Oddly, finding a dentist is sometimes one of the last things people look into when they move to a new area. They find their dry cleaner, child's school, family doctor and favorite restaurants before their dentist. However, seeing a dentist can be very important to your overall health. There are many things to consider when searching for a new dentist. Below are a few things to consider.
Google Searches for Dentists
If you use Google to research "dentists near me", Google will provide you with a screen filled with options split into 3 sections.
- Typically, the top section of the screen (above the maps box) is paid ads. Those dentists pay a fee for each click to be listed at the top of the screen, and it may not always reflect on the reputation of the dental practice.
- The next section of the options is what is called Google Maps. Here you can view dentists by proximity to your device, and you can read reviews about the dentists nearby.
- Below the maps, is a listing of additional dentists that is called organic search.
Google Reviews and other 3rd party review sites are a good, unbiased way to learn about a dentist and how their patients feel about the staff, overall experience and more. Third party sites publish all reviews - the good, the bad and the ugly. Consumers know the reviews are legitimate. That is why 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Research the dentists' websites to make sure that they offer services that meet your needs. Some dentists specialize in certain areas, while others may offer a wide range of services that meet the needs of your entire family -- from pediatric dentistry to senior dental services. You might also learn about their staff and informative blog posts.
Recommendation from Friends & Family
You trust your friends and family, and they might be able to recommend a really good dentist. However, you'll still want to do some basic research to make sure their recommendation meets your needs as far as specific services beyond standard teeth cleaning.
Professional Dental Organizations
Check to be sure that the dentist near you is part of professional dental organizations such as the ADA, Academy of General Dentistry and the Dawson Alumni Association - Dedicated to Complete Care Dentistry.
After you have done your research, and have been to visit the dentist for the first time, you can ask yourself questions such as:
- Did I feel comfortable during my visit?
- Was everything explained clearly to me?
- Was there justification for each procedure?
- Was the dentist wearing loupes (surgical telescopes)?
If all went well, you should feel confident that you did indeed "find the best dentist near me".
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