Technological gadgets and apps have changed the way we live, and they have certainly changed the ways we monitor our health. From recording our daily calorie intake and our step count, to new high-tech scans and sensors for diagnosis, there is more information available than ever to inform health care. Dentistry is no exception. New 3D dental x-ray and technology are changing the way dental professionals diagnose and treat dental problems.
So, you’ve taken all the appropriate measures to ensure your heart is healthy, but did you know having a healthy mouth can contribute to your healthy heart as well? So taking that trip to the family dentist is about more than just your teeth. Having unhealthy gums and teeth could potentially lead to heart disease.
A family dentist can provide dental care to your whole family. From kids to adults to senior adults, a family dentist is skilled in dental care for all ages. This can be a great convenience for your family because you can get everyone taken care of in the same place. How do you find the one that’s right for you? Here are 7 steps to finding a good family dentist in your area.
7 Steps to Finding the Right Family Dentist
- Make a list of the things you’re looking for in a family dentist. Your list may include things like affordability, the types of insurance accepted, flexible hours, range of treatments and specialties (an on-site oral surgeon is a big plus), handling of emergencies, education and the amount of time you have to wait for appointments. Then, use your list as a guide for assessing potential dentists.
- Call your dental insurance carrier and ask for a list of providers. Dental care will be cheaper if you choose one of their in-network providers since most insurance companies require a deductible and a co-payment for out-of-network providers.
- Look for a dentist that is near either your home or work place, or along a route you frequently travel, so that it’s convenient to get to.
- Ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers if they use a family dentist that they would recommend. You can also ask your primary care physician, who might know a good family dentist in the area.
- Take your list of referrals and eliminate any that are too far out-of-the-way, don’t accept your dental insurance, or are otherwise not a good match for your original wish list.
- Contact the dentists remaining on your list of referrals to see if they are a good match. Ask questions about everything on your list.
- Visit the dentist(s) you are considering to see how their office interacts with you and your family.
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If you are searching for a dentist, you might have come across many different kinds of practices. You may wonder, “What is a family dentist?”, and what makes them different? Let’s first take a look at some of various types of dentists.
- Pediatric Dentist: a pediatric dentist is one who specializes in teeth from birth through adolescence, with at least two years of specialized training in that field.
- Orthodontist: these dentists specialize in alignment issues of the teeth, also with two years of specialized training.
- Endodontist: this is a dentist that specializes in treating issues that involve the dental pulp and surrounding tissues.
- Oral Surgeon: an oral surgeon is a dentist with at least three years of specialized training in dealing with injuries to the mouth and surrounding area, and also have specialized training in anesthesia.
Most of these dentists specialize in a certain areas of oral health, and you may need a referral to one at some point in your life. A family dentist, however, can provide you and your entire family with most of the regular dental services you need. Sometimes a family dental practice will also have an Orthodontist or an Oral Surgeon on site, so that you can take advantage of their specialized skills without having to go to another practice.
What is a family dentist?
Family dentists are able to treat you and your whole family, having a depth of knowledge about dental health for young children, adolescents and adults, and later stages of life. They are often times located centrally in your own neighborhood or city, so traveling to them is convenient. Sometimes it can be nice having one dental practice that can treat your whole family.
Some of their services include:
- Regular cleanings and deep cleanings
- Fluoride treatments
- General checkups
- Simple extractions
Seeing a family dentist regularly can significantly lower the probability that you will ever need a specialized dental procedure. Not only do their regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups keep the teeth in top shape, they can show you the best methods to use at home so that your mouth stays healthy all through your life.
On the other hand, a family dentist is also able to spot real trouble – such as the need for a root canal or extraction of wisdom teeth – long before they start to cause real trouble or pain. They can then help you take the appropriate steps to treat the problem, before it becomes a bigger and more costly issue.