Finding a Good Dentist Near You
Finding a great dentist for yourself and your family is an important decision. Your family’s dental office is not just your gateway to good oral health; it is also your primary resource when you have any questions or dental emergencies. Oral health is essential to your well-being and quality of your daily life: Dental diseases can be uncomfortable, causing pain and preventing you from speaking well, eating comfortably, and feeling good about yourself.
However, your mouth is also a very personal and sensitive space, so you want to ensure that you feel comfortable with the professional who will be working with it. Finding someone who not only understands, but cares about your dental needs is key to developing a great relationship with a dentist that will treat your family for years to come. If you are serious about your oral health and overall well-being, read these tips on finding a great dentist near you.
What type of dentist do you need?
First and foremost, you will want to consider the type of dentist that you or your family needs. While general dentists offer a wide range of oral health care services, keep in mind the dental care you need now or will need in the future when you are choosing your dental office. Consider things like:
- Has anyone in your family been prone to dental issues in the past?
- Will your kids need braces in the future?
- Do you want to tackle a cosmetic problem?
Just like any doctor, dentists have specialties in certain areas. If you need cosmetic dentistry or orthodontia in the near future, Drs. Levi Miller and Brad Sorenson of Lakeside Dental, recommends adding this to your list of requirements when interviewing dentists in your area.
Routine visits to the dentist is key to maintaining a healthy smile, so it’s best start by finding an office that works best with your dental care needs and lifestyle. Some things you might want to consider:
- Is the office close to your home or job?
- Do their office hours work with your schedule?
- If you have dental insurance, the dentist in your network?
- Is your dentist a member of the American Dental Association?
Dr. Levi Miller says that your dentist should be convenient and comfortable for your lifestyle. You shouldn’t have to struggle to get an appointment or make unnecessary accommodations to your day in order to keep up great oral hygiene.
Referrals and Online Search
Once you have established the type of dentist you are looking for and other requirements to fit your lifestyle, you’re ready to start finding your smile’s perfect fit. A great place to start is to ask family members, friends, and local health professionals for recommendations of dentists they know and trust. Find out some of the things they like about their dentist and some of the things they feel like their dentist could improve on. If you are moving to a new area, doctor finders and online reviews can be particularly helpful. Local and state dental associations also maintain these lists.
Here are some great places you can search for a local dentist:
- Your neighborhood dental society. They can provide you with names of dentists in your area.
- The ADA’s Find-A-Dentist tool. Search by location, name, and/or dental specialty.
- If you don’t have dental insurance or have difficulty affording dental services, contact nearby dental school or your local health association to help you find care.
Narrowing Down the List
Once you have made a list of several good candidates, take a look and their websites to learn more about them and the services they offer. Don’t be shy about giving them a call or scheduling a consultation and meet with the dentist before making your first appointment. Create a list of questions that are important to you and bring your dental history if you want to mention something more specific. During this visit you’ll be able to see if the office is neat, comfortable, and welcoming.
Some questions you may want to ask are:
- How does the office staff and dentist handle emergencies outside of normal business hours?
- Is the office familiar with your benefits or insurance plan? Do they have financial options for treatment costs outside of your plan?
- Are detailed dental health instructions provided with your visits?
- Will your dental and medical history be placed in a permanently accessible file?
Dr. Levi Miller encourages anyone who is searching for a dentist to share their past dental experiences and concerns, including any anxiety surrounding dental work. A dentist should not only answer all of your questions, he or she should be open to understanding and talking through any and all of your dental concerns.
Making a Final Decision
Above all, your dentist should have the qualifications, experience, and character to make you and your family feel comfortable handling all of your dental needs. The staff should be courteous, the office well organized, and the dental professionals thorough and patient. These key qualities will affect your experience as a patient, and there’s no way to assess them without visiting the office and meeting your dentist in person. Remember, your dentist is often a lifelong provider, so you want to ensure that they are a great fit. That being said, don’t discount the importance of doing your homework, asking questions, and getting a personal feel of your top choices. Putting in extra time to find the right dentist for you and your family will pay off with a lifetime of great checkups and excellent oral health.
How Lakeside Dental Can Help
If you are looking for a professional dental office in the Moses Lake area, put Lakeside Dental at the top of your list. Not only is the staff at Lakeside Dental extremely friendly, caring, and patient, they are experienced in a variety of oral health care needs, including preventive and restorative dental care, endodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and complex dental extractions. Looking for your lifelong family dentist? Contact us today!