How to Choose a Dentist

How to Choose a Dentist

Just as you would choose any professional, understanding how to choose a dentist involves taking precautions to find the best fit for your needs — an experienced and friendly practitioner.

While a very busy dentist is likely to be good, and may be hard to get to see, you can find a great dentist who hasn’t been discovered yet.

Key Takeaways

  • A good dental office experience is critical, especially for those with dental anxiety. A relaxed and welcoming environment encourages communication and helps patients feel comfortable during treatments.
  • Choose a dentist who takes the time to understand your concerns, wants, and needs, and provides solutions that address your specific oral health requirements.
  • Consider the location of the dental office in relation to your home or workplace, and check if the office hours are convenient for your schedule.
  • Look for a dentist whose expertise aligns with the specific treatments or services you need, such as cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, or family dentistry.
  • Find a dentist who offers emergency services, providing peace of mind in case of unexpected dental issues.
  • Compare the costs of different dentists, but also consider the value and quality of the treatments. A dentist who coordinates with your insurance company can help reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Check online reviews and seek referrals from your previous dentist or trusted sources to gain insights into a dentist’s reputation and patient experiences.

Dental Office Experience

It may seem odd to worry about the dental office when looking for a professional to care for your teeth, but a good dental office experience is critical, especially if you have dental anxiety.

You should feel relaxed in the waiting area as well as during the dental treatment. Not only does it make your time there much more pleasant, but it means you’re more likely to feel comfortable enough to ask questions, and keep your dentist informed on any changes you have noticed in your dental health and other important details. This will help your dentist to guide you in maintaining a healthy smile. You’ll also feel more comfortable asking for anything you need, whether you would prefer sedation dentistry for a certain treatment or have any other special needs.

The entire dental practice team should welcome you, and put you at ease. They should make sure you know where you are going and what is happening, no matter how many patients they have around at the time. Whether the office personnel are helping coordinate your insurance coverage, the hygienist is performing your dental cleaning, or the dentist is performing a more complex dental treatment, you should be communicated to and made to feel comfortable. The right dentist will show you some special attention to get you comfortable, and have a team that contributes to this positive experience.

Communication for Better Oral Health

Communication for Better Oral Health

Find a dentist who takes time to talk to you and really understand your concerns and wants, and will find solutions that will really help you and address your needs. Also, find one that caters to your general dentistry needs. For example, if you have children, a general dentist that sees families is essential. If you have dentures, find one with a denturist on site.


Is your new dentist close to your home or place of work? It is important to consider your mode of transportation and the ease of accessibility for you to get to this office. If you use public transportation, make sure there’s a stop near the office and you can get there. If you drive, it is important to know if the parking situation is convenient and the office is easy to navigate to. 


The office schedule may seem unimportant, but if it is always difficult to find available times, or office hours don’t fit your life, it will be an ongoing issue. It is important to find a dental office that is willing to accommodate your schedule and help find appointments that are at your convenience.

Consider the Treatment You’re Looking For 

All dentists undergo comprehensive training, so you can expect a certain standard of dental care. Some, however, choose to focus on different types of dentistry or help different types of clients. Some have particular specialties that you may need. Whether you are more interested in cosmetic dentistry and Invisalign, investigating options for missing teeth like dental implants, or want a family dentist with a focus on prevention, search for one which matches your needs.

Emergency Service

Nobody expects a dental emergency, but they do happen. Being able to go to your regular dental clinic for emergency services when you need them is a great advantage that can give you peace of mind and make the emergency a little less stressful.


Dentists can charge different amounts, so compare costs. However, pricing alone does not fully account for how cost-effective a dentist can be.

It is difficult to exactly compare prices, as time is a major factor in how much a treatment will cost. A more experienced dentist may have a higher rate, but will be able to complete a procedure in less time. Plus, higher-quality work can result in restorations that last longer.

Bear in mind a treatment that is more expensive up front may be more cost-effective over the long term. A good dentist can coach you on these situations, and save you money over time.

Good dental offices also help coordinate with your insurance company. Many dentists can directly bill your insurance so you don’t have to go through the effort of paying and claiming. They can help you make the most of your insurance coverage, to reduce out-of-pocket payments, providing guidance on what procedures your insurance covers and what alternatives you have that are covered.

Reviews and Referrals

If you’re having to look for a new dentist because your old one is retiring or you are moving away, ask for a referral or reference. Your old dentist may be able to guide you to one that will provide the similar level of care that you have come to enjoy.

Do a little research online, too, and compare reviews for any dentists you are considering. This can give you a good idea of what you can expect.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What factors should I consider when choosing a dentist?
Choosing a dentist involves considering factors such as their experience, the office environment, their communication skills, location and accessibility of their office, availability of appointments, their area of specialty if you have specific treatment needs, their provision of emergency services, cost and whether they offer assistance with insurance coordination. Reading reviews and getting referrals can also be helpful.

2. Why is the dental office experience important?
A good dental office experience is critical especially for those with dental anxiety. A comfortable and welcoming environment can encourage you to ask questions and keep your dentist informed on any changes in your dental health. The right dentist will have a team that contributes to a positive experience, from coordinating your insurance to performing dental treatments.

3. What is the importance of a dentist’s communication skills?
A dentist who takes time to understand your concerns and needs will be better able to provide solutions that address these needs. Good communication also helps in making you feel comfortable and in ensuring that your general dentistry needs are met, whether you have children, dentures or other special needs.

4. How can the location of the dentist’s office affect my decision?
The dentist’s office should ideally be close to your home or place of work for ease of access. If you use public transportation, there should be a stop near the office. If you drive, you should consider the parking situation and whether the office is easy to navigate to.

5. How can I assess the cost-effectiveness of a dentist?
While it is good to compare costs, consider other factors like the dentist’s experience and the quality of their work. A more experienced dentist may charge more but complete a procedure in less time. Higher-quality work can result in restorations that last longer and may ultimately be more cost-effective. Good dental offices can also help you make the most of your insurance coverage, thereby reducing out-of-pocket payments. 

Welcoming New Patients in Erin Mills

Welcoming New Patients in Erin Mills


If you’re seeking a trusted dentist in Erin Mills, call Onyx Dental at (905) 567-4999 or visit 2555 Erin Centre Blvd Unit 12, Mississauga, ON L5M 5H1. We’re always welcoming new patients, promising exceptional dental care.



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