How does one go about picking a family dentist? Selecting a family dentist is important and one way that one can find one is by looking in online directory listings, checking the phone book, or talking to friends and loved ones. Personal recommendations are often best – word of mouth is a very powerful advertising tool, and a bad dentist never gets recommendations! It’s best to try to find a dentist that is local to you, if at all possible, for ease of access in emergencies and for simplicity of transportation. If you don’t have to be on the road for two hours, don’t be!
If seeking a family dentist to help care for children’s teeth, it’s important for the children to be comfortable with him or her. Does the dentist and/or his or her assistants have a good chair-side manner for your children? How do the people in the office treat children? How patient are they? How comfortable are your children around the dentist and/or the dental assistants? These are important questions to consider when deciding upon a family dentist and whether or not to keep him or her. Some fear will be natural for young children, because visiting the dentist can sometimes be scary – but the right dentist will make this experience pleasant and will help the child look forward to getting their teeth checked, cleaned, and fixed when necessary!
As for services, as mentioned above, a family dentist provides the same services as a general dentist. If your child is in need of braces, has cavities that need to be filled, or you want to schedule regular cleanings for him or her, your family dentist can do that. More serious dental work can require a specialist, though most dentists are able to perform the average root canal or prepare and install implants.
Family dentistry is an important part of every family’s long-term health plan because your family dentist, if you can make regular appointments, is your first line of defense against all oral health problems. Remember: your teeth are extremely important, and their health is a reflection of your overall health. So get out there, find a good dentist, and make them a part of your extended family. Your teeth will thank you!