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Questions to Ask Your Family Dentist

family dentistry

UPDATED 2/18/21

Maintaining good oral hygiene is important for overall health and self esteem. A recent study showed that 74% of adults in the United States felt an unattractive smile could hurt their chance for career success, while 96% of people believe a great smile makes a person more attractive to the opposite sex.

Whether you are switching to another family dentist office or if you are new to how things work at the dentist, always be sure to ask plenty of questions — they can end up making your visit a lot more pleasant and you may end up saving more time, money, and see an improvement in your oral health.

Below are a list of important questions to ask when choosing a family dentist:

  1. How much do you charge for general dentistry services and cavity fillings? Tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among those aged 14 to 17 years old, so you definitely want to check how much a cavity filling costs if you have children.
  2. If you have a health insurance plan, will they participate in it? Sometimes dental insurance is not covered in health insurance plans. The dentist office should be able to tell you what plans they participate in.
  3. When and how are you expected to pay for your appointments? Have them walk you through the fees, payment methods, and payment schedules that you can participate in. Most offices will be happy to help find a payment plan that works best for you.
  4. What types of dental procedures can their dentist office perform? Sometimes dental offices may be behind the times and not offer state-of-the-art procedures, like an all on 4 procedure. However, with 28% of people aged 35 to 44 years old suffering from untreated tooth decay, you can expect most offices will perform a dental implants procedure.
  5. How does the office handle emergencies outside of office hours? Sometimes dental accidents happen; people may chip a tooth and it needs to be attended to as soon as possible. Most offices will have someone on call who can direct you on what to do.

If you plan on taking your child to the family dentist, here are some questions you should consider asking:

  1. How much is teeth whitening? This procedure is very popular among teens and college-aged students, so if you have a child within that age range, they may be asking for a teeth whitening procedure. Whitening restores the natural tooth color, while bleaching methods whiten beyond the natural color.
  2. If your child has sensitivity or pain in their teeth or often suffers from bleeding gums, ask if the office provides sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can be in the form of general anesthesia or a gas that calms people during dental cleanings and other procedures.
  3. Does my mouth, or my child’s mouth look healthy? What, if anything, can we improve upon when it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene at home?
  4. What dental treatments are absolutely necessary for my child and I at the office? Are there any benefits to certain cosmetic procedures?

Of course, always ask about proper brushing and flossing technique; all dentists will be happy to share their tips and tricks.

The primary family dentistry office may perform a number of services, but few are more important than preventive care. Family tooth doctors use their training and diagnostic equipment to determine the condition of your teeth and, if necessary, what further steps are required.

Regular examinations at your family dentistry office are needed to check for indications of decay within your teeth and for gum disease, also known as periodontitis. The loss of enamel on the outside of a tooth can directly lead to cavities that will eventually cause serious interior damage. Similarly, spaces between teeth are one sign of periodontitis. Regular cleanings by family tooth doctors are also needed to prevent the accumulation of plaque, which will eventually harden and create tarter. Other preventive services include the application of fluoride substances and sealants that can further protect the teeth.

Preventive dentistry for families is actually cost-effective by the way it can prevent minor problems from becoming serious and far more expensive to treat. It is particularly important for children, whose teeth are a major part of their regular physical development. We should think of these issues when considering the importance of our family dentist.

See this reference for more.

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