How to Find a Good Family, Cosmetic or General Dentist


It is estimated that more than 46 percent of consumers do not have a general dentist. Many consumers rely on using a phone book to search for a new family dentist. However, this method may not be the most reliable source for finding a good cosmetic, family or general dentist. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) provides some helpful tips and resources to make your task easier for finding a good dentist.

Why should I choose an Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) dentist for my family and me?
Dentists that belong to the AGD care about the long-term dental health for you and your family and demonstrate that concern by belonging to the AGD. AGD Dentist members are dedicated to continuing education to help them stay up-to-date on the latest procedures to provide you and your family with quality dental care. The general dentist who remains current in general dentistry is better able to offer you and your family a variety of diagnosis and treatment choices. Here are some basic tips offered by the AGD for finding a new dentist:

1) Start your search for a general, family, or cosmetic dentist

Family, friends, neighbors or co-workers can also be excellent sources for recommending a good dentist. Ask your family physician or local pharmacist. If you are moving, your current dentist may be able to make a recommendation. You can also try calling your local or state dental society. Be sure to ask your sources these helpful questions:
What do they like about the dental office?
What do they like about the dentist?

2) Start with a Consultation

Call or visit more than one dentist before making a decision. During your consultation be sure to discuss with the dentist about services available to you and your family. Good questions to ask the dentist are:

  • Is the dentist a member of organized dentistry (AGD, American Dental Association, etc.)?
  • What is the dentist’s commitment to continuing dental education?
  • What dental procedures are completed in-office?
  • What procedures will be referred out?
  • How does the dental team stay up-to-date?

3) Visit Your New Dentist for the First Appointment

After you have selected the dentist and the dental office that meets your expectations and your needs, set up an appointment for a general exam, which consists of a teeth cleaning, x-rays and medical health history. This general dental visit is your opportunity to decide if the dentist and dental team:

  • Are personable, patient and caring.
  • Take time to answer your questions.
  • Are considerate of your time and comfort.
  • Demonstrate the professionalism you expect.
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