10 Tips For Choosing The Right Dentist

Mar 9, 2023 | Family Dentistry

Are you looking for a new dentist? Choosing the right dental facility is essential to ensure that you receive quality care and have a positive experience. Whether you’ve relocated, switched insurance providers, or are just ready to try something new, finding a new dentist can be hard. Fortunately, choosing a new dentist in North Carolina can be a lot easier if you follow these 10 easy tips!

1. Look for a dentist who is an ADA member

The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest and oldest professional organization for dentists in the United States. Many members of the ADA have been specially trained to perform certain procedures or techniques, so it’s always a good idea to look for an ADA-accredited dentist. When you choose a dentist who is certified by the American Dental Association, you know that you’ll be working with a professional who’s dedicated to your health and safety.

2. Ask friends and family

Word of mouth is often one of the best ways to find a new dentist. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors if they have any recommendations or advice on which dentist in Wilmington, North Carolina, they would recommend.

3. Consider their experience

Experience counts when it comes to dental care! Make sure you research any potential dentists closely before making your final decision – look into how long they’ve been practicing, what kind of procedures they offer, and how many patients they’ve seen.

4. Ask yourself the important questions

To help you further narrow down your options, ask yourself these questions about each dentist you’re considering:

  • Will their hours work with your schedule?
  • Is their location convenient for you?
  • Where did they attend college?
  • Are their prices within your budget?
  • What are their beliefs regarding preventative dentistry?
  • Do they have experience with your particular dental issues (if any)?
  • What is their missed appointment policy?
  • Do they have a procedure or referral source for after-hours emergencies?

5. Look at reviews online

Online reviews and ratings can give you a better idea of what other patients think about their experiences with a certain dentist. Take some time to read through patient testimonies on websites like Yelp or Google Reviews and consider whether or not other people are happy with the dentistry.

6. Consider the dentist’s philosophy

Every dentist has a different approach to dental practices, so it’s important to consider what philosophies and techniques your potential dentist employs. Do they use up-to-date technology? Are they cost-conscious? What type of treatments do they specialize in? Knowing this information can help you decide whether or not their practice is right for you.

7. Ask about payment options and insurance

Dental care can be expensive, so make sure you understand your prospective dentist’s payment plans and insurance policies before settling on any one practice. Find out if your insurance will cover their services if they offer discounted prices for certain treatments, and how much you may need to pay out of pocket. 

8. Keep location in mind

Make sure you take into account the distance to the dentist’s office. If you have to travel a long way, it may be difficult for you to get appointments that work with your schedule. However, the closest one to home doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit. Find a good balance between convenience and quality.

9. Meet the staff

A good dentist isn’t just skilled; they should also be friendly and informative. Meeting with the team ahead of time is a great way to get an idea of what kind of people you’ll be dealing with. Make sure they are capable, courteous, and willing to answer all of your questions. 

10. Go for a visit

At this point, you’re hopefully down to just a few options. As part of your final decision-making process, it’s a good idea to pay their offices a visit to take a look around. While there, observe the following:

  • Does the office look neat and tidy?
  • Do surfaces, utensils, and seating appear to be clean and well-maintained?
  • Is the equipment up-to-date?
  • Does the staff seem friendly and helpful?
  • Are employees wearing the proper protective and sanitary gear?
  • Is there an area to keep children entertained?
  • Does the waiting room seem overly crowded?

Things to Avoid When Choosing a Dentist

When selecting a dentist, it’s important to know what to avoid as well. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:

  • Unnecessarily expensive treatments or products
  • A dentist who doesn’t take the time to explain procedures or answer questions
  • A lack of available appointment times
  • Prolonged wait times in the office
  • Inadequate information about fees and payment plans
  • A feeling that your concerns aren’t being heard or respected 


By following these tips, you can be confident that you’ve chosen the right dentist for your dental care needs. A quality dentist will provide safe and effective treatment while making sure your experience is comfortable and convenient.

At Salling and Tate Dentistry, we’re proud to offer quality dentistry services that are unique and customized to your needs. We are dedicated to providing our patients with the best possible care in a convenient location. To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment, contact us today by calling 910-256-9040! We look forward to seeing you soon!