How to Find the Best Dentist for You

1. Find a Dentist

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2. Choose a Dentist

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3. Contact a Dentist

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The best way to know if a dentist is right for you is to do some quick research. It’s a good idea to ask family and friends for a referral. Whether you have a referral or not, it is recommended to look the dentist up online. On DDSLocator, you can search by location, specialty and services provided. Be sure to view the dentist profile where you can learn about the dentist in more detail and browse reviews from other patients. Once you have found a dentist or two that look like a good fit, use the contact form to ask additional questions or request an appointment. At the initial consultation, observe how the dentist and staff communicate, if the facility is clean and organized, and if they are transparent with the costs associated with your treatment plan to help make your final decision.

How do I find the best dentist for me?

  • Make sure the dental practice is near home or work
  • Check the office hours to make sure they fit your schedule
  • Review the services provided to make sure they meet your needs
  • Look at reviews from other patients
  • Verify that they have a proper infection control policy in place
  • Confirm if the practice accepts your insurance plan
  • See if the practice has financing options
  • Ask if they discuss treatment plans up front and give clear cost estimates
  • Explore the dentist’s schooling, association memberships and specialty
  • View images of the location to feel comfortable with the facility
  • Consider if the latest technology is available and important to you
  • Observe how the office communicates and if it fits your lifestyle

What is the difference between a DDS and DMD?

All practicing general dentists have earned either a DDS or DMD degree (doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine, respectively). There is no difference between the two degrees or the curriculum requirements that dentists must meet. Some schools simply award the one degree, while others award the other.

What are some common dental specialties?

Occasionally, your primary care dentist may refer you to a specialist. Below are some common dental specialities:

General Dentist

A primary care dental provider that diagnoses, treats, and manages your overall oral health care needs.

Pediatric Dentist

A primary care dental provider specializing in managing the overall oral health care of children, from infancy through the teenage years.

Cosmetic Dentist

A dentist that cares for your overall oral health and specializes in esthetic smile design, perfecting the smile with a variety of cosmetic restorative techniques.


A dentist that specializes in correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite, and jaws, including crooked, crowded and misaligned teeth.


A dentist that specializes in the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues, commonly performing root canal therapy.


A dentist that specializes in the restoration and replacement of broken teeth with crowns, bridges, removable prosthetics (dentures) and implant restorations.


A dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants

Oral Surgeon

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon focuses on reconstructive surgery of the face, facial trauma surgery, the oral cavity, head and neck, mouth, and jaws, as well as facial cosmetic surgery.


A primary healthcare professional who works independently of or alongside dentists to provide full oral health care, including teeth cleaning and the prevention and treatment of many oral diseases.

Find a Dentist with DDSLocator

Choosing a dentist is a personal decision and we encourage you to consult with several dentists to find a practice that meets the needs of your unique oral health situation. View our growing directory of select dentists that may be in your area.

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