You’d rather do just about anything else than sit with your mouth full of instruments while someone scrapes and pokes your teeth and gums. But it’s usually time well spent. Periodic professional dental care—along with regular brushing and flossing—is vital to good health, and is likely to prevent a good deal of suffering down the road.

If you’re in the market for a new dentist, we can help you find a good one. For general dentists, our Ratings Tables report patient reviews for dentists who received at least 10 ratings on our surveys of area consumers. For dental specialists, our Ratings Tables report patient reviews plus indicate which were recommended most often by other dentists in the area who we surveyed.

In the articles below, we review points to keep in mind when choosing a dentist, dental diseases and how they can be treated, and how best to care for your own teeth. We also discuss how to keep costs down. You’ll want to check prices: We found that some dentists charge more than twice as much as others for the same procedures. For general dentists, our price comparison scores will guide you toward low-cost providers. Fortunately, using a dentist with low fees doesn’t mean you have to forsake quality. We found that many of the dentists who receive high ratings on our surveys of patients also charge below-average fees.