How to Choose a Dentist

Your relationship with your dentist can make all the difference when it comes to your attitude about going to see the dentist. In fact, people who have a good relationship with their dentist are far more likely to come in to their appointments. However, if you’re in the group where you dread going to the dentist, you may want to consider switching. Here are a few things to help you find the right dentist for you.

1. Referrals and Reviews

Although you can ask your doctor for recommendations for a reputable dentist in the area, the best way to find a great dentist is through family and friends, especially ones that you really trust. Their opinion is often unfiltered and honest and they will steer you away from places where they have had bad experiences in the past. Finding offices through google and looking at how many reviews they have can be a great starting place as well.

2. Consider Accessibility

Weigh how far you’re willing to travel to get to the dentist? Is your dentist going to be available during times that you are? If you work throughout the week and can only come in on weekends, it’s best not to pick a place that is closed during that time. Do you have a family and need a dentist that can also perform services on children? Both of these and more that cater to your situation are important to consider.

3. Give Them a Call

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, give each of them a call. Although you will only get to speak to the receptionist, their attitude towards you and the tone of the call can be enough to either sell you on that place or completely deter you. The receptionist’s attitude is often reflective of their environment and the dentist themselves, so if you leave the conversation with an odd feeling, it’s best to scratch that one from the list.

4. Visit The Office

Atmosphere is another big deciding factor when choosing a dentist and you won’t know how the office feels unless you visit it in person. Take a look around at the surroundings. Are things clean and tidy? Are the hygienist and dentist wearing protective gear? How are you being treated as you walk in the doors? Take note of these things to help you make a final decision.

5. Meet The Dentist

Although you may get a different hygienist every time you visit, your actual dentist will remain the same. Have a chat with them if you’re able to get the chance to to discuss their practices, if they believe in continuing education for themselves and their staff, and other questions that are important for you to know. Their answers, should they give them, can make all the difference.

Sports-Related Injuries to the Mouth

Sports are a great way to stay fit and healthy, but did you know that around 35% of injuries that happen to the mouth are caused by them? This can be as minor as a chipped tooth or as severe as total tooth loss, but fortunately, teeth that have been knocked out by a sports related injury can be saved if the patient is able to get to the dentist in a timely manner. However, not everyone can afford to keep going to the dentist for restorative procedures as they can be quite expensive depending on your insurance and where you go. Therefore, dental professionals recommend the following items to reduce or eliminate sports related injuries to the oral cavity.

Helmets: Most team sports require players to wear a helmet as part of their uniform, but for recreational sports such as skateboarding and biking, always make sure to wear a helmet. Helmets provide a barrier between the head and the ground, making the resulting possible oral injury less than if the individual was not wearing one.

Mouth Guards: The most safe and effective method of preventing sports related injuries is the use of a mouth guard. Mouth guards are also given to individuals who suffer from grinding their teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism, but they can also be used to cover your teeth and provide a protective layer to prevent chipping and breaking. Mouth guards are most commonly used in high contact sports such as football, and even hockey and soccer.

In regards to mouth guards, custom fitted ones are the most effective, but general ones that can be picked up at most drugstore work just as well.

If you already have a sports related injury affecting your teeth, please book an appointment through our website or by calling us directly.

Dental X-Rays

In general, dental x-rays are incredibly safe and should not cause anyone to worry or panic, especially about the radiation since dental x-rays have very low doses of radiation, especially when compared to other machines used for similar purposes. However, if that is not enough to put your mind at ease, then here are a few facts about dental x-rays.

Dental x rays are used in order for dentists to see what is going on inside your teeth and in your gums without having to surgically cut them open to observe. Dental x-rays can show things such as:

  • Bone loss
  • Tumors
  • Abscesses
  • Decay

Without having a dental x-ray, these problems may go unnoticed and therefore untreated, leading to painful problems in the future when they do surface.

As far as children are concerned, while they are more sensitive to radiation than adults, it is still considered a safe practice to perform. Dental x-rays are especially important for children as their teeth go through a ton of development and growth during their younger years. Having dental x-rays done can help dentists chart their growth and help detect issues such as a tooth that is growing in the wrong place, or whether crowding will be an issue.

However, with the case of pregnant women, it is advised that they avoid x-rays to prevent even the smallest of radiation from reaching the fetus and stunting any development. There may be some cases, however, where an x-ray may have to happen, in which case your dentist can recommend some safety precautions such as a protective cover to help keep radiation to a minimum. You can also request to have the radiation set to a minimum and to only take a single image, rather than multiple.

X-rays are not needed every time you go to the dentist’s office. Your dentist will determine when they are necessary and when they can be skipped. However, those with dental conditions that need to be monitored closely will need more x-rays than others, as well as those who are prone to dental disease and other serious conditions.

Speak with your dentist for further information pertaining to you and your x-ray schedule.