Family Dentistry – What to know
It is easy to confuse the meaning of a family dentist with a general dentist. Apart from several exceptions, the two are almost the same. A family dentist usually accepts any patient regardless of age, from children to the elderly. This makes them more convenient for those who want to employ the same dentist for all members of the family. If you have small children, a family dentist will take care of both their baby teeth and permanent teeth and supervise its health and growth.
When looking for a good family dentist, it is better to start with recommendations first. All you have to do is ask your relatives, friends and colleagues for reputable dentists in the area. This would not be a problem since family dental care is everybody’s concern. Another good way of finding one is through online dental sites, either on personal websites of dentists or dentist directories. There are lots of websites where you can look up a list of dentists who have offices in your preferred location. You can also search dentists by specialty, which will help immensely if you plan to have a restorative or cosmetic procedure done.
It is advisable to visit the dentist’s office first before making an appointment. This will allow you to get a feel of the surroundings and get a first impression of the dentist as well. It is very important that your family, especially the children, get comfortable with the dentist. Most children are scared of having their teeth checked and treated, and only a caring family dentist can coax them into stepping into the dental chair. It is better if your dentist is from the same area where your family is living. This adds greatly to the comfort factor and saves you the effort and money it will take to go to a dental practitioner from the other side of the town.
What can you expect from family dentistry? Basic dental work such as cleanings, fillings, extractions and teeth whitening are the usual procedures done by family dentists on a regular day. They remove tartar or plaque that clings to the patient’s teeth to keep them from decaying and getting serious damages such as cavities. Cavities are one of the major dental problems around, so the dentist will regularly check your pearly whites for cavities and take an x-ray if necessary.
If your dental problem needs specialty treatment, your dentist will refer you to specialists such as orthodontists, endodontists etc. Specialists take care of problems like root canals, dental implants and periodontal treatments.
Aside from preventive care, family dentists should be able to provide emergency treatments as well. Incidents such as getting a tooth chipped or knocked out should be taken care of in case a specialist is not available immediately.
It is best to visit your dentist regularly to avoid long-term dental problems. The benefit of having a family dentist is he/she can constantly monitor the condition of your family dental health and keep an updated record of your dental history.