So, you recently moved to the GTA & you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, or have simply become disenchanted with your usual dental office, you may be on the lookout for a new practitioner to help keep your mouth, gums, and teeth healthy.
Dental hygiene and the health of your mouth is incredibly important. In fact, the health of your mouth, gums, and teeth can actually be an indicator of other aspects of your health. For instance, if you’re struggling with certain diseases, you may see more gum sensitivity, bleeding, or even tooth loss. This is why keeping up with your oral care and seeing a good dentist twice a year is integral to your overall health.
However, it’s not always easy to just waltz into the nearest dentist to you and receive care that is complete and that leaves you happy. If you’re looking for a new dentist, here is a checklist of key considerations to think over as you make your decision.
Get a Referral or Recommendation
One of the best ways to find a dentist is to ask around among your friends and family. Usually, those who have a dentist they are happy with will be eager to share where they get their oral care. Alternatively, those who have had negative dental experiences can tell you which dentists’ offices to avoid.
Consider Your Unique Needs
When evaluating dentist options, consider your unique needs as a patient. Are you typically nervous or anxious when you visit the dentist for your yearly appointments? If so, you should seek a dental practitioner with a care plan for those with dental anxiety.
Ensure the Dentist is Certified
No matter which country you live in, there should be a board that certifies dentists. For instance, in Canada, the National Dental Examining Board of Canada is in charge of publishing a record of dentists in the country who are recognized by the board as competent in dental standards. Searching the name of a dentist you are considering is helpful in determining if you should trust them with your oral health.
Research Additional Services Offered
Outside of standard oral hygiene and treating dental problems, you may want to see a dentist for another specific service. Some dental offices offer cosmetic treatments, like teeth whitening, veneers, and more. If these additional cosmetic procedures are important to you, you may want to select a dentist who offers them or who can refer you to someone who does.
Make Sure You’re Covered
Whether you are covered by government insurance, insurance through your employer, or you have to buy a dental plan, it’s important to make sure you are covered for basic dental services. This includes annual cleanings and check-ups, and usually includes an annual round of x-rays to help keep your mouth healthy.
Evaluate Your Visit
When you head in for your first appointment with a new dentist, make sure to take note of your experience. Observe the office, waiting room, and other facilities to ensure they are clean and well kept. Pay attention to the manner of everyone in the office, including the receptionist, hygienist, and the dentist themselves. You want to make sure that you are comfortable when you are seeking your dental care, so a warm energy and clear communication is key.
Ultimately, the choice of which dentist to see for your oral health is personal, though it should be taken seriously. Your adult teeth are meant to last you the rest of your life, so it’s important to take care of them well and to see a doctor you like and trust to help you maintain good oral health.