Three Tips to Help You Choose a Great Family Dentist

Your dentist is more than just the person the person who cleans your teeth. Your dentist is an important partner in your family’s healthcare team. A good dentist can help you prevent dental problems, spot oral cancers, and help improve your overall health by keeping your teeth and gums healthy. That’s why it’s important to find a good family dentist.

While it’s true that the term “good” can be subjective, there are objective measures by which one can assess a potential family dentist. Use these three tips, along with your own personal criteria for a good family dentist, to find your family’s next healthcare partner.

Three Tips for Assessing a Family Dentist

1. What are the dentist’s credentials and experience?

Dentists in the United States must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass both written and practical exams. Ask what credentials the dentist has or look on his website to examine his credentials. Also note whether or not all the dentists in the practice, if it’s an office with multiple dentists, have the same level of experience and credentials. It’s also important for dentists to continue their education after graduation. Like any healthcare field, new discoveries are being made all the time. Your family dentist should be keeping up with them.

Ask questions when you call the office. Do you need a dentist who treats children and teens as well as adults? Make sure you ask, because there are some family dentists who prefer not to work with very young children; they may only accept school age children and older as patients, and refer younger children to a pediatric dentist.

Do your children need braces as well as routine care? Some family dental offices offer braces as well as cleanings, fillings, and other routine services. This can be a great time saver for a busy family.

What about people who suffer from dental phobias and fears? There are some dentists who welcome patients with phobias and fears and offer special services such as sedation dentistry, movie or music to distract patients, nitrous oxide and other services to help them feel relaxed. If you need these services, don’t be afraid to ask before you make your appointment! A good dentist wants you to feel comfortable during your visit, and his office staff should welcome your questions.

2. What’s the office like?

When you call the office, is the receptionist rude and rushed or pleasant and helpful? Is he patient when answering questions or curt? Can he or she answer all your questions regarding appointment times, services, insurance and payments?

You can tell a lot about an office by the person staffing the front desk. That person plays an important role in any professional setting, but most of all in a medical or dental office. If the front office person is rude or condescending, you may be too intimidated to ask for what you need — not a good situation if you have a dental emergency.

Some family dentists offer a free initial appointment, and such an appointment can help you assess the office. Does the dentist use the latest equipment? A state of the art office means a dentist who cares about learning and using the latest techniques, tools and equipment for his patients’ comfort and convenience.

Lastly, is the office conveniently located? You’re going to be more likely to keep appointments if the office is convenient to your home, school or workplace.

3. How does the dentist’s office fit your family’s needs?

Each family is different. You may have very young children at home, or perhaps children plus an aging parent living with you. It may be helpful to create a checklist of your needs such as:

  • Pediatric dentistry – for my baby and preschooler
  • Orthodontics for my young teenager
  • General dental care for myself, my spouse
  • Dentures and a handicapped accessible office for my mom who lives with us

Another point you may wish to check is the availability of multiple appointments during one time slot. An office with several dentists may be able to accommodate a request for all of your family’s appointments during on time slot. That can be a great convenience.

Finding a Great Family Dentist

You can find a great family dentist by asking friends, family or neighbors for recommendations. An online search for local dentists can lead you to some great potential dentists to research, and provide you with an easy and convenient way to find out more information about their practices by visiting their websites.

Whatever you do, though, take your time, and choose your family dentist carefully. A good dentist is a pleasure to visit, a professional who will take care of your family’s dental needs with confidence and skill. A great family dentist becomes an integral member of your healthcare team, a trusted resource to keep everyone smiling and healthy.

7 Things to Keep in Mind When Finding the Right Dentist for Your Family

Is your dentist providing you with the best services you require? Are you having difficulty deciding who to give the responsibility of keeping you well informed about your teeth? Are your teeth in the best care they can possibly be in? These are the critical questions every patient should consider when seeking aid concerning dental care. Having an unqualified dentist can be the difference between a set of perfectly healthy teeth and a dental disaster. Here are a few tips that can serve as a guide for finding the right dentist for you, your family, and your loved ones.

1.) The word around town
The first thing you should do when looking for a dentist is to ask around. If you think that performing a small research on the person who will be responsible for you and your family’s dental care is too ‘stalk-ish’, then perhaps you need to educate yourself on how important your teeth are to you. Do not be afraid to ask around about dentists you may have found or heard about. Many life situations have shown that good information about other people can be gathered from others who have also gone through the same.

2.) Do your homework
Nowadays, you can find plenty of the information you need right from your desk at home. The Internet is a good place to start when you have a few names in mind. Find out as much as you can about the backgrounds of the dentist you are about to take up. As classy as a dentist educational history may be, take care to also check how much experience your future dentist has had. Official recommendations from other institutes and even other dentists can help you decide whether the dentist is right for you and your family.

3.) What is there to know?
Now that you know who to ask about the dentists in your area, what kind of information are you looking for? Not only should your dentist be able to give you all the preventative information about your oral health, you also need to be comfortable with asking questions and sustaining a friendly relationship with the professional. You need to find a dentist that you can trust. This is far easier to achieve if your dentist is friendly and communicative. For this reason, it is crucial to book appointments and meet with the candidates. Like in any relationship, you need to know whether your dentist is someone you will be able to work with in a long run.

4.) While you’re in…
Now that you are aware of the importance of making appointments with your dentist candidates, take the opportunity to perform a different kind of investigation. Just like a person’s bedroom says a lot about their personality, so does a dentist’s office. It is not a bad idea to look around and be attentive to your dentist cleanliness. A office that in not well-kept will not only present further health risks to you and your family, it will also tell you about your dentists work habits. A good dentist does not only practice hygiene and organization during operations but also in other areas. Negligence, just are cleanliness, is a habit.

5.) “You get what you pay for”
Although the most expensive dental clinic in the area is not necessarily the best choice for your family, it is important to understand the fundamental necessities for a good dentist. Shying away from paying a few extra notes could lead to larger cost in the future when you find that your dentist is ill-equipped for an important procedure. A dental clinic with all the facilities will not have to send you around town for various procedures. This will save lots of time and energy. That is why it is important do your research and find out exactly what a common dentist should have. Good equipment may not necessarily mean expensive. What is important is that all the equipment is in proper working order and is always clean.

6.) When trouble comes
Imagine a scenario, perhaps very early in the morning, when you need an emergency visit to your dentist, will your dentist be available? The availability of your dentist is also an aspect that deserves keen attention and thorough thought. How far is your dentist? What are the open hours? Depending on your needs, these questions may be the deciding factors for your new family dentist. If your dentist is more than a 30 minute drive away, then it is time to think about whether the drive is worth it. On another note, make sure the working hours of the dentist are suitable to your family’s needs. The decisions you make now based on these questions will save you lots of trouble and pain in the future.

7.)There is a fit for everyone
The most important thing to remember when finding the right dentist is that there is no perfect dentist. The right dentist for you and your family solely depends on you, your needs, and your circumstances. You need to weigh all the aspects that have been treated earlier and find the right balance. You may not be able to afford the most expensive dentist, but you may not need to. Many dentists are qualified enough to do a good job of taking care of your family’s oral health. Your first priority should be making sure you are well informed about your health and maintain a healthy communicative relationship with your dentist.

How to Find a Qualified Canadian Dentist

If you are looking for a Dentist in Canada, there are several things you need to consider. First off you need to compare different dentists, so that you know when you have found the best one. The best way to compare dentists is to look at individual pros and cons of each, and also to make sure that each one is adequately qualified for any and all operations that you may have done with them.

Any dentist that you use should have a degree in dentistry, most likely sourced from one of the ten approved dental schools in Canada: the University of Toronto, Dalhousie, British Columbia, Western Ontario, Laval, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, Montreal and McGill. Obviously they could have obtained degrees from elsewhere, but the overall accreditation should be the same as that given by those universities.

The overall DDS degree is the one which most dentists will have, although being a Doctor of Dental Medicine is appropriate as well. If you want to find out which dentists have accreditation and extra qualifications to work more specialist procedures, you should make sure that they have qualifications from the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, the RCDC. The main examination that they should have passed is the National Dental Specialty Exam, the NDSE.

To know that you are going for only the most professional and efficient of dentists, look out for a Fellowship in the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, as this shows extra quality on their part. There is also accreditation which may be had between dentists of New Zealand and Canada, which allows them to work in either country.

Overall examinations are overseen by the NDEB, the National Dental Examining Board of Canada, so this should be referred to when looking into different qualifications that dentists should have, while extra accreditation is seen by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. Dentists must be certified on both state and federal level.

It is the Royal College of Dentists of Canada who will ensure that dentists have relevant qualifications to practice specialist procedures in dentistry, and a M.Sc. or PhD is required.

There is also provincial regulation which you can look into as well, as this is required for different provinces to look into dentists as a whole, to ensure they are working as they should. There are codes of practice to be followed, and general expectations of professionalism within the workplace, so any dentist should follow these specific rules as well.

Overall any dentist you choose should be professional, and if their qualifications are not immediate then they should not be against sharing them with you – after all it is only the smart thing to do to check the individual qualifications of each practicing dentist, especially if you are looking into having specialist work done.

If you are unsure of any dentist then look around and see what competing dentists in your area offer. Compare qualifications between dentists, and if you are ever unsure of whether or not a dentist is professionally qualified enough to do work on you, then you should go to any of the accreditation boards mentioned to be certain. It is always a wise move to check if you are ever unsure, so do not waste time to take a look and see, especially if you are booked to have certain procedures done with a particular specific dentist already.

Once you have checked on qualifications, you should also consider looking on a more practical level – even if a dentist is well qualified, it does not guarantee that they are the best in their field, and so take a look around at independent review sites. This is the best way to tell whether or not a dentist is as good as they make out, as you are not relying exclusively on their website and what they say.

You should also consider talking to friends and family about who they use – there is no shame in taking your time to try and find the best long term dentist, this is an important matter to get right, as you would not want anything to go wrong in any operation involving your teeth and gums.

However overall when looking for a Canadian dentist, keep in mind the qualifications that have been mentioned here, whilst using common sense. If the dentist is friendly and has generally positive feedback from independent sources, then it is likely that you can start to use them, but make sure that you are happy with them.