Families moving to new homes have a lot of details to worry about. The process can be stressful and exciting, from changing addresses and getting children enrolled in new schools to determining which grocery store has the best food selection.

Unfortunately, with all that excitement, finding a new family dentist often gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Instead of waiting until everyone is overdue for a checkup and then choosing a clinic randomly, read on to learn what to look for in a dental practice. Finding a good dentist can be straightforward if families follow the advice below.

New Dentist, Old Insurance Coverage

One of the first things people should check when looking into new dentists is what insurance plans the clinic accepts. Without it, dental care can get expensive remarkably fast. Make sure the clinic accepts the family's insurance before scheduling the first appointment either by checking with the new dentist or calling the insurance company to find out which practices in the area are included in their network.

Understanding Available Services

Some families just need a family dentist that provides preventative care and essential treatments like filling cavities. Others have a more diverse set of requirements. While any accredited dentist can generally be trusted with performing routine check-ups and procedures, some types of dental work require more specialized help. Examples include the following.

Orthodontic Care

Orthodontists are specialized dentists who treat tooth and jaw irregularities that affect the position of teeth in the mouth. Orthodontic care will be necessary whenever someone in the family has a bite problem, jaw misalignment, tooth crowding, or very crooked teeth.

Sedation Dentistry
People with dental phobias often opt for sedation dentistry. Both oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide are good options for managing severe dental anxiety and phobias, but only some clinics offer these services.

Cosmetic Services

Some dentists are focused exclusively on providing preventative and primary restorative care. Others go a step beyond to learn how to perform cosmetic procedures that affect the appearance of a patient's smile. For people whose goal is to have the perfect smile, a dentist with experience performing dental bonding, veneer placement, and teeth whitening is a must.

What to Expect During the First Appointment

Most people can find good dentists offering the full range of services their families require without having to shop around too much. That said, there's only one way to ensure the practice will be a good fit after that first appointment. Here's what new patients should expect.
  • Reasonable wait times.
  • Good infection control practices.
  • A discussion of the patient's medical and dental history.
  • A complete exam is performed by a licensed dentist.
  • A professional cleaning that takes no less than 15 minutes.
  • Plenty of time to ask questions.
  • A new appointment is scheduled for three to six months out upon leaving.

What to Do About a Bad Dentist

Moving to a new town is one of many times a family may need to switch dental practices. Suppose patients notice any red flags at their current dentist, such as an inability to get appointments as required, rushing through appointments, or failing to provide necessary services. In that case, it's time to switch to a new practice.