Choosing the right dentist takes a little bit of effort, but the results will be well worth it. You may be inclined to choose the dentist closest to your home or work to minimize the travel time. Convenience is important, but it’s not the only factor to consider.
You should first understand that not all dentists practice all types of dentistry. Some dental practices are more comprehensive than others and some dental offices specialize in a particular type of dentistry such as oral surgery or orthodontics (braces). You should start by looking for a general practice or family practice that can handle your routine dental care needs such as cleanings, fillings, check-ups and other general dental care.
Find out about the scope of the dentist’s practice. Is it a single practitioner or a group of dentists practicing together? If establishing a strong rapport with your dentist and his or her staff including the dental hygienists, dental assistants, and office staff is important to you, a sole practitioner or small dental practice may be a better choice. You will receive more personalized treatment at a smaller practice.
The primary limitation for a smaller dental practice is that the practice may be limited to general dentistry and certain cosmetic procedures. Each office is different so if you anticipate needing a certain type of dental procedure such as orthodontics or dental implants, check to see if the office offers that procedure. If not, find out about their referral practice.
On the other hand, if you prefer a practice that offers a wider variety dental procedures, you may want to consider a larger practice with many dentists who specialize in different areas of dentistry. This type of practice is more likely to offer extended hours and weekend appointments if these are important to you.
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