When you’re new to an area, friendly smiling people help you feel welcome and comfortable. Particularly when you want to find a reputable dentist, the first place you begin is by looking at the smiles of the people you are meeting for the first time — colleagues, neighbors and acquaintances. A great smile can lead to a great dentist. However, there are many other attributes to consider before making your selection.
Tips for following up on word-of-mouth dental referrals
Once you’ve begun your search for a reputable dentist, after asking around, take note of dentists who are mentioned more than once. Then narrow down your list and get online to check patient reviews.
Look for dentists and staff who continue to seek additional training to keep up with current and leading edge practices. Call and speak with the office staff. Ask how many hours of continuing education a year the dentist does. A good guide is at least 100 hours.
Be more receptive to a dental office that offers a meet-and-greet as well as a free consultation. If you know you desire specific procedures ask to see before and after pictures and to be in contact with a current patient who has had the procedure you want.
Schedule your meet-and-greet to determine whether you will be comfortable with the dentist, the environment and the team. Friendliness, empathy, compassion, and cleanliness of the facility, in addition to excellent training is essential.
Ask if the dentist uses the latest technology. Look for digital X-Ray and ultrasonic tooth cleaning for starters.
Does the dentist you are considering conduct a thorough medical history and initial exam and discuss all of your options before starting treatment? Does the dentist have experience with and offer most treatment options in-house, such as dental implants, treatment for TMJ or sleep apnea, orthodontics, and gum disease? How about cosmetic dentistry or treatment for children? Ask about the dentist’s experience with these treatment options as well. If the dentist attends a high number of continuing education courses and is therefore able to offer many treatment options in one place, you will find the convenience of not having to be referred out to another dentist to complete your treatment. Today’s dentist is someone who cares about overall health and is not just the person you go to for filling a cavity.
Everyone loves to share
Remember, everyone loves to share new discoveries whether it’s a book, restaurant, movie, or an idea. Sharing is one of the greatest aspects of friendship. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that word-of-mouth sharing has given birth to new pop stars as well as the viral popularity of You Tube videos.
Sharing the services of an exceptional dentist is no exception. Referrals are traditionally the way most people find their dental home. So, one of the most beneficial things friends can share is a smile. Once you’ve selected your dentist be sure to tell them who referred you, and remember to express appreciation to that person. And, of course don’t hesitate to share your experiences when you meet someone in need of excellent dental care.