Choosing a Dental Home

How to Find the Right Dentist

Finding the right dentist may be just as important as choosing a new neighborhood to live in or finding a new school for your children to attend.

To find the right dental home for yourself and/or your family, the WDA suggests getting recommendations from friends, family members , co-workers, neighbors or even your previous dentist if you’re moving to another community.

You also may use the Find a WDA Dentist link in the upper left corner of all WDA.org pages. Clicking on this button directs you to the American Dental Association’s public MouthHealthy.org website and a special directory where you can search for ADA/WDA member dentists in your area by city, zip code and ADA-recognized specialty.

Subscribers of HMO, PPO, network and capitation plans may be limited in the choice of dentists in any given area.

You may want to call or visit more than one dental practice before making your decision.

Things to consider when choosing a dental home

  • How available is the dentist?
  • Is the appointment schedule convenient for you?
  • Does the practice’s focus meet your family’s needs? (e.g., sees children beginning at age 1, adults and/or seniors)
  • Is the office easy to get to from home, school or work?
  • What is the general appearance of the office, dentist and staff?
  • Is everything clean, neat and orderly?
  • Is the dentist and/or dental staff willing to discuss fees and/or financial arrangements in advance of any dental treatment?
  • What arrangement does the dentist have for handling emergencies that occur outside of office hours? Is it possible to contact the dentist or does he/she have an answering or paging service or  a colleague who takes care of patients when the dentist is unavailable?
  • Does the office provide oral health instruction and education? Choose a dentist who is skilled both in the treatment and prevention of dental disorders.
  • Is the dentist genuinely interested in your health? Your medical and dental history should be recorded and placed in a permanent file to assist in the evaluation of all of your dental health needs.

Dental care is a very personalized service that requires a good relationship between the dentist, dental team and patient. A good relationship is necessary, because regular dental visits are essential to maintaining good oral health and avoiding dental problems that can be both painful and costly.

WDA