How to Choose the Right Dentist
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It's important that you and your family members feel comfortable with your dentist, since you're more likely to keep your appointments and follow oral care advice from a dentist you like and respect.

When you're looking to find the right dentist, keep in mind dental care is very personal. So your neighbor's or colleague's dentist might not be the dentist for you.

Here are a few things worth considering as you search:

  • Convenience. Is the dentist's office conveniently located near your home or office? Do the office hours accommodate your schedule?
  • Insurance. Does the dentist take your dental insurance? Can you get information about payment plans and costs before procedures are scheduled?
  • Attitude. Is the office friendly and welcoming? Does the dentist explain procedures and treatments in a way that you can understand?
  • Emergencies. Is there a plan in place for emergency dental care outside of normal office hours?
  • Professionalism. A dentist who is a member of the American Dental Association has graduated from an accredited dental school in the United States and committed to uphold high standards of ethics.

A dentist may have a degree that says DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) or DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). They mean the same thing-different schools use different terminology. These degrees apply to general dentists. A specialized dentist will have an additional certification in an area such as oral surgery or pediatric dentistry.