Let’s be honest, changing dentists is a huge deal -- you’ve got to trust the person who’s got their hands in your mouth, and that trust is built over time.

As a result of this relationship with the dentist, people can be really loathe to change -- the process of checking out multiple dentists lies somewhere between finding a new hairdresser and looking for a romantic commitment.

But sometimes, it’s simply time for you to start that process and find new hands to put your mouth in.

Dentist Underperforms or Doesn’t Have the Time

To be honest, this is very, very rare¸ but it does happen and I’m sure it’s the first reason that occurred to many of you. Maybe you find that their hands just aren’t as steady as they used to be and that’s becoming a problem for you, or maybe they’ve taken on so many new patients that you find yourself with less of their attention and a lower quality of care.

Obviously, this is a good reason to make a change, but more likely you’re going to encounter one of the following...

Practices Change Hands

If you’ve lived in the same place long enough, you’ve probably run into a point where your family doctor isn’t your family doctor anymore -- staff will change over time, doctors and dentists may relocate or sell their practices, and you may find that you’re not as comfortable in these new hands. It’s absolutely ok to be that picky, and now is as good a time as any to exercise a little discretion in selecting your next dentist.

Age, Specialty Needs and Relocation

As you age and your needs change, you might find that you need an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist instead of, or in addition to, your general dentist. 

But far more commonly, what you find is that you’re starting to drive further and further to see the same dentist as you move further and further away from them. At some point, it will simply be time to ask them to recommend you to a local dentist. For me, there’s really nothing that can justify spending more than 45 minutes in a car.

OK, but How Do You Find a New Dentist?

Use the Internet
With the help of sites like Yelp, Angie's List, and Google Reviews, you can quickly get a feel for how people feel about a given dentist. Don’t forget Facebook and LinkedIn. Many people leave feedback about their dentists on social media platforms like these.

Ask for Recommendations from Your Dentist
Like we said, it’s actually pretty uncommon that you’ll be looking for a new dentist because of bad experiences -- at some point you already shopped for your dentist and since then, you’ve probably only developed a good relationship with them, If you’ve trusted them long enough that you don’t want to leave them, that makes them the perfect person to get a recommendation from for a new dentist. Doctors and dentists have professional circles to draw on for just this reason, and they may well know the perfect dentist in a location you’re considering moving to.