Two dentists showing each other their DDS and DMD certificate


How to Find the Best Dentist Near Me

Written By : Generations of Smiles Writers

Reviewed By : Charles Rodgers, DDS

Published: Jan 30, 2023

In This Article
Finding a dentist in your community that will meet your oral health needs and is an all-around good fit for you and your family is important. Keeping regular appointments with your dentist is crucial to helping your mouth stay healthy. 
Before you begin your search, take time to think about what you are looking for in a dentist. For help narrowing down your needs, check out the following tips on how to find the perfect dentist for you. 

How to Find the Best Dentist Near Me?

The more comfortable you are with a dentist that you trust, the more likely you will keep your appointments, which is essential for your oral health. Finding a dentist is not as simple as picking the first one you come across. Factors like the services they offer, the acceptance of pediatric patients if you have children, your comfort level in the office, and affordability should be taken into consideration when searching for a dentist. 

What's the Best Time To Go To the Dentist?

For most adults and children, a visit to the dentist should take place either once or twice a year. Your teeth need routine attention from a dentist at regular intervals to monitor your teeth's health. The best time to see your dentist is now if it has been longer than a year since your last appointment. For children, the best time to start seeing a dentist is when they get their first tooth or when you notice two teeth are growing next to each other. 

Tips for Choosing a Dentist

Listen to recommendations, read reviews, and set up a consultation
When searching for the best dentist for you and your family, take time to think about what you are specifically looking for. Consider who will be seeing the dentist. You may just want a dentist for yourself. But if you have toddlers or teenagers or both, you will want a dentist who can accommodate all of the different age groups. A few tips for knowing how to find a good dentist are:
  • Ask family and friends for recommendations.
  • Post an inquiry on a community-based Facebook group for suggestions.
  • Search for highly recommended dentists to find local dentists in your area. 
  • Read dentist reviews once you have collected a handful of dentists with the potential to be a good fit.
  • Make an appointment for a consultation with a few dentists. You will be able to meet the dentist and the staff, see the waiting room and get a feel for the dental office's atmosphere without getting a teeth cleaning during the same visit.
  • Be sure to check if the dentist participates in your dental insurance plan so you can receive the maximum benefits.

How to Find a Good Dentist

While asking for personal recommendations from people you trust or searching for reviews online are the two of the best ways to find a good dentist in your area, knowing some questions to ask the dentist can be helpful so you can make your own assessment. At your consultation, questions to ask the dentist are:
  • Where did you receive your credentials to practice dentistry?
  • How long have you been practicing? 
  • Do you and your colleagues continue your education?
  • Do you use digital x-rays?
  • What would be a situation in which you would refer my care to a specialist? What's the Difference Between a DMD and DDS?

What's the Difference Between a DMD and DDS?

Two dentists showing their credentials to each other

When choosing a dentist, you may come across several dentists with different letters after the name. DMD stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry, while DDS is an acronym for Doctor of Dental Surgery. Although the titles differ, they both refer to the same qualifications to practice general dentistry. Following a four-year undergraduate degree, both the DMD and DDS are four-year programs with the same requirements. Some schools refer to their dentistry degrees as DDS, while others simply call them DMD. If you notice these letters while searching for a dentist, rest assured that both are well-qualified to treat you. 

After graduating with either a DMD or a DDS degree, a newly qualified general dentist can pursue a specialized certification in areas of orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, pediatric dentistry, or prosthodontics. A dentist with a DMD or DDS degree has knowledge of all of these specialty areas, so finding a qualified general dentist in your community covers all the essential areas of keeping your mouth healthy. 

If you need a dentist specializing in a particular area of dentistry, your trusted dentist can recommend who you should see, depending on your needs. An example of this is when wisdom teeth need to be pulled, which a general dentist is more than capable of doing. But if the tooth is impacted and requires sedation, the general dentist may not be set up for a more involved procedure and may recommend an oral surgeon they trust to remove your impacted wisdom teeth. 

Other Things To Consider

Be sure to consider the location of the dental office. Look for dental offices either near your home or near work or school. Many dental offices are not open during the late afternoon or evening hours, so having it conveniently located near a place you frequent will help you make all of your appointments. 
See what services the dental office offers. Take special note of what their emergency dental office hours are. One huge benefit of creating a relationship with a local dentist is if you need dental care after hours, you have someone to call. If you have children, make sure the office also sees pediatric patients. If you want to improve your smile, take the time to look through which cosmetic dentistry services are available. The best dental treatment is the one your either need or want to improve your smile. Make sure the dentist you are considering offers the dental treatment you are wanting. 
Take note of how easily you communicate with the dentist during a consultation. The communication style of a professional is important so that you know what is going on. But in a dental appointment, your ability to communicate with the dentist is also crucial, so they know how to help you best. You want to be able to speak freely about any issues you are having in your mouth. A dentist that puts you at ease will not only give you a more pleasant experience at your dental appointment, but you will also feel more comfortable informing the dentist of any concerns you may have about your teeth. 

Finding a Dentist Near You

Choosing a dentist often depends on your comfort level and the services provided. Sifting through possible dentists based on online reviews and word of mouth is a great way to narrow down your search, leaving you to check out the handful of offices with the most potential. Clear communication between you and the dentist will give your mouth the best chance of staying healthy. 

To find a list of dentists found locally near your home, Smile Generation’s Find a Dentist tool is a great way to quickly sift through reviews, locations, and other information about dentists. You will be able to see up-to-date reviews from patients who live in your community. Don’t give yourself any excuse to skip dental appointments because you don't feel comfortable speaking to your dentist. Find the best dentist near you that will ease your mind while giving your mouth the best oral health care possible.


Find your trusted, local dentist today!



"DDS and DMD." Mouth Healthy, 12 Dec. 2022,

Smile Generation blog articles are reviewed by a licensed dental professional before publishing. However, we present this information for educational purposes only with the intent to promote readers’ understanding of oral health and oral healthcare treatment options and technology. We do not intend for our blog content to substitute for professional dental care and clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment planning provided by a licensed dental professional. Smile Generation always recommends seeking the advice of a dentist, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional for a dental or medical condition or treatment. 

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