Finding a dentist for you and your family, that you can be comfortable with is important. We’ve rounded up the top five things that you should look for in a family dentist. The most important thing in finding a dentist is to make sure that the dentist has the proper skills and training. Most dentist’s display their degree in their office. If this is not the case, then you can always ask to see their credentials, also your state may have a searchable database online.

The next top to ensuring that this new dentist is a family dentist you should make sure the dentist works with adults and children of different age groups. The dentist should have experience working with children, and have a patient and kind demeanor.

The next tip for finding a family dentist is make sure their office hours fit your schedule. No one wants to have to call off work or keep their kids home from school just because their dentist doesn’t have office hours that fit their schedule. Find a dentist that offers some days of extended office hours, some dentists even have Saturday hours! For families with more than one child, see if the dentist is willing to set appointments for children at the same time. This really makes it easier on the parent, because they can bring two or three children to one appointment, instead of having to feel like they are at the dentist all the time.

Another tip for finding a family dentist, is how does your dentist handle emergency appointments? We have all been there, your tooth pain is shooting up the side of your face, and you have to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Are you able to call your dentist and have them fit you in on the same day? Or are you able to show up as a walk in? Finding out how they handle dental emergencies, is important when choosing a new family dentist. Appointments in general should be easy to set, whether you are calling on the phone, or setting a follow up appointment in person after you are seen. Ask the staff if they can call and remind you about the appointment, most medical offices do this anyway, but since you are a new patient it doesn’t hurt to make sure.

Finally, make sure that the office environment, including the set up, decor and office staff are inviting and make you feel comfortable. You should feel at ease, remember you are the customer, and it is their job to serve you. Another thing to make sure is that the office staff, including secretaries, dental assistants and dental hygienists, are patient and calm with children. You will be able to feel everything out the first visit. We also recommend an office set up with individual private rooms. Some dentist offices have a bunch of chairs set up in one big open room, this is not conducive with patient privacy, and also the dentist will be jumping back and forth between patients, which may help save his time, but is not a way to make each patient feel like he or she is taking the proper time with each patient.