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How To Choose The Right Dentist For Your Family

how to choose a family dentistHere are some tips for how to choose the right dentist for the whole family. It can be tricky. But not impossible. Learn how to narrow down the search.

Your family’s teeth matter, and so does the dentist you choose to treat them. There are many reasons why you might choose a particular dentist for your family.

Perhaps you’ve been there before yourself, or you were sent there on a recommendation.

Regardless, it’s important to consider more than just one factor when choosing a family dentist, as you want your family’s teeth and overall oral health to be in good hands.

As you might know, I wrote a bestselling health and longevity book called Life is Long, Inside I share many research-based secrets to living longer, healthier younger.

In my research I discovered that maintaining good dental health can help you stay healthy overall – plus the opposite also is something to keep in mind. Bad dental hygiene can lead to a variety of health issues. So you want to make sure that you and your family are taking good care of your teeth.

When looking for a family dentist, you might be weighing issues like dental anxiety, accessibility, or demanding work and school schedules. At the same time, you’re also likely prioritizing costs, reputation, and finding a dentist who is experienced and properly qualified.

How To Choose The Right Dentist For Your Family

To make life easier for you, here is a list of some of the most important things to think about when it comes time for you to start your search. Let’s have a look over some of the key factors you’ll want to be thinking about when searching for the right dentist for your family.

1. Financing

choosing the right dentistA trip to the dentist for one person can be quite expensive, let alone the many trips needed by a whole family. That’s not too surprising, given that the average income of a general dentist in 2020 was estimated to be $164,010 a year, or  $78.85 per hour. 

Luckily, there are dental clinics out there that offer rebates, family discounts, or reasonable prices in general for their services. When looking for a family dentist, do the research and compare the rates you find to help nail down a few contenders. You can browse some information online. For instance, you can visit your prospective dentists’ websites and check how much they charge for their dental services. 

Keep in mind that price can also be an indicator of quality in some cases. You want the best for your family, and paying less might end up costing you more in the long run. Depending on what you need done, it also might be worth paying more than you usually would. This might not always be the case but it’s a good example of why doing your research is important. That way, you can rest knowing you can pay reasonable amount of money for a quality dental service. 

2. Trust

It’s very important to find someone who you can rely on and trust. You need to look for a dentist who is not only capable of working on adult teeth. You also need a dentist you can trust to work on your children’s teeth. Children are often scared to go to the dentist, so it’s beneficial to choose a dentist who your whole family can trust.

You can look up online whether a specific clinic or dentist has had any issues with patients in the past, has received complaints from their previous clients, or ask them directly about their career and experience in the dental industry. This experience is something you can share with your children, or anyone in your family who has a fear of the dentist. You can even bring your kids in to speak with the dentist beforehand to ask questions and get comfortable. Many good family dentists will be willing to help organize these kinds of meetings and establish trust among their patients even before any procedures or treatments are done. 

3. Flexibility

Catering to the needs of a whole family can sometimes complicate the hours and schedule of a dentist. There are those out there that offer helpful flexibility: they’re able to care for children after school, parents during regular hours, and they may even offer night time services for working adults.  Also, they should be available during emergencies.

For example, if your child is suffering from a severe toothache in the middle of the night, you probably need a flexible dentist who is available to treat the problem as soon as possible. 

Flexibility is not only about scheduling but can pertain to payment too, considering your needs and putting you first as the patient. Finding a flexible dentist is not impossible. After all, in 2020 there were roughly 201,117 working dentists. It just takes a little more time, effort, and research to find the right one for you and your family. 

4. Word of mouth

You’re probably more likely to trust a service or business if you’ve heard good feedback from people you know. Seek advice from your family and friends and find out who they go to or who they think is worth visiting. They may have worked with a good dentist before whom they can highly recommend for your family’s dental needs as well. 

You can also look for reviews online and in forums where people share their opinions and experiences. You will find a combo of good reviews and bad ones too. Soon you will be able to narrow down your search. After all, when people have great experiences, they usually want to share this information. And the same goes for bad ones.

Reviews can really make or break the credibility of a dental clinic. Especially a good review. Most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. So if you find a real, positive review that recommends a certain dentist over another, this is a great sign. If otherwise, don’t hesitate to walk away and consider another option. By doing so, you will be assured knowing you’ve chosen a reliable dentist for your family. 

5. Comprehensive services

Your family is going to have different dental needs, ranging from minor work such as fillings and cleanings, to major work such as teeth straightening solutions and dental implants. Not all dental clinics are the same, however, and not all of them offer comprehensive services. This is partially due to some dental practitioners not being trained in specific procedures or not having the right resources available. If there are certain services integral to your family dental care, you’ll want to make sure the clinic you’re looking into offers these services.

General dentistry services

You will need to explore general dentistry services such as cleaning, fillings, and regular check-ups. They’re usually offered in most clinics. For more serious or complex dental care, you might want to think about a full-service dental lab. Or you might even want to find a clinic that has multiple dental surgeons and technicians. You never know what your family might need, but as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Some clinics don’t offer dental care for children either, so make sure during your research you look for a clinic that offers full family dental care or has a pediatric dentist available. This could be the decisive factor in making your choice. By choosing a dental professional who provides comprehensive services, you can sleep at night knowing an expert handles your family’s dental needs. Moreover, it will save you more time and avoid multiple trips to various dental locations.

6. Qualifications

Choose The Right Dentist For Your FamilyIt should go without saying that you need to look into the qualifications and certifications of your family dentist. You can look into a dentist’s credentials to make sure they are a qualified practitioner who graduated from an accredited dental program.

It’s also crucial to find out if these qualifications are backed by real experience, since it’s this experience that will provide you and your family with quality dental care.

You might find a dentist that has a qualification from the best dental school in the country, but if they have little to no experience, they might not be the family dentist for you.

Experience is critical, especially for pediatric dentistry.

These dentists should have undergone an internship program that would have taught them how to better manage children with different types of personalities. This way, parents are assured that their child’s dental appointments do not turn into traumatic events. 

Different dentists will not only have different amounts of experience, but specializations as well. As of 2020 about 21.2% of dentists were reported to be providing an American Dental Association (ADA) recognized specialty within their practice. 

You can speak to the staff and dental team for more information.

7. Comfortable space

The quality of service is determined largely be how comfortable you feel within the space. Not only do you want to walk into a clinic that has a nice office space, clean surfaces, and an area for your children to play, but the dental suite should be comfortable too.

The atmosphere in the whole clinic is very important for your general comfort. You should find a place that helps children to feel at ease. As previously mentioned, kids can be fearful of the dentist and so can some adults. Between 2015–2019, 13.2% of children aged 5–19 had untreated cavities. Whether this is due to poor planning, accessibility issues, or children refusing to go, it’s a figure that can be lessened by helping children not to be afraid of the dentist. 

Most people don’t enjoy having their teeth examined and the experience can be quite awkward and potentially painful. Having a comfortable atmosphere can help make sure you and your children are able to relax and feel at ease when visiting the dentist.

It’s also a good idea for anyone who has a fear of the dentist to visit your chosen clinic once or twice to see how it looks and get an idea of how you feel when you are there. If you feel comfortable in the space, you’ll know you’ve made the right choice.

8. Cleanliness

When it comes to places such as the doctor’s office, the optometrist, and the dentist, cleanliness and good hygiene will probably be at the top of your list. Especially when it pertains to stuff being put in your mouth, it’s always good to know the practice is taking the proper cleaning and disinfecting measures. Dental clinics need to be wiped down, and their instruments need to be cleaned and disinfected after every use.

This will also help with comfort too, and it can easily be assessed by visiting the practice and speaking with the staff.   

9. Insurance

As previously stated, considering your finances is an absolute must when it comes to choosing a dentist for your family. Many people will have some kind of insurance to cover medical and dental expenses, at least in part. This is all a part of finding affordable dental care, and it’s worth finding a dentist that accepts whatever insurance you have.

On the flip side, if you aren’t insured, you’ll want to find a dentist that offers upfront prices and payment options. It’s important to note that in 22 states in the U.S., Medicaid only covers emergency dental services for adults. This leaves many people to face out-of-pocket expenses for fillings, cleaning, or general check-ups all on their own. 

In cases like these, you not only need to make sure your dentist accepts this kind of insurance, but also that your insurance is providing you with the coverage you need.

10. Proximity and accessibility

Where the clinic is will also have an impact when it comes time to make your decision. If you’re looking for somewhere to provide care for your whole family, you’re probably going to look for a place that’s close to home.

Things like picking up the kids from school, traffic, and work schedules can get in the way of heading to your usual clinic if you’re far away, so finding one local to your family is important. This is nothing that a quick search online or a chat with your neighbors can’t solve.

If you or a family member need accommodations for mobility or other issues, you’ll need to take the dental practice’s accessibility into account as well. This will be specific to your family but is nonetheless very important.

So, if you’re looking for someone who can attend to your family’s dental needs easily and quickly, consider working with a local dentist in your area whom you can trust. That way, you can have peace of mind because your dental professional is nearby. In case of tooth emergencies, visiting the clinic won’t feel like an out-of-town trip.

11. Technology

best dentist how to chooseTechnology keeps changing at a rapid pace, and dentistry is no exception. It’s worthwhile to ensure the dental clinic you visit has invested in advanced equipment as this will likely result in a better patient experience. If your dentist is stuck in the past, with old and unreliable equipment, you and your family could be missing out.

This kind of investment and attention to detail can also indicate how important the practice is to the dentist and the staff. You can visit the office, or check their website to see if they have an equipment listing.

Good dentists embrace state-of-the-art laser, computer-assisted design (CAD), and airflow treatment technology. Moreover, many dentists use a diode laser to detect tooth decay nowadays. This technology enables dentists to compare the tooth decay levels on succeeding visits and recommend whether tooth filling or extraction is necessary. 

With the advancement in technology, dentists nowadays, don’t need to create a tooth mould when making bridges or crowns and wait for several days or weeks to be finished.

CAD technology

With CAD technology, the dentist can drill the tooth to get it ready for the crown by taking its photo using a computer. Then the CAD machine creates the crown based on the image. Do take note that every process was done in the dental clinic in a shorter span of time which makes it convenient and efficient.

On the other hand, another revolutionary development in enhancing oral health is airflow therapy, a dental cleaning treatment, that utilizes air, sodium bicarbonate, and jet water, to help eradicate teeth plaque and stains in a reduced amount of time. In order to know more about airflow therapy, talk to a qualified dentist within your area, such as A&L Dentist Clinic Ipswich. 

Aside from advanced treatments, dentists also use telehealth or telemedicine. This advanced technology enables them to communicate with patients who cannot come and visit the dental clinic because of immobility, debilitating health condition, or any other reason. Furthermore, telehealth played a crucial role in addressing dental health issues in places with high incidences of suspected COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic.

12. Emergency measures

Accidents happen, and dental emergencies happen more often than you might think. More than five million teeth are avulsed. Meaning? They’re dislodged completely from the socket. The results? Nearly $500 million is being spent on replacing them. Things such as contact sports, falls, fights, and simple accidents can cause teeth to be avulsed, cracked, or damaged in some way. 

Each and every dental clinic should have measures put in place to respond to emergency cases. Check in with the office to find out what services they offer patients in terms of emergencies, and patient comfort in case of an emergency or dental anxiety.

Conclusion

Finding a family dentist is just as important as finding a family doctor. You need to look for someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and has the necessary experience and qualifications. On top of this you’ll want to consider such things as comfort, accessibility, cleanliness, cost, and reputation.

Your family’s oral health is important to their overall health, so it’s crucial to find a dentist who places the same importance on taking care of your family as you do. Hopefully this guide has given you some insight into how to find the perfect dentist for you and your family. Happy searching!

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