No one can deny the importance of good dental care and as we all know dentists are the biggest key in helping you achieve that perfect, beaming smile. But what’s the best way to make sure your dentist is the best one for you? To help you we came up with some recommendations to help you out.

Know your insurance benefits.

As with all medical bills, your dentist bills can get very expensive very fast. Your place of work might provide you with insurance, but that insurance might not pay for your dentist. With luck your employer will have provided you with a Preferred Provider Organisation Plan, which allows you to visit any dentist and helps minimize your dental costs. In addition to this some insurance plans/coverage can be limiting, for example dental Health Maintenance Originations (HMO) limit your choice of dentist to dentists that are exclusively part of the HMO network.

Look at what services they offer and what they cost.

Similarly, try looking at dentist’s price lists. This way you can see what kind of services they offer in their practice and – more importantly – how much they cost as most procedures vary from practice to practice. Of course (most) dentists will offer the basic care that you’re looking for but you might be looking for certain cosmetic dentistry which isn’t something that all dentists provide.

Do they provide emergency care?

Yes, this technically comes under the last point, but this is a very important thing to consider. Sometimes disasters happen and a lot of times we can’t prevent them, but we should always be ready for them. Most dentists aren’t open 24/7 but a good dentist should be able to able to help provide you with a plan if the unthinkable should happen. With luck, the dentist your considering provides you with an out of hours phone number, pager or answering service.

Ask for recommendations.

Asking your friends and family for recommendation is an ideal place to start when looking for a dentist. You should (hopefully) be able to trust their word and you can ask them a lot of questions about bills, friendliness and professionalism. Another good person to ask for recommendations is your doctor, who can refer you to a good dentist if you go to them with a dental related problem. If you’re moving to Jacksonville you could ask your current dentist for recommendations as they might be able to point you in the right direction.

Look at dental associations.

There’s also a good number of dental associations that you can look at to learn about legitimate dentists near you, like the American Dental Association (ADA), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) or the Florida Dental Association (FDA). These associations are perfect in helping you find legitimate dentists who are licenced professionals.

Consult websites and reviews.

Hopefully after following the advice above you’ll have built a small list of potential dentists you’re interested in. If so, you should search for their websites and investigate them. If they have a new, up-to-date professional looking websites that’s a promising sign you’re looking at the right dentists. If a dentist you’re considering wasn’t recommended to you, the Google could be you’re best friend. Google has a very helpful and easy to use review system that allows people to rate and review places they’ve been, including dentists, so you can see what people think of your possible new dentist.

If you’re looking for one in the Jacksonville area then head over to for more.

Look at before and after photos.

Most dentists have posters all over their waiting room of their patient’s teeth, which isn’t something a lot of people like to look at, particularly those of us who are afraid of the dentist but they can be a pretty useful thing to look at to get a general idea of the kind of care you’ll receive.

Think about accessibility.

Dentists aren’t always accessible to all. Not only should you investigate if dentists are wheelchair accessible but also think about distance, whether you can cancel appointments, if the dentist is available on non working days like Saturday and if you have young children make sure that they’re child friendly. If these things concern you then you must check with your local dentist if these things are possible.

Call or meet for a consultation.

Once you have a strong list of good dentists’ phone them or visit them and talk to them about their care. If you are concerned ask them if the are part of any dental associations – like the ADA or the AGD – to confirm that they are responsible, legitimate dentists. You should also ask what procedures are dealt with in their care and what procedures might cause them to refer you to another dental hospital, as a precaution. Finally, ask how often and how far in advance you’ll have to schedule and book appointments.

After seeing your potential dentist, evaluate them.

Think back to when you were in the office when you went to the consultation. Was it clean? Was it neat, tidy and organized? Are the staff kind, caring and considerate? If not, then that’s a strong red flag that your potential dentist is probably a disaster dentist. It’s also very important that after leaving the consultation appointment you feel that you can trust this dentist and that you would feel comfortable being in their care.

The fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias in the world and we understand how awful it can be for some. Unfortunately, we can’t cure you but if you follow these tips on how to find a good dentist then your anxiety could be eased. Of course, you might not fear the dentist and could just be moving to the area. Either way we hope our tips will help you find the best dentist you can.

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