Dental care is important to most people, but it’s a fact that your dental care is only as good as your dentist. That’s why finding the best dentist can make all the difference not only to your smile but to your overall dental health. Your dentist has to be someone you can trust, who is also qualified and comes with good recommendations. You also need to make sure that the dental office you choose will accept your insurance plan, and that it can handle all the procedures you may need, from routine cleaning to veneers and crowns.
Why good dental care matters
Good dental care is important for heath, but for the vast majority of Americans it’s also a social investment. A survey by the American Association for Cosmetic Dentistry found that 97% of all adults surveyed believe that an attractive smile is professional asset and that the reverse is also true. They feel that an unattractive smile can hurt their professional careers.
Having an attractive smile with even, white teeth is important to people for social and personal reasons as well. In the survey by the American Association for Cosmetic Dentistry, almost all those surveyed, or 99.7% felt that a healthy smile was a social asset. Smiles also have personal meanings, and more than half of all Americans over 50 years of age feel that it is one feature that remains attractive even as people age.
How to find the right dentist
Given the social, professional and personal importance of good dental care, it’s important to find the right dentist. While people consider dentistry to be among the top ten most ethical and respected professions in the U.S., finding a good dentist near you can sometimes be a challenge. Should you just do an online search and pick the first name that appears? Or walk in to the dentist office conveniently located in the shopping mall near your house? Actually, it doesn’t have to be quite such a random choice, and there are some things you should consider when choosing a new dentist.
The American Dental Association has some very helpful guidelines for people searching for the right dentist and the right dental office. Somewhat surprisingly, word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a new dentist or dental clinic. The experience of friends, relatives, colleagues or neighbors can help you narrow down the choice to some reliable practitioners. If you’re moving, you could ask your current dentist for referrals. Your family doctor or local pharmacist may also have some useful information for you. Or you may look for an office that specializes in procedures like veneers and crowns.
What to look for in a dental office
Once you have a list of possible oral healthcare partners, you should look for a dentist with whom you feel comfortable and whom you can trust. You should also make sure that the dental clinic has a convenient location and hours that can fit into your schedule. If you will need cosmetic dentistry as well, make sure that they can do procedures like teeth whitening and veneers.
It’s important that both the dentist and staff are comfortable with answering any questions you might have. These questions could be about the dentist’s training and qualifications, preventative dentistry, types of anesthetic used during treatment, and emergency care. You may also have questions about fees and costs, and of course, you should make sure that the office accepts your insurance.
Good dental care is a high priority for most Americans, for a number of reasons. Finding the right dentist can be an important step in setting up your oral healthcare program. Most people will need some cosmetic dentistry as well as regular treatments like cleaning, so it’s a good idea to make sure the clinic has experience in procedures like veneers, crowns and teeth whitening. The most important thing can be to find a dentist you can trust, since you will be partnering with them for your oral healthcare needs for some time.