In the old days (like 15 years ago), when we needed help from a professional, we didn’t have many options. You could ask friends for recommendations (still a decent strategy), or use the yellow pages. But if you wanted to find out more about a specific practice? Good luck with that. Aside from going to the office and checking it out, you basically had zero options.
Well mercifully, those dark ages are over. Thanks to the worldwide web, we now have an embarrassment of information at our fingertips; we usually use it get into arguments with strangers and look at pictures of cats. But if you follow these tips, you can use the internet to help you find a great dentist.
- Start with the answer to all questions: Google
Come on, did you think we’d start with Bing? Besides the fact Google is still the search king, it’s also fabulous with local search. A few years ago, Google decided to prioritize local search results; perhaps in a final effort to kill the yellow pages. You don’t see a lot of people using phonebooks these days…
All you have to do is add a city and state to your search terms, and you will be provided with local results right at the top of the page. Additionally, you’ll get contact information and an address, as well as a Google map listing. And if you have an Android phone, you can send the directions and information right to your smartphone. That’s a little reminiscent of “Big Brother,” but it is very cool and convenient.
- Now what?
Use whatever criteria you deem appropriate to select a few names. Some possibilities? Distance, location, online reviews, age of practice. You could also look for individual websites or Facebook pages for certain dentists. What should you be expecting? A clean, updated, professional webpage that befits a quality practice. An outdated or nonexistent website is a bad sign – especially in our tech-obsessed world.
- You should always meet a dentist first
That’s our final piece of advice. Once you’ve narrowed the search to a few candidates, drop in for an informal visit. Be upfront about why you’re there, and ask if you can meet the dentist. A quality practice will find a couple of minutes for the dentist to say hello, and you can use this opportunity to size them up. Is this somebody you’d like to provide dental care for you and your family? Do they seem professional, helpful and/or friendly?
This is a more personal stage, because not everyone wants the same things. So ensure the dentist feels right for you.