Many people, unfortunately, do not see a dentist on a regular basis. This is unfortunate since regular dental care is an important part of being healthy.
The good news is that it’s never too late to start paying attention to your dental health and to start getting regular dental checkups.
However, don’t think that choosing a dentist is as simple as searching for “dentist close to me” on Google.
Whether you’re looking to find the “best pediatric dentist near me,” a cosmetic dentist, or anything in between, there is a lot to think about when searching for the “best rated dentist near me.”
Seek Out Recommendations in Person and Online
To begin with, it is important to view dentists as service providers because that’s exactly what they are. Whether you seek the renowned Dr. Omar Ojjeh or anyone else in between, dentists exist to serve you.
And, because they serve you, you need to take care to find the best possible dentist to meet your needs.
One way to do this is by looking at dentist reviews and dentist ratings online. By reading reviews from real patients just like you, you can learn quite a bit about how different dentists treat their patients, their fees, and more.
Of course, you should always take reviews with a grain of salt.
Even the best dentist is going to have a few negative reviews here and there. Thus, don’t focus on just one or two very bad or very good reviews. Instead, look for a dentist that has mostly positive reviews and that seems to make the majority of his or her patients happy.
Also, when it comes to how you can find a good dentist, understand that online reviews are not your only option. While they certainly can be helpful in finding a quality dentist, also consider advice from family and friends.
Do not be afraid to ask those whom you are close to for their recommendations on good, local dentists. Whether you do your asking online or in person, you are sure to get some solid, trustworthy recommendations just by taking the time to ask.
In addition to seeking out both online and in person reviews, be sure to check out the American Dental Association website, which will provide you with information on any dentist you are thinking of working with.
You can learn about certifications each dentist may hold, problems that may have come up in the past, and more, all of which can be useful in helping you to choose the very best dentist to meet your needs.
Know When to Seek Help from a Dentist
Ideally, you will take this advice and use it to go out and find a qualified dentist. From there, you will get on a regular schedule of checkups and as-needed care as recommended by your dentist.
With that said, though, there are some circumstances in which you need to find a dentist right away. Certain emergency situations warrant finding a dentist as quickly as possible.
Situations in which you should find a dentist quickly include:
- Tooth and/or gum pain
- Swelling of the teeth and/or gums
- Bleeding gums
- Problematic or dislodged dental work, such as crowns or fillings that have fallen off
- Sudden and/or extreme tooth sensitivity
- Health problems that your doctor thinks could include dental issues
- Jaw pain
- Spots and sores inside and/or around the mouth
- Suspected mouth cancer
When an emergency situation arises, you don’t have to throw all caution to the wind. You should still choose a dentist carefully. However, you may want to act a little more quickly when serious problems are prevalent.
What to Do After Your First Visit
If you are fortunate enough to carefully select a dentist you like, and the first appointment goes well, then you’ve found your dentist. As long as you are satisfied with the treatment received, all that you have to do from there is follow the Dentist’s orders and stay on top of your regular checkup appointments.
If, however, you chose a dentist in haste due to necessity, you’ll want to give some thought to your experience. Think about how you were treated, the cost and convenience, and other factors. This can help you to determine whether or not you should use that dentist again in the future or keep searching.
Even if you didn’t choose in haste, if you are ever unsatisfied with your dentist, you can use these tips to help you find a new one.
Remember, there are plenty of dentists out there, so you never have to settle for anything less than the very best.