How to Find a Good Dentist: 5 Key Qualities to Look For

Approximately 13.2 percent of children aged 5-19 have untreated dental caries, and so do 25.9 percent of adults aged 20-44.

To protect yourself (and your loved ones) from the risks of untreated dental issues, you need to find a skilled dentist and see them regularly. Choosing the best dentist can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, though, especially when you have sensitive teeth or other specific needs.

If you need to find a good dentist in your area but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading. Everything you need to know is outlined below.

Identify Non-Negotiables

The first step in figuring out how to find a good dentist is identifying your non-negotiables. What characteristics must a dentist absolutely have if you’re going to go and see them every 6 months?

For example, do they need to be a certain distance from your home or office? Do they need to offer pediatric and adult dental services so everyone in your family can go to the same person?

Ask for Recommendations

It’s often helpful to ask for recommendations from people who know your non-negotiables. Ask family members or close friends which dentist they say and whether or not they like them. You can also use online tools like the American Dental Association’s Find a Dentist tool.

Review Credentials

When it comes to knowing what to look for in a dentist, reviewing their credentials is one of the most important steps to take. Find out if they’re members of an organization like the American Dental Association, as well as where they received their training and how long they’ve been practicing.

Set Up a Meet and Greet

Once you have a shortlist of potential dentists, reach out to see if you can schedule a consultation. This is a good opportunity for you to meet the dentist and ask some questions before you sit down for a teeth cleaning or another procedure. Consultations can take place in person, over the phone, or (in some cases) over video chat. 

Ask the Right Questions

During your consultation with the dentist, be sure to have a list of questions you want to ask. That way, you don’t waste any time.

The following are some essential questions to include on your list:

  • What are your goals when it comes to patient care?
  • How much do your services cost?
  • Do you offer payment plans or cash-only discounts for patients without insurance?
  • What work can be done in-house and what has to be referred out?
  • How do you approach dental anxiety/phobias?

Be sure to ask about office hours and emergency procedures, too. If they don’t offer emergency services, are they affiliated with a clinic that does?

Find the Best Dentist in No Time

It’s not enough to just type “dentist near me” into Google and hope for the best. If you want to find a good dentist, follow the steps discussed above. They’ll help you learn the signs of a good dentist so you can feel confident in your decision.

If you want to learn more about proper dental care or finding the right professionals for other treatments, be sure to check out the Wellness section of our site today. You’ll find lots of other helpful articles here to answer all your health-related questions.