The relationship you have with your dentist should be long term. You will get the highest quality of care if you stick with a dentist so she can get to know your history and understand the type of care your teeth and gums need. Continuity of care is something to strive for when it comes to your oral health. Because of this, you need to be intentional when it is time to choose a new dentist. You should approach the process seriously and try to find a dentist you can stick with for a long time. It can feel daunting to try and make a long-term decision about a dentist, but you can make a choice with confidence by considering a few important factors.
How far are you willing to travel for routine dental work? How far are you willing to travel in the event of a dental emergency? When you think about getting to the dentist when you need your teeth cleaned it may not seem like a big deal to go thirty minutes out of your way. However, if you are in the middle of a painful dental emergency those thirty minutes can feel like a lifetime. Keep this in mind to help you narrow down the geographical area in which you are willing to look for a dentist. Choosing a geographical radius will allow you to confidently mark off options that do not fall within the area of your list.
Look at the services the dentist offers
Another way to narrow down the options and choose a dentist is to look at the services the dentists offer. What do you need now and in the future for your dental care? Everyone needs routine dental care – cleaning, imaging, and examinations – and most dentists offer those services. If you have other dental needs it will be helpful in narrowing down the options. For example, do you need some cosmetic work done to your teeth? Are you looking for a dentist who will see you as well as your children? Do you need extensive dental work that requires specialized training? Answering questions like these and comparing your needs to the services available at a particular dentist can help you choose your new dentist with confidence.
Read and listen to reviews from others
Getting feedback from people who use a particular dentist can help you narrow down the options. Do you know people in St. Augustine who are happy with their dentist? Ask for personal recommendations and reviews. You can also get online and look for reviews about any dentist you are considering. There may be information available from others that can help you choose a dentist with confidence.
Once you narrow down the list of dentists in your area who meet your criteria, the final step is to schedule consultations to meet each dentist in person. At this point, you need to have your list of options relatively small – three or less. Explore the website of each dentist, take virtual tours, and read about the staff in the office. When you are confident about your top contenders the final step is to meet with each one. The criteria outlined above-along with your initial interaction with the dentist-should be enough to help you choose your new dentist with confidence.