5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Family Dentist
People often see dentists as a necessary evil, the bringers of discomfort that must be seen every six months whether you like it or not. But a good family dentist can be as important and valuable as your family doctor. Not all dentists are the same, and an experienced, caring hand can make sure you and your family experience as little pain as possible, while keeping your smile healthy, shiny and white for decades to come. When you find a good dentist you’ll understand that value, and want to remain a part of their practice for the foreseeable future. But how do you know which practice is right for you and the ones you love? Here are five things to consider when selecting a family dentist.
First and foremost, you’ll want a practice that is welcoming for children. The dental office can be a scary place for many kids. As you head into adulthood you can simply accept the discomfort and awkwardness of dental work as part of maintaining your health. But kids don’t have that same context. Try to find an office with a warm and welcoming staff, a bright waiting room with games and books for children and a dentist and hygienist that are willing to take the time to make things pleasant for your kids. A smile, a sticker and a bubblegum flavored mouthwash can make all the difference in the world for a nervous child.
You’ll also want a family dentist who strives to stay as current as possible with his techniques. This is where a younger dentist may be a better option. They might not be quite as experienced, but since they were just in school more recently they’ll be completely up to date on the latest dental breakthroughs. Dental work has actually changed pretty drastically over the past few decades, both in the understanding of how oral health impacts the rest of your body and the technologies employed throughout the process. As long as your dentist strives to incorporate the latest methods and materials, you’ll know you and your family are in good hands.
You’ll probably also want to choose a dentist who is relatively close by. This won’t be much of a problem when it comes to regular checkups, as those will be scheduled far in advance. But if you have a couple of children long trips to the dentist could get frustrating. Children are also likely to run into emergency dental needs from time to time. You never want to think about something like that, but if your kids play sports it is one of the risks. A dentist who is geographically close to your home or your child’s school will obviously be able to help that much more quickly.
If you’re trying out a new dentist for your family, you might also want to consider reviews from other customers. These days it’s incredibly easy to get an uncensored take on any dental office. Hop online and check in with sites like Yelp. Any dentist who has been around for a while will have a listing there, and you’ll be able to read about the experience other families have had. If you seen mostly positive posts, you can probably bring your family to that dentist with confidence.
Finally, think about your insurance situation. You and your family will be seeing this dentist at least twice a year, and often more than that. There may be trips to a sedation dentist, an orthodontist or a dental surgeon as well in some cases. Dental insurance is expensive, but some health insurance policies do cover some of this work. If you can find a family dentist included in your plan, that will save you some serious cash over the next few years.