The biggest fear, is the fear of the unknown. And your mouth is too precious to be treated in that fear and that too by some unknown hands. An alarming rise in dental problems has seen an exponential growth of dentists and dental practices. Traditionally  we have been choosing our doctors on the basis of reference, qualifications and experience.  Lately internet reviews, advertisements and convenience have also started influencing our choice.  I believe the following considerations should be paramount in a patient's mind while choosing a dentist or a dental practice   

MAIN DENTIST  of the practice should be accessible at all times. Today's  age of advanced medical science and technology frequently requires performance of dental treatments by specialists or experts. It is always a good feeling if your main dentist is part of the procedure or is close to you if some other specialist is treating. He knows your history, has worked on your mouth before, understands your fears and reactions and above all must have established a good rapport with you by now. Never feels nice to walk into a practice only to find new faces. 

GO FOR AT-LEAST 3 CONSULTATIONS especially if your dentist is advising an extraction of a tooth. Multiple consultations will prove inexpensive in the long run as it may  give you contrasting views of different doctors and enough time to make your decision.

APPOINTMENT based dentistry should be the norm of every practice. You should not be made to wait anxiously in the waiting room for prolonged periods. Nowadays dental treatments are predictable , both in results and time taken to perform . Your dentist should be able to plan properly .

STERILIZATION is an important but often overlooked aspect of dental care. Do not shy away from asking about the sterilization protocol of the clinic .

YOUR DENTIST should be able to explain the reason for a particular dental problem , various treatment options available, cost and sittings for the procedures . 

GOOD DENTAL PRACTICES  besides treating the problem, also focus on educating about the reasons for the problem and preventing the same in the future.

YOUR DENTAL RECORDS are your property and should be made available to you by your dentist, during or after the treatment.

TRUST YOUR DENTIST who , as any good doctor will try to give you the best treatment.