What You Need to Know When Looking for a New Dentist & Dental Clinic

Choosing the right dental care provider for you and your family is an important part of maintaining good health and keeping your smile looking great. It’s not always a fast process and it can take a bit of trial and error, but once you find a good dentist, it’s usually a long-term relationship. Now, what happens if you suddenly find yourself in a position where you need to find a new dentist? Here are some tips to help make it easier.

If you’ve had the same dentist for a really long time, you’ve probably got a good amount of trust in them and their clinic to provide quality dental care for you and your family. After all, changing to new doctors and dentists isn’t exactly something that most people want to do on a regular basis. Because of this, most people don’t really think very much about the possibility of even having to find a new provider for health care services like dentistry. However, it’s inevitable that there will be a time when this is exactly what you’ve got to do. It could be for a wide number of reasons, some of which are predictable, some of which are not.

Reasons Why You Might Need to Find a New Dentist

Recently Moved to the Area – The most obvious instance where you’ll be on the hunt for a new dentist is if you’ve recently moved to a new city and are no longer able to visit the dental clinic from your previous area. Sometimes even a move within the same city can be enough to make the drive to your old dentist too much of a hassle if the city is large enough. This is particularly relevant when thinking about coordinating appointments around busy work and school schedules. Either way, you’ll be looking for a new dentist who’s closer to home.

Dentist is Retiring or Selling the Practice – It can be disappointing when your family dentist decides that the time has come to retire or sell their practice, especially if you’ve been seeing them for a very long time. Relationships that form between dentists, patients and their families can become quite strong over many years, and finding someone new to take their place can be hard. The best thing you can do is wish your old dentist well, and perhaps ask who they might recommend as a new dental care provider.

Operating Hours & Scheduling Conflicts – When the operating hours of the dental clinic are limited, it can make it much more difficult to coordinate your appointments around convenient times. If you have multiple family members to worry about, it makes this even more challenging. At the end of the day, if booking a dentist appointment creates too many additional conflicts in the busy schedule of your family, it might be time to look for a clinic that has more flexible hours.

Some Important Services Not Available – Not all dentists are able to perform the same treatments, and in the event that you or a member of your family needs a more advanced procedure, you’ll need to be referred to another dentist. Some examples include orthodontics, gum recession treatments, dental implants, and oral cancer screenings. This might not be too much trouble occasionally, but limitations on the types of treatments you can obtain at your dentist may become very frustrating.

Managing Costs & Financing Options  – The costs of dental care vary greatly depending on the types of treatments you and your family may need. Some benefits packages and insurance plans don’t include coverage for things like braces, implants, or other types of restorative dental work, or are limited in the amount that they will reimburse. When cost becomes a factor, it can be very helpful if your dental clinic is able to offer financing plans, but not all clinics have these options available for patients.

Clinic Environment & Staff Rapport – Having a welcoming and friendly clinic environment is a big part of reducing anxiety or stress that some patients feel about visiting the dentist. In addition, not every clinic has the same expectations for their staff regarding customer service and transparency. If you’re feeling like your current dental clinic is not providing quality customer service and a positive experience, it may be time to look for alternatives.

Each of these situations can be reason enough to start looking for a new clinic to provide you and your family the dental care services, but if you’re experiencing more than one of these, it’s definitely time to think about going somewhere new. So, if this is the case, how do you get started? Here’s some simple tips to get you prepared for your dentist search and help you track down the right clinic for your family’s dental care needs.

How to Find the Right Dentist for Your Family

Ask Family, Friends, Neighbors – Word of mouth matters. In many cases, it’s the best way to really gauge whether or not a dental clinic is worth trying. While personal experiences can certainly be skewed for a wide variety of reasons, talking to people you trust to get their opinions can help narrow your search quickly. Close family and trusted friends will surely be more than willing to open up honestly about their experiences with the dentists they’ve used. If you’re in a completely new area with no family or friends around to ask, talking to some of your new neighbours can provide similar assistance.

Check Online Reviews & Ratings – Another great place to get details on what dental clinic might be the best for your family is to check online reviews and ratings, like those found on Google business profiles. A clinic that has many positive reviews spanning over multiple years is a very good sign. Specifically, more authority should be given to reviews that also include comments rather than just a star-rating, as this usually means the rating is from a legit customer and not an automated online review spamming service.

Visit the Clinic & Speak with Staff – Once you’ve found one or two different clinics that seem to have a good reputation and solid reviews, we recommend reaching out to the clinic to arrange a first-time meeting. This is your opportunity to get a feel for what the clinic experience will be like, from the friendliness of the staff that answers the phone, to the rapport you have with the receptionists and other team members who meet you. Make sure you come prepared with a list of questions regarding the types of dental care you and your family will need, and get as much information as possible before making any commitments.

Available Services & Emergency Care – Before committing to any one particular clinic, it’s important to make sure that they offer a comprehensive range of services so that you are able to get all the different types of dental care that your family may need, all in one place. Even though your children may be too young for braces now, in a few years you may need to consider this. The same applies for elderly patients who have dental health issues that may progress to the point where dental implants or dentures are required. In addition, not all dental clinics are equipped to offer emergency dental care. Be sure to check the dental clinic’s entire range of services to learn what is offered and what is not.

Hours of Operation & Ease of Scheduling – One more thing to check when evaluating different dental clinics is their operating hours. It can be great for families with busy schedules if the clinic has late hours or is open on weekends. In addition, many clinics now offer online booking tools where patients can coordinate their next appointments at any time with just a few clicks. Arranging dental appointments for multiple family members doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, so look for these types of conveniences when checking out different dentist offices.

What’s The Best Way to Get Started in Finding a New Dentist?

If you’re still not sure where to start in finding a new dentist, we welcome you to give us a call here at Georgian Dental. Our friendly team will gladly answer any questions you have and provide the advice you need to get started. If you are new to the Barrie area, or are changing away from your current dentist, let us show you around our clinic and get to know our professional team of dentists, hygienists, and orthodontists. Whether you’re in need of dental care just for yourself, or for your entire family, we’re here to help.

At Georgian Dental, we offer a comprehensive range of dental care services for patients of all ages. From basic dental checkups, cleanings, and hygiene treatments, to advanced restorative procedures, we are your one-stop-shop for dental health services! We encourage you to browse around our website, read the many reviews from our satisfied patients, and check out all the helpful information we publish here on the Big Mouth Blog. We’re committed to making sure our patients are as informed as possible when it comes to their dental care, and are ready to help you and your family keep your smiles in style. Contact us today to arrange for an initial appointment. We look forward to meeting you!

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