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How to Choose a Dentist

Looking for a dentist? Finding one to your liking is easier than you think.


  • Step 1: Obtain a referral Start with a referral from someone you trust: your doctor, friends, relatives, and coworkers. If you're moving, ask your current dentist if they can recommend someone.
  • TIP: Check the American Dental Association's web site for a member directory.
  • Step 2: Schedule a consultation Schedule an initial consultation with the dentist. Raise any concerns you have about treatment to the dentist during this conversation.
  • TIP: Make sure the dentist has a hygienist and receptionist.
  • Step 3: Discuss costs of treatment Discuss the costs of treatment and any budgetary constraints you may have during the consultation. Make sure that the fees for services are within the customary range reimbursed by insurance companies.
  • Step 4: Check that the equipment is sterilized regularly Ask whether the equipment is sterilized before each use.
  • Step 5: Ask about emergency treatments Ask whether the dentist will be on call for emergencies, and what the emergency procedure is.
  • Step 6: Observe departing patients Observe the expressions on departing patients’ faces. If they are smiling, that should tell you a lot.
  • FACT: Did you know? Only nine percent of practicing dentists leave the profession each year.

You Will Need

  • A referral from a trusted source
  • An initial consultation

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