Check Your Insurance
If you have dental insurance, then finding out which dentists are in your network should be your first order of business. Most insurance companies provide this information on their website. If you can't locate this information, then a quick call to your provider will give you the information you need. This will narrow your search considerably, making it easier to quickly find a dentist.
Ask for Recommendations
Once you've narrowed your search, seek out recommendations. If you're searching for a dentist because you've relocated, then your current dentist may be able to recommend a dentist that is near your new home. If you know people in the area, then ask around; oftentimes, you'll hear the names of one or two dentist offices that people have had consistently good experiences with.
Look at Treatments Offered
Some dentists also have training in orthodontics, while others specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Other dentists have received extra training beyond dentals school to provide pediatric care, and still others specialize in periodontics. Consider the unique needs that you and the members of your household have, and look for a dentist that offers the specialized care that you need.
Consider the Location and Office Hours
No matter how wonderful the dentist is, if they're located 45 minutes away from your home or workplace, then keeping regular appointments will be a challenge. The same goes for office hours. If the dentist you choose is only open three days a week and their hours of operation are also the hours that you will be at work, then you'll have a difficult time keeping regularly scheduled visits. Look for a dentist that is conveniently located and has office hours that will accommodate your busy schedule.
One of the primary things to consider when you choose a dentist is how comfortable you feel with that person. Do you feel free to talk about your symptoms and ask questions? Do you feel as though the dentist rushes through your check-ups rather than taking time to hear and understand your concerns? If you are receiving a procedure like a filling or a root canal, do you feel comfortable expressing your anxiety or asking for more pain medicine? While some discomfort with certain procedures may be inevitable, your dentist should provide attentive and empathetic care.
Choosing a dentist can feel like a daunting task, but by taking these things into consideration, you can pick one that will fit your needs and lifestyle.