Searching for a family dentist can be tough at best. Not only do you want to find a dentist that can look after the adults, but you also want to find a family dentist that specializes in all facets of dentistry, including pediatric dentistry.
The American Dental Association recommends asking your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors if you are on the hunt for a good family dentist. Talk to your doctor or ask your pharmacist for recommendations. If you and your family are relocating, ask the family dentist that you have now who may be able to offer a few suggestions. The American Dental Association has a list of state and local family dentists on its website, which may be of some help as well.
Once you have a few suggestions, there are some things that you should be aware of before you schedule your first appointment.
Make sure that the family dentist you have in mind will be able to schedule appointments within two weeks. Kids, teenagers, and adults should never have to wait for a check-up. If there is an emergency, your family dentist should be able to see you within a few hours, and no longer than a day or two. Even offices that are busy should be able to see a new or existing patient within two weeks.
One of the most important tips for finding a good family dentist is his or her ability to handle children. Pediatric dentistry is a skill and takes additional training. The last thing that you want is for your kids to grow up avoiding the dentist because of bad childhood memories. Look for a family dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry and you will be well on your way to finding the perfect family dentist.
If you walk into a family dentist’s office, and the only thing on offer is a few outdated magazines and a bunch of old metal chairs, you may want to reconsider. Dentists that look after their patients with comfortable furniture, TV sets, current reading materials, and an area for your kids to play will put you at ease while you are waiting to see your dentist.
Not all family dentists are created equal, in fact, some offer very little in the way of services using archaic equipment. You want to find a family dentist that is up on the latest dental technologies. Seek out a dentist for your family who keeps up with modern techniques and is constantly improving his or her craft by attending continuing education workshops and conferences. Find a new dentist that offers 21st century dental procedures such as dental implants, porcelain veneers and porcelain inlays and porcelain onlays. Never settle for a family dentist that only offers the basics.
This may sound ridiculous, but you might want to consider the receptionist in your decision. Observing the dental receptionist will give you a good indication as to how your new family dentist runs the rest of the office. Look for a receptionist who greets you upon arrival, is well organized, and is upbeat and friendly.
Do your research when it comes to searching for a family dentist. Head to the World Wide Web and look for unbiased reviews of the family dentist that you have in mind.
Ask plenty of questions before you schedule your first appointment. Enquire about office hours and the location. You will want to make sure that the family dentist’s office is easy to get to from home or the office. Find out where the dentist that you have in mind has been trained and what his or her approach is when it comes to preventive dentistry. Ask what type of anesthetic is used and whether or not the family dentist that you have your eye on is certified to help you feel comfortable and relaxed. Before you schedule an appointment, it is imperative that you get information on payment plans and fees. You will also want to make sure that your new family dentist participates in the family dental plan that you have. You should also ask what the dental offices policy is regarding missed appointments.
A good family dentist is imperative when it comes to the health and well-being of your family. Ask, observe and listen and you will be well on your way to finding the perfect dentist for you and your family.
Dr. Michael Layton (DDS) is the dentist for Peace Arch Dental, a dental office in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions for people of every walk of life. You can follow him on Google+.