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How to Pick a Dentist in 6 Steps

Choosing a dentist isn’t a thing you should take lightly. Dental health is one of the most important parts of your overall health, and a good and trustworthy dentist can make your life a lot easier. When looking for a new dentist, you aren’t just looking for someone to fix your teeth from time to time. You are looking for a trustworthy professional that you will feel comfortable with performing regular dental checkups and someone you can call any time of day or night if you have an emergency. So if you have moved to a new place, or just looking for a new one, here are some simple guidelines to follow when picking a new dentist

1. Find Easy to Get Office From Your House or Job

While the location of the dentist doesn't affect the quality of the service, it could be convenient to pick a dentist that is easy to get to from your home or workplace. Also if you have children and are looking for a dentist that will take care of your whole family, it could save you lots of time and fuel if you find one that is in your neighborhood.

2. Ask About Service Options

When picking a new dentist, it’s important to check what services they provide. There are different dental practices like routine check-ups and cleaning, oral surgery, orthodontics, teeth whitening, and others. Ideally, you want to pick someone who can handle all the procedures that you might need so you won't have to change the dentist every time you need a different procedure done. 

choosing a dentist

3. Look For Short Wait Times

Sitting around in a waiting room for hours before your dental appointment can be a very frustrating experience. If you are a busy individual, or have anxiety when going to the dentist, a long waiting time will just demotivate you further, and you might not go for a checkup as often as you should. 

Ask the dentist directly what is the average waiting time, or do some online research and check the reviews. If the waiting time is more than an hour, it might be best to continue your search.

4. See if They Handling Emergency Situations

Not a lot of things are as unpleasant as when an unbearable toothache comes out of nowhere. And no matter how much you take care of your oral hygiene, things like this will happen sooner or later, and sometimes they might happen after work hours or in the middle of the night. At times like these, it is crucial to have a dentist that you can call right away to schedule an appointment as soon as possible and get a professional opinion on how you can alleviate the pain until you make it to the appointment.

Another good practice is to have a backup dentist in case your primary one is overbooked and you can't make an appointment immediately. If you live or have moved to Brisbane or Gold Coast, you can check out our guide on how to find an emergency dentist in that area.

5. Look Into the Dentist's Credentials

When picking a new dentist, it is essential to look into their credentials to make sure that they are well qualified to provide dental care. It will tell you that they have the necessary training, experience, and skills to provide the best service in dentistry. Another thing worth looking into is checking to make sure that they do not have a history of malpractice. Here is a list of what credentials to look for when picking a new dentist:

  • Education

It is ideal to look for a dentist that has a degree such as Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM).

  • Continuing education

The dentist must be keeping up to date with medical advances and techniques, by taking continuing education courses.

  • Professional Affiliations

If the dentist is a member of a professional organization such as the ADA (Australian Dentists Association), it means that they adhere to high ethical standards and follow the best practices in dentistry.

  • Specializations

If you need specialized dental care, such as orthodontics or periodontics, a dentist that has a completed specialization in that area is always a plus.

6. Check The Reviews and Ask The People you Trust

Reading reviews can provide a lot of insight when in doubt about what dentist to pick. Online reviews reflect other people's experiences and can provide valuable information about waiting times, staff friendliness, scheduling appointments, and office environment. Also keep in mind, that unsatisfied patients will leave more reviews than happy ones.

Another great way to narrow your search is to talk to your family and close friends about their dentists.

They can give you firsthand information about the dentist that cares