How to find a dentist when you’re new in town

Moving to a new area can be an exciting proposition, but comes with the necessity of finding a mechanic you can trust, a dry cleaner who gets the stains out and medical professionals who take care of you and your family.

With so many dentists to choose from, how can you be sure that you’ve picked the right one? Here are some tips.

Familiarize yourself with your new dental plan

Before you begin your search, take the time to read through the fine print of your new dental plan. You don’t want to find the perfect dentist only to find out that they’re not covered under your insurance. Some plans restrict you to a specific network of providers.

Ask your current dentist

You might be surprised to learn that your current dentist knows a colleague practicing in or around your new hometown. From dental school to ongoing education, national conferences and professional organizations, a dentist’s network may be quite substantial.

Ask around at the office

“Which dentist do you go to and do you like them?” may not make the most interesting water cooler conversation but few people will recommend a dentist that they don’t like.

Pay close attention to those who speak very highly of their dentist. For most people, a trip to the dentist is something they dread. Talking about the experience in positive terms is a sign their dentist is doing something right.

Professional affiliations

You can browse this list of professional affiliations or contact a few organizations to find out if there are any members in your town. The ADA Find a Dentist tool is also a good resource.

Get the timing right

The best time to look for a new dentist is when you don’t need one. Don’t wait until you’re writhing in pain with a toothache to launch your search.

Schedule an initial consultation

Most dentists are looking for new patients. Don’t be afraid to ask for a short interview and tour of the practice before you schedule an appointment for treatment.