Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are good dentists, and there are great dentists. And how can you tell the difference? More importantly, how can you find a great dentist right off the bat? Dentists aren’t like hairstylists; you can’t keep trying different ones every few weeks until you find the one that clicks.

Here are 10 qualities to look out for in a dentist:

1) They have great online reviews 

These days it’s easier than ever to get insight from other patients on a particular dentist. A great dentist will have glowing reviews. It’s always possible for even the best dentist to have an off-review from someone who visited while they were having a bad day. But, as long as most of the reviews can’t say enough good things about the dentist, you can feel confident you’ve picked a winner.

2) They take time to educate you at every point of your check-up

Most of us aren’t dental professionals and know very little about dental-related things (beyond basic dental hygiene, of course). 

A good dentist can do a fantastic job on your teeth without ever explaining a thing to you. However, a great dentist will go to the extra effort to educate you about your oral health. Even if it’s not really something you “need to know”, it will help put you more at ease and allows you to feel more in control of your own oral health. 

3) They check in on you throughout the appointment

A great dentist helps to put their patients at ease throughout the dentist appointment by checking in on them periodically. They ask how they’re feeling and if they’re comfortable. 

This has always been important, but now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients may be feeling more heightened anxiety about the dentist or have more concerns about health and safety. Dentists who understand that and actively seek to ease that anxiety distinguish themselves from other dental professionals. 

4) They explain why follow-up treatment is important 

A good dentist can take the easy way and simply recommend follow-up treatment. Then they leave it up to you whether or not to take their advice. Unfortunately, you’re being left on your own to make a decision about follow-up treatment that you might not fully understand.

A great dentist will take the time to explain what the follow-up treatment will do for you. They also explain how it will affect your body over time – both if you come back for treatment and if you don’t.

Due for a checkup?

Find a top rated dentist near you that takes your insurance.

After this fuller explanation, you’ll be more likely to come back for the treatment you need. 

5) Their office has up-to-date technology 

Dental technology changes rapidly – that’s why we have so many wonderful new procedures to promote good dental health for all. 

It isn’t necessarily bad to stick with older dental technology. Much of it is still relevant and newer procedures, in some cases, may not be the best option for you personally. 

However, a great dentist will keep up with new innovations, always with their patients’ best oral health in mind. A dental office with up-to-date technology demonstrates that your dentist has the tools and knowledge to handle all your dental needs.

6) They make their infection control protocols transparent

These days it is even more vital to keep their offices clean. And it’s a good idea to demonstrate to patients what steps they are taking to keep everyone safe. From temperature checks to hand sanitizing stations to individually wrapped and sterilized dental tools, there is a lot offices can do to keep patients and staff safe. 

Related:  Let’s talk about snoring and sleep apnea

7) They listen! 

A good dentist becomes a mediocre dentist if they have a poor bedside manner. A great dentist will go above and beyond to ensure that all their patients feel heard and respected. Every patient should be valued as a person and not just a chart number.

8) They care about their profession and their patients

A booming dental practice can make pretty good money. Let’s be honest, there are probably plenty of dentists out there who got into the business drawn by the potential salary they could earn. 

Give $50, get $50.

Refer someone to book a dentist with Opencare and you’ll both get $50.

However, the best dentists won’t be drawn to the profession for money. Instead, they will genuinely care about their profession and their patients. 

9) They humanize themselves

Dental anxiety is a huge deal. In fact, more than a third of the population experiences some level of dental anxiety. About 12% of people are petrified to visit the dentist. 

Related:  Gingivitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment options

If you struggle with dental anxiety, you’ll need a dentist who recognizes and understands this. Dentists are around dental offices and dentistry tools all the time, they have no fear of the instruments or procedures. But a great dentist can step out of their perspective a bit and understand where you’re coming from. 

10) They don’t make you feel bad for putting visits off

For optimum oral health, it’s best to visit the dentist regularly. For most people, this translates to once every six months. But of course, life happens. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably put off visiting the dentist at least once in your life. 

There are many reasons you might put off a dental visit. Fear and anxiety tend to top the list, but you may also have financial concerns or simply are too busy and haven’t made time. A great dentist understands where you’re coming from. They’ll gently remind you to come back soon for your next visit, but avoid chastising you for waiting so long.

Due for a checkup?

Find a top rated dentist near you that takes your insurance.

If dental anxiety is a concern for you, great dentists will have ways to mitigate your fear. It could be a simple TV screen on the ceiling to give you a distraction throughout your visit. Or the dentist could offer stronger ways of taking the edge off like nitrous oxide (laughing gas), sedation, or prescriptions that put you to sleep for a short while. 

Additionally, if finances are a concern for you, they may be able to offer a payment plan that would make dental visits more affordable

Find a great dentist today!

How do you find a great dentist near you? The easiest way is to search an online database like ours. Here at Opencare, we only work with the top 10% of dentists in the US and Canada. With our extensive experience, we’ve learned how to pick the cream of the crop. 

Take our quiz and get matched with the perfect dental professional near you!