Need a Raleigh Dentist? Consider This…

There are more than 250 Raleigh dentists licensed as general dentists, so it’s easy to be confused about which one is best for you. These are some things to consider, especially if it’s been a while since you last selected a dentist for yourself or your family.

What services will you need?

As you try to decide on a Raleigh dentist, you should be aware that some general dentists offer more services than others. Some general dentists now offer what is beginning to be known as comprehensive dentistry, although that term does not necessarily mean the same thing from one Raleigh dentist’s practice to the next. One Raleigh dentist offers this definition for the comprehensive dentistry services his practice provides.

By choosing a Raleigh comprehensive dentist, you may be able to receive most, if not all, services at the same location. When one Raleigh dentist – who is familiar with your complete dental history, goals, and concerns – can provide all the needed services, there are no records to be copied and transferred, and no additional offices to try to find. Two other types of dental services that aren’t available from all dentists are cosmetic dentistry and implant dentistry. Those are important services to consider in choosing a Raleigh dentist if you or a family member is interested in smile enhancement.

Similarly, if you or any member of your family experiences anxiety or may require extensive dental work, you may want to select a Raleigh dentist who offers sedation dentistry – there are a limited number of North Carolina Dental Board certified providers of sedation dentistry in Raleigh.

What qualifications does the dentist have?

The provision of comprehensive dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and implant dentistry services is not specifically addressed in the regulations of the NC Dental Board. (The NC Dental Board does, of course, have regulations that apply to general dentists and their licensure to practice within the state.) For this reason, it makes sense to spend some time evaluating the extent of your prospective Raleigh dentist’s training and experience.

Some of the services that fall under the broader service ranges (comprehensive dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry) are best delivered by those who have invested in additional training and who have extensive experience in delivering those services. Don’t be afraid to ask your prospective dentist about his or her training and experience in a specific service that is of interest to you or a family member. For certain products, such as Invisalign “invisible braces,” there are special designations awarded to dentists who have extensive experience using that system. (For Invisalign, you would want to look for a Raleigh dentist who has been designated a Preferred Provider.)

For assurance of good experience in delivering other types of dental services, one tip is to look for experience and tutelage that was gained in university settings – where the cases being managed are some of the most challenging and where leaders at the forefront of dentistry are providing the tutelage. You may also want to understand both where and when your prospective Raleigh dentist received his initial dental training. For example, a Raleigh dentist who is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill Dental School is a graduate of one of the most highly esteemed dental schools in the nation. (There are no official national rankings of dental schools, but UNC continues to be one of the top schools in various informal rankings.)

What insurance and payment plans are available?

If you have dental insurance, be sure to ask how your prospective Raleigh dentist will handle your insurance claims. Will the practice file the claim for you? Will you be required to pay the dentist up front and then be reimbursed later by the insurance company?  Are payment options available if your insurance coverage is limited, and the difference between the insurance coverage and the outstanding balance is significant?

Many cosmetic dentistry procedures are not covered by dental insurance plans. For that reason, when you talk to a prospective Raleigh dentist, you may also want to inquire about financing options that will be made available to you for your dental services.

[Additional information related to choosing a dentist anywhere in the U.S. is available from the American Dental Association at]