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How To Choose A Great Dentist?

by on August 26, 2014 | Posted in slider

What To Look for in a Dentist
Take your time choosing a dentist; don’t wait for an emergency! There are several things to consider when looking for a dentist.

Location and office hours– Choose a dentist close to home or work. This will make it easier to schedule visits and to arrive on time. Also, make sure that the dental office is open on the days and at the times when you are able to schedule an appointment.

Cost–Does the dentist accept your insurance? Does the dentist offer multiple payment options (credit cards, personal checks, payment plans)? If your insurance plan requires referrals to specialists, can this dentist provide them?

Also, be aware that costs vary by practice. If you can, get estimates of what your dentist might charge for common procedures such as fillings, crowns or root canal therapy. Even if you have dental insurance, you may be paying part of the costs yourself.

Personal comfort–One of the most important things to consider when you choose a dentist is whether you feel comfortable with that person. Are you able to explain symptoms and ask questions? Do you feel like the dentist hears and understands your concerns? Would you feel comfortable asking for pain medicine, expressing your fear or anxiety, or asking questions about a procedure?

Professional qualifications–The dentist’s office should be able to tell you about the dentist’s training. The office also should have policies on infection control. If the staff seems uncomfortable answering your questions, or you are uncomfortable with their answers, consider finding another dentist. You can also obtain information about a dentist’s qualifications from the local dental society or your insurance carrier. Most organizations of specialty dentists also list their members and qualifications.

Emergency care–Find out what happens if you have an emergency, either during normal office hours, or at night or on a weekend. A dentist should not refer you to a hospital emergency room. You should be able to contact your dentist (or a suitable substitute) at any time by calling an answering service, cell phone or pager.

State licensing boards–Most state dental boards have a website where you can verify if your dentist is licensed. The website also should tell you whether there have been any disciplinary actions taken against him or her.

How To Find a Dentist
Here are some suggestions on finding dentists to evaluate.

People to ask:

  • Your friends and family — Friends and family members are a great resource. They can tell you about the personality of the dentist and office staff, and answer questions. Here are some good questions to ask:
    • How well does the dentist explain treatment options?
    • How long do you have to sit in the waiting room?
    • Do you feel comfortable asking questions?
    • How does the office handle emergencies?
    • How long do you have to wait for an appointment?
    • How are bills handled?
  • Your current dentist — If you are moving, ask your current dentist if he or she knows of someone to recommend near your new home.
  • Your physician — Your physician may be able to provide some names of dentists.
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Here are a few ways you can help keep your gums healthy.

1. Floss.

Floss at least once a day. This helps remove the plaque and food that is beyond your toothbrush’s reach, according to the ADA. It doesn’t matter when you floss: Do it at night, do it in the morning, or do it after lunch…just do it!

2. Get regular dental cleanings.

Your dentist can detect early gum disease symptoms if you see them on a regular basis. That way they can be treated before they become more serious. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar, and it can also get rid of any plaque you missed when brushing or flossing. If you have gingivitis, brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help reverse it.

3. Quit smoking.

Yet another reason for smokers to quit: Smoking is strongly associated with the onset of gum disease. Since smoking weakens your immune system, it also makes it harder to fight off a gum infection, say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Plus, smoking makes it more difficult for your gums to heal once they’ve been damaged.

4. Brush twice a day.

Brush your teeth after every meal. This helps remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Scrub your tongue too, since it can harbor bacteria. Your toothbrush should be soft-bristled and fit in your mouth comfortably, says the Mayo Clinic. Consider a battery-powered or electric one, which can help reduce gingivitis and plaque more than manual brushing. Swap toothbrushes or toothbrush heads every three to four months (or sooner if the bristles start to fray).

5. Use fluoride toothpaste.

As for toothpaste, store shelves are lined with brands that claim to reduce gingivitis, freshen breath, and whiten teeth. How do you know which one is best for healthy gums? Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance. After that, the flavor and color is up to you!

6. Use a therapeutic mouthwash.

Usually available over the counter, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed that tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits, according to the ADA. Plus: A rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing. Look for the ADA seal, which means it has been deemed effective and safe.

It doesn’t matter whether your brush, floss, or rinse first. Just do a good job and use the right products.

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