As you search for a dental practice, it’s important to research your options carefully. You’ll need to spend some time thinking about what type of dentist is right for you and your family. This will help you select the dentist that best meets your needs. Start your research by determining what type of dentist you need, then contact local dental practices to ask any questions that you have. You’ll likely be speaking with someone at the front desk initially, but they should be able to provide you with general information about the practice.
There are many factors to consider as you work to choose the best dental practices near you. Spend some time researching local practices to gather information about the following:
Choose a Dentist That’s Conveniently Located
Select a dentist that’s located somewhere close to your home, school, or work, so that you won’t have to travel for long periods of time to get to appointments. If you have to go out of your way to attend your dentist appointments, it will be more difficult for you to attend them. Also, if you have dental anxiety or a very busy schedule, it’s easy to make an excuse for canceling an appointment if you have a long commute to get there. Picking out a dentist that’s conveniently located helps eliminate this issue, ensuring that you’ll be able to get to your appointments on schedule and care for your oral health correctly.
Scheduling is an ongoing juggle for many families, and choosing a dentist with an office that’s near your work, your home, or your child’s school helps make it as easy as possible to get to necessary appointments. While location may not be the first thing you think of when you’re evaluating dentists, it should be high on your list. If a dental practice is too far out of the way, it will add unnecessary stress to your life. Choosing a practice with convenient branches makes the process of managing your family’s dental care as easy as possible.
Opt for a Dentistry Practice that Works with Your Financing
If you have dental insurance, be sure to find a dental office that accepts your policy. This helps keep dental treatment affordable and ensures that preventative care is covered. If you don’t have dental insurance, ask the practices that you’re considering about their payment policies. Do they offer financing or credit options? Will they help work out a treatment plan that allows you to pay for the dental work you need in stages? Their answers to these questions can help you make a decision about whether the practice is a good fit for you. They’ll also provide you with an indication about how willing the practice is to work with their patients when it comes to payment arrangements.
The costs of dental work can add up quite quickly, so it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared in advance. Many dentists can also provide you with a rate sheet or a general cost for each procedure. This list can help you budget appropriately for the work that you need to have done. If you don’t have dental insurance, it may also be wise to ask the dental office if they offer any type of bonus for patients who pay their balance in cash at the time of treatment. Some medical professionals offer a discount for this payment method, and it could save you quite a bit of money if your dentist does.
Ask About Cosmetic Dentistry Options
If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry at all, you’ll need to speak with a local cosmetic dentist about the options that they offer. Cosmetic dentists specialize in things like dental implants, veneers, teeth whitening, cosmetic dental bonding, and more. If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, or if you have issues with your teeth that are both functional and cosmetic, a cosmetic dentist may be right for you.
Cosmetic dentists can help ensure that you have the straight, white, teeth that you’ve always wanted. If your teeth are currently stained, misaligned, or uneven, reach out to a cosmetic dental professional near you. They can speak with you about the specific issues that you’re experiencing, and provide you with some options for treatment. If you have missing or damaged teeth, these dentists can fit you with implants, as well. When the procedures are finished, you’ll have a mouth of bright white, straight teeth that you can be proud of.
Cosmetic dentists can also assist you with cosmetic orthodontic treatment, straightening your teeth and making sure that they are correctly aligned. This is primarily a cosmetic procedure, but it can be a functional one as well, depending on the condition of your teeth. When you have both cosmetic and functional issues with your teeth, it makes sense to schedule an evaluation at a cosmetic dentistry practice. The professionals there will evaluate your situation, design a treatment plan, and provide you with an estimate for service. Many cosmetic dentists also offer financing or payment plans, allowing you to map out the stages of your dental care and pay for it as you proceed with the work.
How Does the Dentist Handle Treatment Plans?
As you research local dentistry practices to find one that’s the right fit for you and your family, it’s also important to ask the dentist how they handle treatment plans. Are they willing to work with you to set up a treatment plan with individual steps that are within your budget, or do they need to complete all the work at once? Will they space the work out so that you can have a series of shorter appointments if you experience anxiety or are uncomfortable sitting for long periods of time?
If you need a dentist to be flexible, it’s important that you find out if this is possible from the beginning, before any work begins. Otherwise, you may find yourself frustrated and disappointed. This will only enhance any dental anxiety that you experience, so it’s best if you can find a dentist that will work with you.
Ask How the Dentist Handles Emergencies
As you search for the best dental practices near you, you’ll also want to find out how the dentist handles emergencies and what emergency services they offer. After all, if you’re a regular patient at a dentist, you don’t want to find yourself needing to go to the Emergency Room or an urgent care clinic with a toothache. Many dentists keep specific appointment slots open for emergencies, so that their clients can be seen if they have major issues.
You may need to see an emergency dentist if you chip or break a tooth, experience an injury to your gumline or lip, or injure the tissue in your mouth. You may also need an emergency appointment if you lose a filling or crown, or if you knock a tooth loose in an accident. If any of these things happen, it’s extremely important that you’re able to get prompt dental treatment, so that the damage doesn’t worsen. Choosing a dentist that keeps emergency hours helps make sure that you’re prepared in the event of an accidental injury. It can help ensure that you’re able to get treatment right away after an injury instead of spending hours waiting in the ER or hoping for an appointment to open up.
Dental injuries can be quite painful, so working with a dental practice that keeps emergency hours can help limit your discomfort. This is especially important for families with children, as injuries to the mouth can be especially common for young, active toddlers and older children who are involved in sports.
Does the Dentist See Children of Varying Ages?
If you have numerous family members of varying ages, it’s important that you find a dentistry practice that is willing to make appointments for everyone. A family dentist can see everyone in your family, without you needing to run all over town for dental appointments. In addition, this type of dentist has the varied skills necessary to treat patients of different ages.
A local family dentist office can typically see children from the time they get their first tooth. They can teach kids how to care for their teeth, and help provide parents with important information about brushing and flossing. In addition, they’ll have kid-friendly exam rooms and chairs that are sized appropriately for patients of a variety of ages. These features can make it much more comfortable for younger patients to go to the dentist. Regular appointments throughout childhood can help ensure good oral health, and can establish habits that will last a lifetime.
Often, a family dentist will use the parents’ treatment to help teach the children about proper oral hygiene. Kids can stay in the room during a parent’s cleaning and dental exam, so they can see exactly what happens and that there’s nothing to be afraid of. This can help normalize dental care for kids, so that they’re less likely to develop dental anxiety later in life.
How Does the Dentist Handle Anxiety?
Dental anxiety is an extremely common problem, affecting around 1/3 of the population to some degree. This makes it especially important for people who have dental anxiety to discuss it with their dentist. Oral health is a vitally important part of overall health care, and neglecting it can cause serious issues. Many dentist are familiar with patients who have dental fear or anxiety, and have a plan in place for how to manage this.
If you’re a patient with dental anxiety, speak to potential dentists about how they handle this within their practice. Your goal is to find a practice that has a clear plan for handling dental anxiety and helping patients feel more comfortable. Often this will include things like going over expectations for the appointment in advance, reviewing what happens during specific procedures, or asking medical providers for prescription medications to take before dental appointments. The dentist may also suggest bringing distracting activities to the appointment or bringing headphones and a device so that you can listen to music or an audiobook during the exam. These relatively small adjustments can go a long way toward making a dental appointment more manageable for someone with dental anxiety.
What Options are Available for Aging Patients?
It’s also wise to ask local dentists what options they have for accommodating aging patients. As the world has changed dramatically over the last few years, you may now be responsible for arranging dental care for your aging parents. This makes it especially important to ask about the options that the practices you’re considering have for aging patients. Dental care for the elderly may be focused on things like dentures, crowns, and overall dental health care. Spending some time finding out what’s available for aging patients can help to make things go more smoothly.
Dental Care and Health
Dental health care is related to your overall health. Periodontal disease can lead to serious health issues like heart disease and pneumonia. In addition, your overall physical health can dramatically affect your oral health. If you take medications like antihistamines or antidepressants, for example, they can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces and affect your oral health. A skilled dentist will know how to coordinate your dental care and your overall health care, making sure that both are well managed.
As you evaluate local dentistry practices in an effort to find one that’s best for you, there are numerous factors to take into account. You’ll need to find a dentist who can work with the elements of your life that matter most. If you have numerous individuals in your family that need to see a dentist, it’ll be important to make sure that the practitioners that you’re considering can meet all of their needs. Spend some time evaluating each practice to make sure that they’re a good fit for you, your health, and your family members, then set up an appointment with the one that seems to be the best match.