It’s the beginning of a new year, and if you’re like a majority of the world then the new year is a great time to recommit or at least stay committed to staying healthy.

As we try to emphasize to our patients, maintaining good oral health plays a key role in your overall health journey. The mouth is the portal into the rest of your body and because of this it’s important that you work in regular dental cleanings to ensure that you have a healthy mouth.

If you’ve recently moved, haven’t been to the dentist in a while or are simply looking for someone new to see, we have a few tips that might help you.

How to Find a Dentist

There are lots of ways that you can find a dentist. If you’ve recently moved you could start by asking your previous dentist for a recommendation. They might know someone in your new location or might have some suggestions on a good place to start looking.

Ask your friends for a recommendation. It’s likely that you and your friends have things in common and you trust their advice – that’s why you are friends isn’t it? Get information about their dentist and the experience they’ve had. If a particular practice is a good fit for them it might be a good choice for you as well.

Ask one of your other doctors. People in the medical community in a given area likely know each other. Your primary doctor should be able to give you a good recommendation. One of our favorite tips is to ask a specialist in the area (endodontist, oral surgeons, periodontists) as they see all the work of dentists in town.

Find a dentist with the ADA. The American Dental Association represents more than 160,000 dentist members, and is a leading source of information on good oral health. You can use their “Find A Dentist” tool to find a member dentist that’s providing care in your area.

What to Consider When Choosing A Dentist

Having a good relationship with your dentist is important. Things like dental fear and dental anxiety are real emotions that many individuals deal with. Making sure you’re able to get the care that you need and are comfortable while doing so are high priorities when choosing a dental home. Here are a few other things worth considering.

1. Dental Insurance – one factor to check on is whether or not your insurance provider covers a particular doctor. Many insurance providers today allow you to search covered physicians and dentists, but don’t hesitate to check with the office you’re considering before you schedule an appointment.

2. Cost of Treatment – not all insurance policies cover 100% of routine visits or cleanings. In addition, there are other treatments that might come up over the course of a year such as cavities. Ask for a quote on some basic treatments like routine oral exam and cleaning, full mouth X-Rays, and cavity treatment.

3. Office Location and Hours – this may seem obvious but it never hurts to check on the location of the dental office and the hours of operation. You’ll want to be sure that the hours they work fit well with your personal schedule, and that you can get to their office easily.

4. How do they approach dentistry and their patients – having a dentist who is willing to listen to you as a patient is very important. You want to make sure that you’re seeing someone who values what you make note of, whether that be related to pain that you’re feeling or anxiety that you’re wrestling with.

As we mentioned at the beginning, finding the right fit is important in establishing a solution that will work for you long-term to ensure you’re getting regular and good quality dental care.

We hope these tips have helped you and that you’re ready to schedule an appointment with your dentist. If you’re in and around Walla Walla, and considering a new dental home, give us a call!