05.How to find a good dentist
When looking for a dentist, there are some simple guidelines to follow.
- Be wary of accepting extensive and expensive treatment from a general dentist, unless you know their work well. This especially applies to complicated dentistry, such as orthodontics and prosthodontics.
- Don’t let leading questions sway your judgment, and watch out for the sales pitch that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Is your dentist in the business of dentistry or the practice of dentistry?
- A thorough examination should include an inspection of teeth, gums, inside of the cheek, palate, tongue and lips. A probe should be used to check gum pockets and a mirror for awkward spots. Findings should be charted in detail. An average check-up takes 20-25 minutes.
- If you’re looking for a new dentist, ring ahead and get prices for a check-up and clean. How does this compare with the average $130-$140? Are X-rays and fluoride treatment included? If you feel you’ve been quoted a high price for dental work, check the table above to see where it lies in the range – you may find it’s a fair price.
- If you need extensive work, shop around. If you have a written quote with item numbers, ask how much they’d charge for the same work and compare the price with the table we've provided.
- Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Or perhaps a third.