With dental care being a key barometer for your overall health, it is critical to know how to find the best dentist in Houston. These professionals will become partners in overseeing your dental care, which depending on the state of it, could also affect other aspects of your health. Patients owe it to themselves to find not only a licensed dentist, but the best dentist in Houston. The future of their dental health depends on it.
How to Find the Best Dentist in Houston
Whether you are new to the city or are changing providers, how to find the best dentist in Houston can feel like a daunting task. The solution is to break the search up into manageable steps that will eventually help narrow the field.
The best place to start can be identifying dentists in Houston that have an outstanding reputation. This information may come from word of mouth from friends and family, a listing in a publication, or even online reviews. Recommendations that come from current or past patients can be some of the most helpful in finding a provider that is both trusted and well-liked.
It may also be helpful to read any media coverage about the dentist. Look to see if any local lifestyle magazines or news organizations have interviewed a potential dentist on your list about their practice and/or contribution to the community. Such pieces can also aid in understanding more about a dentist’s professionalism and personality.
These two areas are great places to start, but stopping here would be a mistake because part of what makes a dentist the best are the little things that make them the ideal choice for you.
What to Look for in a Dentist
Once you have a list of prospective dentists that you have gathered based on reputation and reviews, there are still some other considerations that can make all the difference in shortening the list of dentists that may be best for you:
- License – This is a must. Be sure that a contender has a valid license. The provider should be willing to openly share this information. Many even hang their diplomas and career related accomplishments throughout the office for patients to easily see.
- Location – To make a trip to the dentist convenient, it is best to choose a dentist’s office that is close to either your work or home. Being able to get to the dentist within a few minutes can make all the difference when it is during a lunch break from work or you only have an hour until it is time to pick up the kids from school.
- Business Hours – Speaking of going to the dentist during your lunch hour, it is important to verify the provider’s regular business hours- specifically if they close during lunch. If you would prefer morning appointments before school or work, verify that the office opens early enough to accommodate that need. Should you wish to squeeze in an appointment after school, ensure that the office is open late enough to do that. Without the right business hours to fit your schedule, even a great dentist may not be the best fit.
- Emergency Hours – Most dental emergencies pay no attention to the day or time. For this reason, it is essential to know a dentist’s emergency hours and protocol. For example, will there be an answering service that takes your information and forwards it to the dentist for a return call? And if the dentist decides you need to be seen quickly, will they be willing to do so even on an evening or weekend? It’s important to know how emergencies are handled before deciding on a dentist.
- Personality – It is a good idea to vet the dentist as well as their staff. Choose a dentist whose office makes you feel welcome and that looks after the care of your teeth with commitment and dedication.
The Services a Dentist Should Provide
Not all dentists provide the same services. Some simply do x-rays, teeth cleaning and fillings, whereas others provide more specialized services.
Some of the essential services a dentist should provide include:
- General Dentistry – These services are typical in a regular dentist visit and can include an initial oral examination of the patient, x-rays, diagnoses, teeth cleanings, fillings, and treatment recommendations as they are warranted. These procedures can help a dentist evaluate the state of patient’s dental health, set a benchmark to compare future visits to, and treat normal tooth decay.
- Cosmetic Dentistry – These services go beyond the basics and can be dental solutions that solve a problem and/or provide an aesthetic benefit. Examples of cosmetic dentistry services can be professional teeth whitening, crown placements, veneers, tooth implants, dental prostheses, and even custom designed night guards. Cosmetic crowns and implants are often defined as aesthetic procedures because of the personalization that can be used for each when a lab matches a patient’s normal tooth color to the crown or implant for a more authentic look.
- Dentistry Technology – The world of technology is ever evolving, and that includes the technology used in modern dental practices. Look for a provider that believes in staying on the cutting edge of research and is dedicated to learning about changes within the industry. A dentist that uses modern technology should have access to diode lasers, diagnostic radiographs, intraoral cameras, and other available methods of screening such as nomad pro 2 and VELscope.
When determining to how to find the best dentist in Houston, it is worth it to do your homework first. Instead of randomly searching online for a dentist close to you, take the extra time to speak to others at work and in your community about dentists they use and like. Commit to protecting your oral health today and start the search for the best dentist in Houston for you.