3 questions for finding a New York-area dentist

3 questions for finding a New York-area dentist

If you're seeking out a new dentist in the New York City tri-state area, good luck, the process can be daunting. Nearly 3,000 top-rated dentists can be found on Angie's List alone.

So, how can you speed up your search? Angie's List spoke with two highly rated dentists to get their best suggestions for how patients can find the best dental care provider to fit their needs.

What's your advice for a patient seeking a new dentist?

"Seek the recommendation from a source you trust," says Dr. Marylouise Howatt of highly rated Madison Dental Group in New York. "This could be a reliable source like Angie’s List or a personal recommendation from a friend. Every dentist has their own style and philosophy, so to establish the best relationship for the patient, these need to be considered."

Dr. Jay Schuster of highly rated Metro Dental Associates in Morristown, N.J. adds that potential patients can take the extra step of screening dentists' professional credentials. "Check with state dentistry boards about violations or problems before you go to a new dentist," he says. "You can also check organizations like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or the American Dental Association to see if the dentist is a member. The most important thing is checking their credentials."

Should patients ask for their X-rays or dental records?

"Dentists should never release the originals, but they can release copies," Schuster says.

"It's helpful when patients personally request their X-ray history to be sent to their new dentist in advance of their first appointment," Howatt says. "The request should come from the patient themselves, as they must consent to the transfer."

What's the key to a happy patient-dentist relationship?

"One of the keys is excellent communication by both parties," Howatt says. "Patients should be thoroughly advised of their treatment options, along with the pros and cons for each solution. The patient needs to be informed in a language they can understand so they can participate in their own treatment decisions."

Schuster agrees that communication is key. "Keep open lines of communication – tell them your needs and wants," he says. "Not every candidate is a candidate for every procedure. If you keep open lines of communication, you’ll be able to keep a long-lasting relationship."

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