7 tips on how to find a good dentist

Most of us live in cities where we have an abundance of dentists and we really want to make sure that we chose the right one. Well, hopefully we will be able to help with this article.

No matter if you’re looking for a new dentist because you just moved OR you want to change dentists because you’re not happy with the current one, there are very simply signs you need to spot to see who’s a good dentist and who isn’t.

Factors to consider when picking a new dentist

In order to find a good local dentist, we highly recommend that you take this process and break it up into stages.

  • The first step would be to make a list of dentist offices you would like to check.
  • The second step would be to gather information about those offices so you could make an informed decision.

And by the time you’re done, you will have a new and great relationship with your new dentist.

Making a list

No, it’s not a Christmas song.

When making a list of possible dentist offices, there are a few things you need to consider.

First and foremost, you need to see if the dentist is in your insurance network. Dental insurance might be a significant factor when choosing your dentist. Dental insurance doesn’t work the same way as medical insurance so here are some additional tips and tricks.

If you don’t know which dentist is in your dental insurance network, consult with your insurance provider. They have a list of dentist that are covered with your insurance. Once you have a list of dentists in your insurance network, you can ask yourself a few questions:

What if my current dentist is great, but he’s not in my network? Well, keep on using his services. Dentists that are IN your network have a signed agreement with the insurance provide that they will charge a specific amount for specific services. But if the dentist is out-of-network, they can charge anything they want. So you can present them with your insurance and see if they will be willing to charge you that amount (the amount the insurance will pay) and write off the rest. You can also ask for an “in-network fee schedule” and most dental offices will accept this.

Finding a functional dentist is not always easy. If you can’t find one from your insurance list, there’s a way around it. Usually most dentists are familiar with how different diets affect dental health. So before you pick a dentist, ask them about these issues. You might even be surprised.

Member of ADA or not?

Insurance provides usually recommend that you see a dentist who is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA). But you don’t have to limit your options to those dentists only. There are dentists outside of ADA that also provide high-quality service.

Functional dentists

Some dentists apply this approach. Functional dentist like to solve problems at the core and are focused on how the dental health affects the person’s overall health. So instead of simply cleaning your teeth, fitting crowns, fillings etc. they will advise you on how to properly care for your teeth eve in-between visits and checkups. Functional dentists will advise you on dietary changes, way beyond on just cutting out sugary drinks.

Dental work you want to do

This is probably the most important criteria you should consider when choosing a new dentist.

If you’re looking only for regular checkups, then you can choose through a much larger pool of dentists. So make sure that you’re looking for dentists where you feel most comfortable, a friendly staff and a professional environment.

If you struggle with sleep habits, sleep apnea or you grind your teeth, you will most likely need to look for a sleep dentist.

Those that are looking to do cosmetic procedures to improve their aesthetics, should be looking for a specialist in that area. Pay attention of they have online reviews, proof of their previous work etc. which will be a good indicator in the skills that they have.

Parents that are looking for a dentist that will take care of their children’s teeth should look for a pediatric dentist. These dentists have the same level of education and qualification as any other dentists, but their offices are tailored to fit children. As an additional ‘judge’ make sure that you take your child with you so they can look around as well. It’s important that your kid is comfortable with the new dentist.

If you have a history of frequent cavities, or extensive dental procedures like dental surgeries or implants, there are plenty of dentists that share their dental office with other specialists that are highly skilled in procedures like root canals or other procedures.

Language barrier

If you only speak a second language on a conversational level and you won’t feel comfortable talking to your dentists, try looking for one that has a translator.

We hope that these tips will help you pick your next dentist. There is not a simple choice but if you dedicate enough time, you will find the right one that you would like to keep for a long time.


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Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen is committed to providing high-quality dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment to help you achieve improved oral health and the beautiful smile you deserve.

Dr. Nguyen has served on the Virginia Board of Dentistry and has many achievements such as: Invisalign Premier and Teen Provider, Pre-Fellow with Academy of General Dentistry, Graduate of Aesthetic Continuum, Engel Institute for Dental Implant Training, WaveOne Endodontic Training, HD President’s Club.

Dr. Nguyen enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, staying active in the gym, and trying out new restaurants.  When he isn’t at work, you can find him playing basketball, tennis, football, or hiking.

“I want to make you feel right at home, exceed your expectations, and provide an amazing experience!”