It is safe to assume that, at least in the United States, any licensed dentist can fix your teeth. That said, though, not all dental practices are right for everyone. Some are not familiar with the latest techniques, or do not have an approach that meshes with your style. Some specialize in specific patient groups that exclude some family members. Here is what you should look for when searching for a dental practice. 

Photograph of a dentists office with a chair, dental tools, and an x-ray in the background.

Education and Advanced Training

Where did the dentists in the practice attend dental school, and when? Do they have any post-graduate certifications? Are there oral surgeons, dental implant specialists, or other specializations on staff? Does the practice have experience with geriatrics, pediatrics, patients with special needs, or other targeted populations?

Overall Approach

Every dental practice has its own approach to dental care, and it is important to find one that works for you. Do you prefer for the dentist to tell you what to do, or do you like a collaborative style? Are you interested in cutting-edge new treatments, or do you prefer the tried and true? Picture the way you would want a serious oral health issue handled, and then choose a dental practice that aligns with that view.


Even if you genuinely like the dental practice, it may not be the best choice for you. Do the office hours work with your schedule? Is the office conveniently located? Does the practice accept your insurance? What is the missed appointment policy? Is financing available? If anyone in your family is a nervous patient or has special needs, be sure to ask about specific accommodations for those needs as well.

Cost Considerations

While you should not shop solely on price, the dental practice should be reasonably competitive in your local area. If you know you need a specific procedure, call around for a few quotes. If not, then ask for fees on common procedures such as a routine cleaning or filling. You will not get a firm price over the phone, but ballpark figures are reliable enough for comparison shopping.

Office Environment

Visit your top few choices in person without making an appointment. Note the cleanliness and overall feel of the lobby. Is everything tidy? Do you feel comfortable and welcome? How are you treated as a visitor, and does staff seem open to answering questions?

Personal Connection

The only way to definitively choose the right practice for your family is to make an appointment with your favorite. Consider this a final interview, not a commitment. Spend the appointment time getting to know the dentists and staff and decide whether you click. If you don’t feel comfortable, it is fine to simply move on to the next dental practice on your list.

At Family Dental Care of Bellevue, we are committed to providing quality dental care to our patients and their families. We are proud to have been voted one of the best dental offices in Washington State. If you are ready to take the first steps toward improving your dental health, we invite you to call 425-643-5778 today to make an appointment for your initial consultation.

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