If you think all dentists are the same guess again—one dentist can vary widely from another. Many people will choose a dentist without really considering several important factors. As you search for a family dentist, make sure you look into the following:

Cost

Ask your dentist about prices BEFORE you’ve made your decision. Obviously, if you have dental coverage this is less of an issue, but figure out how much you will be paying out of your pocket. Even if you are insured deductibles and co-pays may place some of the financial burdens on you. Call around and compare the prices you find.

Experience

This is a big one. I once had a dentist pull out the wrong tooth! Make sure you can be confident in the skill of whoever you choose. If your not comfortable with a dentist’s ability you’re wasting your time and money. Find out where your dentist went to school. Talk to former patients and ask their opinions. People are sometimes afraid to do this, but you can ask one dentist why they are better than the competition.

Trustworthiness

Some dentists are so eager to suggest work—often unnecessary work. You need to be able to trust your dentist. If things seem a little run down or maybe a little shady don’t ignore it! These are your teeth were talking about! Make sure the one working on them is scrupulous.

Friendliness of the Staff

You need to feel comfortable when you go to the dentist. Getting your teeth drilled out of your head can be traumatizing enough without having to deal with rude and uncaring employees. Find a place where you feel like you matter—like your a valued patient.

Proximity

Obviously this is an issue for everyone—no one wants a dentist too far away. This being the case, don’t let this become your only deciding factor—as many people foolishly do. Going a little bit out of the way to get quality dental care may be a worthwhile sacrifice.