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What to Look for When Choosing a Dentist

Female dentist standing in clinic

As of 2017, there were 198,517 dentists in the United States, according to the American Dental Association. These professionals identify common tooth and gum problems, perform extractions, fill cavities and improve your overall oral health. Still, with so many dentists out there, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Here are some tips for choosing a dentist in your area.

1. Choose a Dentist That Makes You Feel Comfortable

Few people like going to the dentist. Just the thought of a regular checkup can fill them with dread. Research shows that 9-20 percent of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of fear or anxiety or fear — a condition known as "dental phobia."

If you get sweaty palms and dry lips at the thought of visiting the dentist, it's important you choose a professional that makes you feel comfortable. When you visit a new dental practice for a consultation, your dentist and his or her staff should make you feel comfortable from the moment you arrive.

Dental assistants, for example, should welcome you to their practice. They might also ask about your interests or weekend plans to try and relax you.

 

[RELATED: Are You Scared of the Dentist? Here are 5 Ways to Stay Calm at Your Next Visit.]

 

2. Choose a Dentist That Offers a Wide Range of Payment Options

Being aware of the cost of procedures is essential to having a positive experience at the dentist. Make sure the dentist you choose discusses the cost of treatment with you and your payment options before any procedures begin.

By understanding your payment options, you and your dentist should be able figure out the best way for you to take advantage of your benefits, and keep out-of-pocket costs low.

The doctors at Main Street Dental strive to recommend the best treatment plans for their patients, and explore all payment methods to make certain you receive the highest quality care.

3. Choose a Dentist That Provides Emergency Treatment

It's a good idea to prepare for the future. Some dentists only operate during normal working hours, which can be a hassle if you have a full-time job. You might, therefore, want to find a dental practice that has some flexible hour options.

Then there's emergency treatment. Although the majority of dentists provide this service, not all of them do, so it's important you do your research.

"When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible," says the American Dental Association. "Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients."

If you experience a chipped tooth or severe gum pain in the future, you won't want to travel for hours to see an emergency dentist. That's why you should check whether your dentist offers this service.

Looking for a dentist? Follow the three tips on this list. Choosing a dentist that makes you feel comfortable and finding a practice that offers flexible payment options and emergency services will ensure you find a professional that's right for you.

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