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How to choose a dentist: 4 steps to consider

"I need to find someone with convenient office hours"
"They have to be in my insurance network."
"I want a place with payment options"

These are just a few of the many answers people give when asked what's important when they choose a dentist for themselves or their family. Pretty much what you'd expect, right? But did you know character counts, too. In a 2015 survey by the American Dental Association, 69 percent of people polled said they were more likely to choose an ADA member the next time they were looking for a dentist1. That's one item you may already have on your search list but what else would be good to consider?

Where to look when you're looking for a dentist

A comfortable place to start is to ask family, friends or co-workers for the names of their dentist, especially when they've had positive experiences. It's also a good idea to explore other options because healthy teeth are such a vital part of overall health.

The ADA can be an excellent source of expert advice on how to choose a dentist, from basic questions to ask (e.g., Is the dentist a member of the ADA?) to information about local dental resources. In the ADA's How to Choose a Dentist (in Four Steps), you'll find four important steps to take when you're looking for the best dental fit for you and your family.

  • Start with the Basics. As you begin your search, decide which questions you'll definitely want answered, from location and hours to expertise and insurance coverage.
  • Launch the Search. Next, keep in mind that possible leads can come from a variety of sources, including free resources. For example, CareCredit's online Locator can quickly identify dental practices near you that accept the CareCredit credit card with special financing options.
  • Meet and Greet. Before making a final decision, visiting the dentists on your search list can be one of the best steps you'll take. There's no reason to be shy about calling or visiting the dentists on your list. Remember, it's important that you feel comfortable with your choice so make sure the dentist understands your concerns and answers all your questions. For a comprehensive list of questions from the ADA you may want to ask, visit mouthhealthy.org.
  • Pick a Partner. It may take a little time but finding the dentist you and your family can rely on for everything from annual cleanings and teeth whitening to emergencies will be worth it in the long run. Especially when you choose someone you trust for the best advice and dental care. For more insights that can help you find the right dental partner, read the complete article, How to Choose a Dentist (in Four Steps).

Source:
1. Ethics: The 5 Promises ADA Dentists Make to Their Patients, ADA, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/ethics-and-dentistry.

This content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual business, financial, legal, tax and/or other advisors and/or medical providers with respect to any information presented. Synchrony Financial and any of its affiliates, including CareCredit, (collectively, "Synchrony") makes no representations or warranties regarding this content and accept no liability for any loss or harm arising from the use of the information provided. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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