The first step is to know what treatments and procedures your dental health benefits cover. Find a dentist who accepts your insurance plan. For example, some dental HMOs have their own pool of member dental offices, which limits your choices. With a PPO, it may affect your copayment if you find a dentist outside of the network.

Additional tips for choosing a dentist include:

  • Ask Around for a Dentist Office Recommendation – Word of mouth is the best approach. Talk to friends, family, co-workers or neighbors and ask if they are pleased with their dentist, and why. Your family doctor may also provide a referral. Another option is to research local dentists listed as members with the ADA, AGD or a local dental association.

  • Factor in Dentist Location – Accessibility is important. Do you want your dentist office to be close to home or near your workplace? Consider your schedule and how flexible you can be when making appointments. Do you need a dentist location that serves patients on evenings and Saturdays?

  • Schedule a Consultation – Meet each new prospect for a consultation. Once you have your list of dentists that meet your criteria, call or visit a few dental offices before scheduling an appointment. Ask if the dentist is a member of a national dental organization, like the American Dental Association (ADA) and how far in advance should routine cleanings and check-ups be scheduled. Also, find out which treatments and procedures are performed in-office and which are referred to an outside dental professional.

After each appointment, evaluate your visit. Is the dental office neat, clean and well-organized? Is the dental staff courteous and friendly? If you have kids, does this dentist location child-friendly? Do they manage your private information discreetly?

Consider the following questions after you leave each dentist location: Does this dentist office offer convenient hours? Is it conveniently located? Are the dentist and staff easy to talk to, and ask questions? Would you trust the dental professionals’ treatment recommendations or referrals?

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