How to Find a Dentist Fact Sheet

Choosing a dentist and taking care of your oral health is a personal decision. You want a dentist you can talk to, learn from and feel good about visiting. It is best not to wait until a toothache or another emergency hits. Find a dentist as soon as you move to a new area.

Here are some ideas on how to find a new dentist:

  • Recommendations Ask around. Friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbours, other group members, your physician or your pharmacist may be able to help.
  • Referral See if your current dentist can suggest someone in your new area.
  • Professional listings Contact your provincial or territorial regulatory authority or dental association. Many association websites have a dentist locator or dentist directory.

Good oral health care requires a good relationship between you, your dentist, and the dental team. You may want to call or visit more than one dental practice before making your final decision.

Things you may want to consider:

  • Is the location convenient?
  • How long does it usually take to get an appointment?
  • Do the office hours work well with your schedule?
  • What happens if you have an emergency or need after-hours care?
  • What payment options are available?
  • If you have children, will the dentist see them too?
  • Ask about any concerns you or your family may have, e.g., does the dentist have experience with special needs children, people with HIV/AIDS or people with diabetes?
  • If you're nervous about dental procedures, is the dentist comfortable working with that?