There are many factors to consider when finding the right dentist for your needs.
1. The dentist's qualifications and specialties
Dentists differ in their qualifications and expertise. Not every dentist is alike. Some dentists specialize in certain areas of dentistry, such as cosmetic dentistry or root canal treatment. Others are generalists and do not focus on any particular area of dentistry.
If you require cosmetic dental treatments such as veneers or crowns, make sure that the dentist has completed the relevant courses or certificates in these areas. For complicated procedures such as implant dentistry, check that the dentist has done more than just a weekend course on this subject.
2. The dentist's location
You need to find a balance between a dentist nearby in your area, and the right dentist for you. Do not simply settle for your local dentist down the road simply because it's convenient. Find a balance between the location and expertise of the dentist.
3. Equipment and lab
Does your dentist have the latest equipment, or does much of the work get sent off to a lab. While there is nothing wrong with lab work, and often it is the only option for most dentists, it is often faster and more efficient to have the dentist do the work in house.
4. Professionalism of the dentist
Although this may seem obvious, it is not to many patients. Some dentists are more professional than others. If your dentist talks on the phone to his friends while performing a procedure, or keeps leaving the surgery to attend to other matters, he is not appreciating you with the respect that you deserve. You are paying money for a professional service, and you have a right to it. Find another dentist unless you are treated properly.
5. Professionalism of the staff
If the receptionist does not return your calls, is sloppy with appointments, and does not follow up, or if the staff at the practice are not friendly, either you should be looking for a better solution to your needs.
6. Solutions to your needs
Many dentists who specialize in one particular area of dentistry, such as implant dentists, are only able to see solutions to your dental problems based on their area of specialization. If the only tool someone has a hammer, then all problems seem like nails. Shop around, and get a second or third third opinion, if you feel that there may be other or better solutions to your dental problems.