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Time for a new dentist
Old 07-23-2013, 05:31 PM   #1
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Time for a new dentist

We have been seeing the same dentist for over 20 years (over 30 years in DW's case). Very satisfied with him -- the guy really knows his stuff, and will go to heroic measures to save a tooth. He will also fit you in when an emergency happens.

Now his son has joined the practice, and will eventually take it over completely when dad retires (probably in the next few years). The son seems to also be a good dentist, and no complaints there, either.

The problem is that due to a couple of moves (ours, not his), his office became kind of a stretch for us to get to. We were willing to stay with him, though.

Now they are moving the practice to a location which is a lot farther away from us. Pretty close to an hour's drive with no traffic.

I've decided that this is reason enough to find a new dentist. But I have no clue how to find a good one. Is there any way, other than asking friends, to narrow the field?
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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Angies List covers dentists, that might be worth a try.
Asking friends might be your best bet.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:50 PM   #3
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Yelp carries a lot of reviews for dentists. You also should check your state for disciplinary actions.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Angies List covers dentists, that might be worth a try.
Asking friends might be your best bet.
Yep Ditto that
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:06 PM   #5
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Explain your situation, and ask him for a recommendation. Your dentist has a dentist...
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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I second the advice to ask friends. Or you could ask your neighbors - it's likely they don't drive too far to their dentists. Good luck - I am very picky about dentists and fortunately have a good one - who was recommended to me by my old boss, actually!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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We are using a local "training" dentist.....keeps the cost down quite a bit, especially since we don't officially make that much money in retirement.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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DW and I were recently in the same situation. Our dentist of over 20 years was not in our Megacorp retiree dental insurance network. For 2013 they increased the differential beween network and non-network payments. I was mulling over whether we should find a network dentist.

So, I went in for my normal six months appointment, I waited for over an hour. My dentist walked through the waiting room a couple of times and did not acknowledge me. My hygienist came into the waiting room and called in a patient who had arrived after me. The patient said she was early for her appointment. I just got up and left the office. This was the first time I had received that sort of treatment.

Talked to DW. She said they had been putting the hard-sell on her about some expensive cosmetic treatments.

Now, we are going to the closest network dental clinic. So far, so good. If they don't pan out, we will go to the next closest network dentist. It appears that most of the local dentists are in the network. I used Angie's List, but, unfortunately, it is of very limited value around here.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of Angie's List, but I took a look there. All the recommended dentists in my area are the very high end, cosmetic dentistry specialist type. I have no interest in that, just looking for a good regular dentist. This is the second or third time I've been disappointed with Angie's List results, and I've only been a member for less than a year!
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:00 AM   #10
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Explain your situation, and ask him for a recommendation. Your dentist has a dentist...
+1
Asking for a recommendation would be my first choice. As a retired dentist, I always knew whose practice philosophy most closely mimicked mine.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:02 AM   #11
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Thanks for the advice. I hadn't thought of Angie's List, but I took a look there. All the recommended dentists in my area are the very high end, cosmetic dentistry specialist type. I have no interest in that, just looking for a good regular dentist. This is the second or third time I've been disappointed with Angie's List results, and I've only been a member for less than a year!
I always found these sites to be pretty much worthless.
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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Angie's List is better for home repair, in a major metro area can have thousands of reviews in a common category. They are just starting with reviews of medical service providers and don't have nearly as much feedback. Here's a site that has many more reviews of dental practices and service providers. DR.Oogle: Dentist Reviews. Best Dentist: San Francisco, CA.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:38 PM   #13
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I was in that predicament (well, dentist was ~20-25 minutes away on the other side of town) and I switched to a local guy that is a few minutes away. It's scary giving up on someone who you trust and rely on for something as delicate as the teeth that you eat with every day (and you only get 1 permanent set!). Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:20 PM   #14
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You can use online reviews as a tool for finding providers but I don't know how useful unless they get a lot of scathing reviews. You would have to know the poster to gain value from the response. How many stars would you give The Hampton Inn vs. The Ritz Carlton? I'd give the HI 5 stars and the RC 1 or 2. Too expensive, too many stories, lack of parking without a valet and too many freakin people asking me how I am. lol
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:30 PM   #15
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If you have been seeing the dentist for 20 / 30 years, chances are good that he has referred you to a specialist at sometime (endodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon, etc). If so, call that specialist and ask for a referral - the specialists know the better dentists and would be happy to help a 'former' and maybe 'potential' patient.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:43 PM   #16
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If you have been seeing the dentist for 20 / 30 years, chances are good that he has referred you to a specialist
That's a great idea, but no, I haven't needed any specialist work in all that time.

I'll just rely on friends and acquaintances. Thought there might be a source I'd missed, but it doesn't look like it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:29 PM   #17
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That's a great idea, but no, I haven't needed any specialist work in all that time.

I'll just rely on friends and acquaintances. Thought there might be a source I'd missed, but it doesn't look like it.
Then I would ask one of your physicians for a referral. Physicians refer to other docs all the time, and they all have their own dentist who comes somewhat 'pre-qualified.'
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