5 Things to Consider when Finding a New Dentist

finding new dentist

finding new dentistServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

On occasion, people may find themselves looking for a new dentist; perhaps after a recent move, for example, or when a previous dentist has retired. The search can be overwhelming. Is the new dentist good? Reasonably priced? Can a new dentist offer the latest in medical care and be the right fit for the prospective patient’s lifestyle? These are all things that must be evaluated.

Of course, one option is to leave the matter to chance, pick a dentist at random, and hope for the best. For those who are reluctant to go this route, however, a few things can be considered before selecting a new dentist. What are some of these?


For most people, “price is no object” is not a stance they can take about many things, including dental care. Obviously, “cheap” should not be preferred to “quality,” but anything that can save money while not lowering the standard of care is preferred.

One way to save money is to check to see if the potential new dentist accepts insurance. Although dental insurance is notorious for the many procedures it does not fully cover, it typically will cover routine checkups, tests, consultations, and procedures like fillings. Also, if there is a chance that pricey procedures may be in the future, it might be wise to check to see if the dentist offers payment plans.

Referrals and reviews

One way to find a dentist is to ask someone trustworthy who they see and what made him/her choose the dentist they did. Better still is to collect multiple referrals: a family member will be familiar with a patient’s situation (and will know if that patient is squeamish or requires certain accommodations to be comfortable) and will have one viewpoint, but someone like an attorney – who relies upon his or her ability to enunciate and upon his or her appearance – might provide another perspective. A physician can also provide excellent advice as a fellow healthcare professional.

It might be profitable to look online for reviews, with the understanding that those who are most dissatisfied tend to be the most motivated to leave negative comments. On the other hand, testimonials on a dentist’s own website will likely tend to be more positive, so a balance must be found.

Specializations and services

Many dentist offices have certain procedures for which they would rather refer patients to other specialists, so it is worthwhile to investigate what services a potential dentist offers in-house. Often dentists advertise what those services are on their websites and will often mention the specialized training they have undertaken and – in certain cases – whether they use the latest in dental technology. On the other hand, there might be some services that they offer but omit from their websites, so a conversation with the office might be the best way to get specifics. It may also be wise to ask the office if there are certain patients they typically will not see, such as children; parents may find that they might also need to select a pediatric dentist for kids in addition to one for themselves.


Many dentists understand that keeping hours that correspond exactly to a regular workday will be inconvenient for patients since it will require them to take a day off work. It is therefore in a prospective patient’s best interest to see what hours the office is open. Longer wait times can add to time missed from work and can wreak havoc on a person’s nerves if that person has anxiety about dentists, as many people do.

Furthermore, life has a way of intruding on one’s plans, making it necessary at times to skip a dental appointment. Therefore, it’s beneficial to see what the policy on missed appointments is. While no one plans for an accident, it would be sensible to see what the office’s after-hours policy is and whether resources are provided in the case of a dental emergency.

Waiting room

There is a significant chance that a good amount of time at the dentist’s office will be spent in the waiting room. An uncomfortable waiting room can make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a major headache. This is even more true for a pediatric dentist, with children becoming increasingly more difficult due to discomfort or boredom. Ideally, a waiting room will be at a decent temperature with comfortable furniture, reading material or a television, available WiFi, and electrical outlets accessible to adults (for charging devices).

For people in the Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin area, Tusculum Dental Care has been providing a wide range of dental services since 1998. To find out more or to make an appointment, use the form on the website or call (423) 639-7575.