Brushing and flossing alone are no substitute for regular checkups with a dentist.1 These checkups are essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But did you know regular checkups can also help prevent heart attacks, strokes and other medical conditions? While some people don't enjoy going to the dentist, you may come around if you follow these steps.

Brushing up on choosing a dentist

The key to a good patient/dentist relationship is finding a dentist you can trust with your oral health. So if you have moved and are looking for a new dentist, don't have one currently or just want to try out a different dentist, here are a few ways to find one:

  • Ask your friends, family or co-workers. Chances are one of them has a great dentist they can recommend.
  • Ask your doctor or a pharmacist. Members of the medical community often know one another.
  • If you are moving, ask your current dentist for a recommendation. They might know somebody in the town or area you are moving to.
  • Visit the American Dental Association (ADA) website, opens new window.

After you have a few recommendations for a new dentist, you may want to call or visit more than one of them. Again, your relationship with your dentist is very important, so make sure you are a good fit for one another.

Here are a few more things to consider when choosing a dentist:2

  • Do they take your dental insurance?
  • Do they have office hours that fit your schedule?
  • Do they have an office close to your home or workplace?
  • How do they approach preventive dentistry?
  • How do they handle after-hour emergencies?
  • How much do common procedures usually cost?
  • Do they have a missed-appointments policy?

It's OK to ask for estimates on some common procedures such as full-mouth X-rays, an oral exam, cleaning and filling a cavity.3

If you decide to visit a dentist's office, make sure you take note of the following:

  • Is their office clean, neat and orderly?
  • Does their equipment appear to be clean and up to date?
  • Did the dental staff answer your questions in a kind and courteous manner?
  • Do the dentist and staff wear gloves and protective gear?

Just like any other doctor, you owe it to yourself to spend a little time getting to know your new dentist. Choosing one may seem like an easy task. But remember, dental care is a very personal service and you want this relationship to last for years and years.4

Related articles


Individual and family dental insurance plans

From budget-friendly monthly premiums to low office-visit copays, Humana has a dental plan that is sure to fit your needs.

View plans and prices available in your area

Enroll by phone

Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Eastern time

1-855-202-4081 (TTY: 711)

Find a dentist

See if your dentist is in our network


  1. “The Importance of Regular Dental Visits,”Oral-B, last accessed September 21, 2021,
  2. “How to Choose a Dentist (in Four Steps),” MouthHealthy, last accessed September 21, 2021,
  3. “Your Top 9 Questions about Going to the Dentist—Answered!” MouthHealthy, last accessed September 21, 2021,
  4. “Doctor-Patient Relationship,” MouthHealthy, last accessed September 21, 2021,