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How to Choose the Right Family Dentist

Posted on Jun 19, 2013 by Guest Writer

This month is National Dairy Month celebrating foods high in calcium and vitamin that build strong bones and teeth. Healthy teeth are a combination of good nutrition and routine dental care.  This is a good reminder of the importance of a family dentist.  It’s important to choose a dentist that you and the rest of your family feel comfortable with. The simple truth is: not all dentists are created equal. In order to end up in good hands, you’ll want to do some research, read some reviews and set up a consultation. The first step is narrowing down your choices.

Search Local

You want a dentist that is well known in your community and highly recommended. Having a great local dentist in your area means you can get there quickly in case of an emergency.   It also means that getting to regular exams will be convenient.

Use a good resource like The Local Book to find a quality dentist. The Local Book makes it really easy to locate services and businesses in a searchable database. 

Check Reviews

You’ll find a number of dental practice reviews simply by searching online. Make a list of the dentists you’re considering and then narrow down that list based on the reviews. If you find a number of negative reviews for a practice, you may want to cross them off your list. Star any practices that feature a number of positive reviews.

Making an Appointment

You’re going to want to let the receptionist know you’re interviewing family dentists. That way, they won’t automatically assume you’re coming in for a treatment or a cleaning. Instead, you’ll be visiting the office to make a connection and interview the dentist.

Questions to ask:

  • How long have you been in practice?
  • What hours are you open?
  • What are your relaxation techniques?
  • Do you see entire families or just adults?
  • Is there a charge for missed appointments?
  • Do you do emergency dental work?
  • Do you accept my insurance?
  • Does the office offer payment plans for expensive procedures?

When to Walk Away

Most dentists are professional. It’s important to know the warning signs, the red flags. According to Quack Watch, flamboyant advertising may indicate that a dentist is prone to mass production of services. This type of dentistry may not be right for someone seeking a family dentist.

Quack Watch also advises to avoid dentists who use intravenous sedation routinely. “Routine use of intravenous sedation is another bad sign because it means that patients are exposed to unnecessary risks. Although general anesthesia can be appropriate for children ages 2-3, adults with seizure disorders, and a few other situations, the vast majority of patients do not need it for routine dentistry.”

Choosing a Dentist

When you finally select a dentist, don’t feel as though you’ve made a life-long commitment. You can change dentists if services have changed. Chances are, you will find the steps you’ve taken have led you to the best possible dentist and you’ll create a lasting relationship.

When a dentist is recommending extensive work, Quack Watch recommends always getting a second opinion. They base this recommendation on a number of studies that were conducted about the way dentists offer services. In order to protect yourself, you may want to check with a second dentist. 

Your family dentist should be a kind, hard-working professional.





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