Choosing a dentist for yourself and your family can be extremely difficult. How do you know he or she is the right choice? Just because your dental insurance approves of the practice, doesn’t always mean it is the right choice for you and yours. How can you be so sure it will fulfill all of your needs and not cause you more hassle?

Some people are so daunted by the prospect of picking a dentist that they delay it until they have to just pick one because of an emergency. Remember that poor dental health can lead to many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.


Regular visits to the dentist play a significant role in preventing these conditions. So how should you go about selecting a dentist?

Look for these five things while making your decision:

  1. Technology – Over the last few decades, dentistry has been improved significantly thanks to technological improvements that not only diagnose problems earlier, they ease pain and time constraints. This is especially significant for dental x-rays, which are incredibly crucial to detecting major oral health issues and future issues. Before, dental x-rays used dangerous levels of radiation that caused cancer. Now, digital x-ray technology can reduce radiation exposure in patients. Make sure the dentist has up to date technology and tools at his or her disposal. You are allowed to tour the office before making a decision – use that right!
  2. Continued Training – Up until about the year 2000, the skills and tricks needed by dentists and other dental professionals like dentists, hygienists, and oral surgeons remained pretty much the same with only a few differences. This isn’t true today at all. Over the past ten years, those advances in clinical and administrative technology requires that dentists attend conferences, classes, and other training sessions through their unions. Make sure that your dentist of choice has continued his or her education through programs. Check out the walls of his or her office for diplomas and certificates.
  3. Happy Staff – You can often tell a lot about a person by how he or she treats the people who work for the practice. A visit to the dentist isn’t always happy, so you will want happy staff members. This is critical if you are taking your entire family. A happier, more upbeat staff will work better with children. A staff that is satisfied will also completely streamline the process of going to the dentist. Make sure the dentist is well liked before declaring him or her “the one.”
  4. Office Space – When someone is checking out a house to buy, they will often look at the foundation. If a person is considering a restaurant, he might check the kitchen for cleanliness. The same thing can be said about your dentist. Check to see if the waiting room, rest room, and dental rooms are clean and modern. Make sure the magazines are current, the soap is full, and the fish tank is well taken care of. A dentist and staff who takes care of the office will take care of you.
  5. Doing Good – Maybe not the most important, but make sure that your dentist has a commitment to doing good for the community he or she serves. Dental support organizations encourage dentists to donate to local charities, organizations, or support groups. Many dentists will participate in low income dentistry days to help those who are less fortunate get dental health care. A dentist who will show his or her face in a community is likely to do quality work.

Finding a dentist can be difficult, but make sure you keep your priorities in mind. Even in a small town, there should be quite a few to choose from. Stick to your guns and don’t compromise – the right fit is out there!