphere, support staff, billing, and dental procedures. The best dental practices will have reviews from satisfied patients who are happy with their outcomes and motivated to return for additional procedures in the future.
3. Is their staff friendly and helpful?
The support staff is the backbone of any dental office. In total, you’re likely to spend more time interacting with the receptionist and the dental hygienist than with your dentist! If you’re not comfortable visiting the office in-person yet, give them a call so that you can speak with the receptionist.
This is a good opportunity to ask questions about their procedures, office schedule, billing requirements and to get recommendations as a new patient. If the receptionist is helpful and engaging, this is a good indicator of the office environment. Visiting the office in-person can give you even more insight into whether the dental practice supports a friendly, warm, and supportive culture for their staff and patients.
Finding a great dental practice to call home may take a little bit of time, but the payoff is more than worth it. Make sure that you are trusting your oral health to a dedicated, experienced, and friendly team of professionals by asking these key questions!
We’d love to become your new dental home. New patients are encouraged to reach out to TruBlu Dentistry in Burbank, Chicago, or Hegewisch today!