Choosing a dentist, especially a family dentist can sometimes become a very confusing task when trying to make sure you are choosing the absolute best family dentistry for you and your family. After all, unless you know someone that’s already a patient, how are you supposed to know whether they are good or bad until you’re the Guinea Pig sitting in their chair with sharp metal objects poking around in your mouth. The truth is that in any service business, until you have actually experienced that service, there is no 100% accurate way to judge the quality of that person’s service. However, there are plenty of places both online and off that you can start getting some great clues about what kind of dental experience that Dr. may provide for your family. Here are a few things to look into when trying to find the very best family dentist in your area.
Check their Reviews
Online reviews can tell us a lot about the service quality of a business way before we ever walk into their doors. If someone has had a very bad experience, there’s a good chance they’ve complained about it somewhere online. On the other side of things though, if you find tons of positive reviews online that probably means even more for the positive because people are always more likely to complain versus compliment online. There are many places to find online reviews, but the two most common are probably Google and Facebook.
Go ahead and Google their dentistry name and then check out their Google reviews. Some red flags to look for here are:
- Do they not have any reviews?
- Are the reviews mostly negative?
- Do the reviews seem overly general, too positive, or were all posted within a short time frame. These things could mean nothing, but they could also mean that the reviews may be manufactured so you aren’t getting a true representation of the quality of their dentistry
Google is a great place to start, but Facebook recommendations may be the best source of reviews because of these reasons:
- Creating fake reviews on facebook is much less common and more difficult than most other review sites
- The reviews come from people you know! So if you want to check out what your friends think, just go to that dentist’s facebook page and see what they’re saying.
Besides checking out online reviews and asking your friends who may be patients, here are a few more things that you should look into when looking for the best family dentist in your area:
- Is he/she board certified/licensed? This is very important. You want to make sure that your dentist is truly qualified to be working on your children’s teeth. Most states provide a webpage you can use to verify your dentist’s license as well. It will tell you where the dentist attended school and the graduation date, how long he/she has held the license, any disciplinary actions that have been recorded, whether or not they have a permit for sedation or to use general anesthesia, and if they are board certified for any specialties.
- Visit their office. Is it inviting? Is it obvious by the front desk staff and the waiting room decor, toys/games, reading material, cleanliness, etc., that they truly care about children? Keep an eye out for awards and training certifications. The American Dental Association as well as other dental organizations, will give certificates and honors to outstanding dentists.
- Talk to the staff. If the staff is available, start chatting them up. Explain you are looking at Pediatric Dentists in the area. How do they like Dr. Y? You will be able to tell quite a bit about the dentist by how the staff responds to your questions. You might even ask available parents in the waiting room about how they – and their – children like the dentist.
- Does the dentist and staff seem fun? We all know that visiting the dentist is not something that most adults look forward to, and children look forward to it even less. This is why it’s very important that your family dentist has a fun atmosphere in their office. Incorporating a little humor or even a staff that dresses up on Halloween may be that little something that keeps you from having to painfully drag your child to the dentist every time.
- Am I allowed to remain with my child? A good pediatric dentist should always let you come back with your child for visits. It is a good idea the first time to reassure your child and to see how the dentist interacts with him/her. Do keep in mind that your presence can also disrupt your child’s relationship with the dentist so once you feel at ease, enjoy the opportunity to relax in the waiting room and enjoy some time to yourself.
Looking for a family dentist in the Wilmington NC area? Then check us out online and then contact us today to schedule an appointment or just to ask a few questions.