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How To Choose A Dentist: 5 Easy Tips
Monday, 05 March 2018

It it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist, you might be curious about how to get started! I’m sharing advice on how to choose a dentist and 5 easy tips to get you started on this important quest.



Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Dentist?

As a dentist, I like to compare dental wellness to a race. This race isn’t a quick sprint. It’s a marathon. Indeed, good dental health takes a lifetime of commitment. In this analogy, think of your dentist as your “coach.” She’s the one who will let you know how to make improvements that will up your game; pat you on the head when you’re doing a great job; and be supportive of you when your off you game a bit. In fact, this is the person who can help you finish this race successfully.

How to Choose A Dentist

Tip One: Ask Friends and Relatives for Referrals

First off, ask around your friends and relatives for their opinions on their own dentists. Your friends and family love to give their opinion, and you know they have your best interestat heart! In addition, ask they why they like their dentist, and let them give you the scoop.
They may have a dentist that they love and would highly recommend. Or, they may just go to a so-so dentist because the appointments are quick, or the location is convenient. Naturally, you want the dentist that they love, and not the guy they use out of convenience.
Take note of the names of the dentists that your friends love! A glowing review of their treatment is a testimony to the quality of care and compassion you’ll receive at your appointment. Treatment by the front office staff, the hygienist, and the dentist himself all add up to great experiences and encourage you to come back again in six months.

Tip Two: Visit the Dental Office In-Person

Second, I advise people not only to call the dental office but to walk-in live and in-person to check out the surroundings. Look for how you’re greeted, the attitude of the front office staff, and the appearance of the waiting room. Here’s why.
When you arrive for your dental appointment, you may feel anxious. A prompt and warm greeting is reassuring. Every visitor to the dental practice deserves this welcome by a professional with a kind attitude towards patient care. This indicates a commitment to patient care that you do deserve.
Look at the waiting room. It should be calm, soothing, and clean. This atmosphere of this space will contribute to helping you get into a good mindset before you go in for your actual exam.

Tip Three: Check Out Online Reviews

Next, go to the internet. Type in the dentist’s name and the practice name and see what you find! You’ll likely find results such as social media check-ins and patient reviews.
First, take a quick look at the social media check-ins. These could help indicate the number of patients that they dentist has. The more check-ins you see, the larger volume of patient that the staff sees. However, don’t use low check-ins against a dentist either as some folks just don’t check-in!
Your main internet research will be reading reviews about the dentist that you’re researching. You will see the star ratings, but also click each review and read to learn more. The more highly-touted patient reviews, the better!
On the other hand, you want to make sure that there’s not a litany of complaints lodged against the dentist. While it’s normal to read one or two complaints online, use some discernment when reading these reviews. Are they legit complaints? Was the complaint a valid one about rude treatment by staff or was it a beef about tight parking spaces? Use your instincts.

Tip Four: Check with Your Dental Insurance Provider

Sadly, not all dentists accept all insurances. Dental coverage is an important factor in your consideration of a new dentist. Before you schedule an appointment, make sure that your new dentist does accept your insurance.
There are three ways to do this. First, you can call your dental insurance provider’s toll-free number from the back of the card to check with them. Second, most dental providers have a website that lists dentists within a zip code range as in-network if the dentist is on their list. Most people find this the most convenient way to check. Third, you can call the dental office. Most have an insurance plan coordinator on staff who can assist you if you have any questions.

Tip Five: Check the Dentist’s Qualifications

Once you’ve found a dentist you think you can work with, do one final task before calling for that initial exam. Check the dentist’s qualifications. Find out if she has any specialty certifications or advanced training. Are they a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and/or are they board-certified?
All of these are indicative of a commitment to ongoing education and the desire to constantly hone her skills. The dentist’s commitment to advanced learning ensures the dentist is brought up to date on the latest research, newest technologies, and most current treatment methods.
Access to these latest treatments and technologies will directly benefit you. This means that the dentist has the most up-to-date and least invasive technologies available for their patients. This will give you the assurance that you’re receiving cutting-edge care.


Choosing a new dentist can be a confusing task. You might get conflicting reviews and opinions. You may love one but find out they are not in your insurance network. Or, perhaps you’ll even select the so-so guy with the most convenient location because that’s what works for you.
Don’t let your frustration with the selection process bar you from receiving the excellent dental care that you deserve.
Remember when I said that dental wellness is a marathon; it’s not a sprint? Finding the right “coach” will keep your teeth their healthiest for your entire lifetime.

Author Bio:

Dr. Holly Gregory is a native Texan and dentist in Humble, Texas. She specializes in periodontics and family dentistry. She looks forward to offering her patients the most cutting-edge care in the Houston area. In her spare time, Dr. Holly treasures her time with her children.


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