'Go to the Dentist' or 'See a Dentist'

The expressions “go to the dentist”, “see a dentist”, and “visit a dentist” are often interchangeable and commonly used in everyday English.

The expressions “go to the dentist”, “see a dentist”, and “visit a dentist” are often interchangeable and commonly used in everyday English.

You should see a dentist on a more regular basis.

Note that we always use an article (a/the) or another determiner (this, that, my, your, etc.) before "dentist".

I need to go to the dentist.

Children should visit a dentist for a checkup twice a year.

1. ‘Go to the Dentist’ vs. ‘See a Dentist’

When seeing a dental health professional, we commonly use the expression “go to the dentist” or “see a dentist”.

She went to the dentist after school.

I’ve got to see a dentist tomorrow.

When attending our usual dentist or having a dental appointment, we normally use the expression “go to the dentist”.

I go to the dentist every six months for a checkup.

This expression contains the article “the” even if the dentist has not been identified.

I hate going to the dentist.

The phrase “see a dentist” is usually more generic (less precise).

You should see a dentist to prevent oral health problems.

Seeing a dentist is not a pleasant experience.

But you can use other determiners, such as “my”, “your”, “her”, “the”, “that”, etc., to identify the dentist you are talking about.

I need to see my dentist to remove all plaque from my teeth.

In more formal situations, we can use the terms “dental practitioner”, “dental health practitioner”, or “dental health professional”.

If you need more specialized care, your dentist can refer you to another dental health practitioner.

2. ‘Visit a Dentist’

We can also use the phrases “visit a dentist” and “visit the dentist”.

Visiting a dentist twice a year is a good rule of thumb for many people.

An ongoing toothache is considered an urgent sign that you should visit the dentist.

We can also say the noun phrase “a visit to the dentist”.

A visit to the dentist doesn't have to be something to dread.

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