What to Look for in a Family Dentist
Choosing a family dentist can be tricky. After all, you have to go with someone both you, your kids, and other members of the family can trust. It is important that you find a dentist that specializes in different areas of dentistry, including pediatric dentistry. While it is always a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors, it also pays to talk to your doctor or pharmacist for referrals.
Choosing the right family dentist essentially boils down to two things — what the parents want and what the kids require. After all, apart from providing you with excellent dental care, you also want every single visit to be pleasant, and with a great dentist, every visit can be a positive experience. At best, both parents and kids will be well-informed and motivated to take better care of their teeth.
Here are some things you should consider in choosing a family dentist:
- Look for a dentist with whom you can establish a great rapport with. This dentist should also be experienced as much as possible, as they are able to recognize potential problems right away and inform you of the best treatment options and prevent further damage.
- Choose a dentist that has worked with both adults and kids, including very young children. Checking if the dentist has a website and going through their online biography can give you a good idea about his or her experience. Of course, asking your friends, especially those with young children, for referrals is always a good idea. Read reviews and research for great dental practitioners within your community to help narrow down your choices.
- You should be comfortable talking to your dentist. After all, you want to be able to ask questions and air out concerns about everything from proper dental care to healthy snacks that will not damage yours or your children’s teeth. Consider every visit to your dentist as an opportunity to gain valuable insight about oral health and preventive care, on top of getting professional evaluation and care for your family’s teeth.
- Your dentist should be trained in pediatric dentistry. This area of dentistry requires additional training. A dentist that has extensive experience with children can take away a lot of the apprehension, especially since you don’t want your kids to grow up avoiding the dentist.
- Similarly, look for a dentist and dental hygienist who are gentle, patient, and kind. You may want to survey their offices for games and toys in the waiting room to help make your children become comfortable with every visit. Choose a dentist who is kind and will make your children feel encouraged and gain a positive attitude toward dental visits. You will want your children to look forward to visiting the dentist and caring for their teeth after. Dental appointments should never feel like punishment.
- Your dentist’s availability should also be a major factor in your decision. Your dentist should be able to schedule appointments within two weeks or earlier. Kids, teenagers, and adults alike should never have to wait for a checkup. Your dentist must also be able to see you within a few hours should emergencies arise, and not longer than a day or two. Regardless of how busy their dental office is, your dentist must be able to see you within two weeks.
- Check the dental office and make sure that it is comfortable. After all, you will be spending a lot of time in it on a regular basis, so you should be able to relax before and after your procedure. It’s nice if the office is equipped with comfortable furniture, current reading materials, an area where your children can play, and if possible, TV sets. The small details can symbolize how your dentist take great care in ensuring that patients are at ease and that your comfort and satisfaction are valued.
- Choose a dentist that is abreast with the latest dental technology and techniques. A dentist that uses the latest techniques and whose office is equipped with modern machines can provide better results. It also pays to seek one who is constantly improving his or her craft through continuing education, workshops, and conferences. Never settle for one who only offers the basics, because you might need procedures that may require advanced techniques, such as dental implants, porcelain veneers, and porcelain inlays, to name a few.
- Office hours and location should also be considered. You will want your dentist’s office to be accessible to and from your home and office.
- Ask plenty of questions before you schedule your first appointment to learn more about the dentist’s area of specialization, and what his or her approach is to preventive dentistry. Inquire about the type of anesthetic used. Know about his or her certifications so you will not worry about botched procedures. Get adequate information about payment plans and fees so that you will know ahead of time if you will be able to afford everything that may need to be done on you and the rest of your family. Asking about the dental office’s policy about missed appointments is also important so that misunderstandings in the future are avoided.
- Look for a family dentist that provides the services that are most pertinent to the needs of your family. Apart from general dental care, it is wise to look into whether or not the dentist you have in mind provides additional services, including sedation dentistry, orthodontics, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry, among others.
- Having a family dentist that is a member of professional dental organizations is always an advantage.
- Apart from asking how long the dentist you have in mind has been practicing, it is also a good idea to ask which procedures are most often performed on patients in that office. That way, you can get an idea if the dentist you are considering is skilled in the services you need.
Getting excellent oral care depends highly on a good family dentist, so it is imperative that you choose one very wisely.
Need reliable professionals to entrust your family’s dental health?
As the leading cause of bad breath is excessive bacteria buildup in your mouth, you can usually keep this at bay by practicing proper oral hygiene. But if your teeth have accumulated too much tartar over several months of neglect, it may be time to get professional help from Kyrene Family Dentistry. Call us today at 480-418-7894 or fill out our online form to schedule a teeth-cleaning service.