Whether you're moving to a new city or your dentist has retired, trying to find a new one doesn't have to feel stressful. From factoring in the logistics of registering with a new dentist to checking out insurance benefits, there are lots of ways to find the perfect dental practitioner for you.
Make sure your new dentist is easy to access
If you live in a busy urban area, it might seem as though registering with a dentist five miles away is a good idea. But, if heavy traffic and negotiating different public transport systems lead to a long dental commute, consider looking elsewhere.
Similarly, consider where you're most likely to go before and after your appointments. For example, if you're fitting them in around work, find one whose practice is closer to your workplace. Or, if your kids will spend more time there than you will, seek out a dentist who works near their school.
Factor in dental emergencies
From abscesses through to severely cracked teeth, dental emergencies can arise in lots of forms. If you know you're particularly prone to oral mishaps that occur out of hours, consider whether your new dentist provides emergency services. Or, you could ask if their practice has any links with dental hospitals that would make addressing urgent care simpler for you and your family.
Consider whether your insurance and your dentist work well together
Take a look at your insurance policy and see if the dentist you're considering works within it. For example, if you're part of an HMO, you might find you have minimal cover. As a result, your out-of-policy expenses will increase. Before registering, discuss your policy with the practice manager and see where you fit in.
Blend oral recommendations with your own intuition
While word-of-mouth recommendations are a great indication that your prospective dentist is a good one, that doesn't mean the attributes that make them popular with others will work for you. Instead, use your intuition to build on what others say.
Visit the dentist's practical and get a feel for the features and hygiene standards. Consider booking an initial appointment and determining whether their bedside manner meets your standards. Acting from your intuition is especially important if you find dental visits make you anxious, as you'll need a good repertoire with the person delivering your care.
Overall, as soon as you know you need to switch to a new dental practice, start carrying out your research. When you put enough preparation into the process, you'll find the right professional for you.