Looking for a dentist? Fire up your laptop for access to all the information you need to make an informed decision. Unlike the yellow pages ads of yore, which basically just provided you with the dentist’s name and address, dental office websites and dental and medical rating sites are rich, info-packed resources that can answer your questions in seconds – and give you a sense of whether or not a specific practice is right for you.
But just doing a Google search for dentists in your area isn’t enough. When you key in “Burlington dentist” or “dental clinic in Hamilton,” you’ll just get a long list of results that include every dentist in the area. And the top results aren’t necessarily the best ones – those sites have simply been optimized to appear at the top of the list when someone types in certain search terms.
So how do you narrow your search without spending hours on online research? Start by determining what you want in a dentist. Is it important to you that the office be close to your home or work? Add the neighbourhood to your search terms, or even the name of a specific street. Are you looking for someone who provides specific services? Add that in too. “Burlington dentist whitening” or “Hamilton sleep dentistry” will net you more accurate results.
Once you have a shorter list, it’s time to start your research. Choose five or ten offices and visit their websites. A few things to note when you’re surfing dental sites:
- Where are they located? Is it convenient for you and your family?
- What are their hours? Do you need extended or weekend hours to accommodate a busy schedule?
- What are their fees? How do they compare with other dentists? (You may need to call directly to get this information.)
- What type of practice do they have? Are they more focused on emergencies or are they more relationship based?
- What is their philosophy of care?
- What sort of “feel” does the website give you? Is it friendly? Professional? Accommodating of your needs and concerns?
Narrow your choice down to the one or two (or three) practices you’re going to call. But first, find out what other patients have to say about them by going to an unbiased rating site like www.ratemds.com. It’s a great way to see what people really think.
And finally, when you do call, remember this: unlike family doctors, who are often reluctant to take on new patients, many dentists are actively seeking your business. So it isn’t about calling them and saying “can I be your patient.” These days, more people are saying “I’d like to interview you to see if you could be my dentist.”
Use the online resources to empower yourself with information – and find the dentist that’s right for you.
If you have questions about this blog, about choosing a dentist, or anything else, please feel free to contact us anytime at 905 637-5463 (KIND) or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.