Tips for Choosing a Family Dentist
Selecting the right dentist for you and your family makes all the difference. You’ll want to make sure you and your family members are comfortable with the dentist as well as the staff at the offices you visit. And, of course, you want someone who is also properly trained to provide the type of dentistry you need.
Look for a dentist affiliated with a reputable office that is close to your home or work. The dentists’ credentials should be available online. Qualified dentists may include doctors of dental surgery (DDS) and dentists must pass national and state exams to become licensed.
Most dentists will provide a variety of services including:
Routine cleanings are often performed by a dental hygienist or assistant. A dental assistant may help a dentist during a procedure, set up anesthesia, take x-rays and perform other general tasks. These staff members should be certified and of course personable and caring.
Questions to Ask
When visiting a new dentist, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Find out how long the practice has been in operation and how long the dentists have been practicing. Ask about the dentist’s training and experience with the type of procedure you need. Ask which professional dental societies the dentist belongs to and whether they keep up-to-date on the latest procedures and technological advances.
What to Expect
Your dentist and the office staff should be personable and considerate. They should recommend routine cleanings, bite evaluations, periodontal exams and x-rays as preventive care that will help you avoid more extensive repair work in the future.
A comprehensive dental examination may include inspection of the teeth, gums, tongue, lips, inside of the cheek, palate, and the skin of the face and neck, plus feeling the neck for abnormal lymph nodes and enlargement of the thyroid gland. The dentist should discuss their findings with you and recommend a thorough plan for any treatment needed.
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