August 28, 2012
Contact PDA: (717) 234-5941

How to Choose a Dentist

Your dentist is your oral health partner and selecting the right one for you is an important decision. With many options to consider, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) assists you in making an informed choice for a dental practitioner.

“You want a dentist with good rapport, who is empathetic and listens to your concerns,” said Dr. Tamara S. Brady, a PDA member dentist in Exton. “Your dentist also needs to be able to explain complex details in a simplified, easy to understand way so the patients fully understand their problems and treatments.”

To help you make a decision, PDA offers a few qualities to consider:

  • Your dentist is comfortable treating children if you plan on keeping your whole family with one provider.
  • You are able to contact someone from the office after hours in case of an emergency.
  • Practice location and hours must be convenient for you and your family.
  • Preventive care is a top priority.
  • The dental office should be clean and organized. All personnel must follow approved OSHA standards.
  • You should be able to review your medical record, including X-rays, at any time with the dentist or a member of the dental team.

PDA suggests asking family, friends, neighbors and coworkers for recommendations and encourages you to learn about their experiences with their current dentist.

“You need to find a dentist you are comfortable with, not one your insurance chooses,” Dr. Brady said. “A non HMO plan allows you to still pick any provider, but you will have a larger co-pay than using in network. A good dental office will work with your insurance even if they are not in network with that plan. If you have large expenses outside your insurance coverage, is the office willing to work with you to afford having the treatments complete?”

Another aspect to consider is whether the dentist is a PDA member. Dentists who belong to PDA are part of an association whose mission is to serve the public, improve their health and provide the best possible care.

“An educated dentist will be up to date on materials and offer the most current clinical treatments,” Dr. Brady said. “Dentists must evolve their clinical skills and use modern treatment protocols and not just stick to traditional therapies.”

Search for a PDA member dentist now. You can search by city, county, zip code and dental specialty to easily locate a member in your area and view details about his or her practice. This tool is a valuable resource, offering you a way to find a highly reputable dentist.

About the Pennsylvania Dental Association

Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. Learn more about PDA.