Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How to Choose a Dentist

I have one basic rule when it comes to finding a dentist, and that is if you love the dentist, then you'll go as often as you should, and that will help you save your teeth and give you the best smile. But to be more specific, here are some things to check out:

Is the staff friendly? If not, why bother going there? There are plenty of dentists, and many of them have great staffs.

Does the dentist offer a wide range of services? Dentistry has changed a lot in the past 20 years.
There are dentists who do Zoom whitening or some other in-office system.
There are dentists who have same-day restorations, which means you don't need to get a temporary. The machine they use is called a CEREC.
There are dentists with dental lasers, some using them for root canals and even cavities.
There are dentists who do same day dental implants.
There are dentists who do no-preparation veneers, like Lumineers or Vivaneers.
There are dentists who offer Invisalign, which are invisible braces.

Find the one that does what you want, and has what you would like. They should have technology that makes your experience more comfortable, and gives you the best, longest lasting results.

Does the dentist have a good chairside manner? Dental visits are seldom fun. But many dentists are very aware of that, and do their best to put patients at ease.

Is the office clean? Basic, but this is your mouth we're talking about, not your shoes.

Is the dentist well-trained? He or she should be getting ongoing training every year, and you should be able to see certificates of that training displayed in the office or on the website.

Has the dentist been sued for malpractice? This is really hard to check on your own. At 1-800-DENTIST, the only dentists that we refer are ones whom we've done a background check on for a history of malpractice, and we check their license as well.

You can search for all these criteria online at, or you can call and find a practice that does what you want, knowing that 1-800-DENTIST has sent hundreds of patients to the dentist without a complaint. To find out more about dental technology, visit

But either way, find a dentist that you love. Otherwise, you'll put it off, and that's not good.