Many dentists specialise in certain aspects of their profession, such as orthodontics or paediatric dentistry, for example. However, some go into family dentistry which means that they need to be well-versed in all aspects of the discipline. Essentially, a family dentist will be able to cope with the varying needs of adults, geriatrics and children as a part of a general dental practice.
When you move to a new area or as your family grows, you will need to find a dental practice that provides family dental care. Although most dentists would probably treat your family members, you might find more beneficial dental services with a dentist who specializes in family care. What are the sorts of family dentistry services on offer? Here are some tips for finding the right dentist for your needs.
Check With Your Dental Insurance Provider
If you have dental insurance, contact the administrator’s office to ask for a list of plan providers in your area. This information is probably also available online at the dental insurance provider’s website. Be specific about looking for a dentist that treats all family members, from children to the elderly. If you have a family member with a disability or a chronic illness, that should be considered as well.
Consult Your Medical Practitioner
You may find several dentists on the list of providers approved by your dental insurance plan. Read the reviews provided by other patients to decide which dentist would be best for your family. You can also ask your doctor or medical practitioner for a recommendation on which dentist might be best. This assumes the doctor knows something about the dentists in question. If you know other medical experts in the area, you might ask their opinion as well.
Do an Internet Search
Look for a family dentist in your area with a helpful website that offers useful information. You can find out about any specialties or limitations a dentist of interest might have. Contact information will let you get in touch with a dental practice to ask specific questions. You can ask if that office accepts your dental insurance, and if so, what the copay fee would be. You can usually inquire about the cost of a checkup, x-rays, and fillings if you think someone in the family will need one.
Ask Family Members and Friends
Another way to find a good dentist is to ask people you trust. Someone with beautiful teeth or who has had a good dental experience can recommend that dentist for follow-up. When you call the dentist’s office for more information or to schedule an appointment, you can mention the person who referred you, which will make the dentist happy knowing that his or her work is being recommended by patients.
As you consult with others, you might wonder why a family dentist would be the best option for you. Here are services that most family dentists provide that illustrate why they are the best options for families.
One of the key aspects of modern family dentistry is that it will allow entire families to visit the dentist together. This is so that younger children, in particular, can become accustomed more easily to all of the aspects of dentistry that can put some new visitors off. Although kids won’t usually be present to see their parents undergoing a specialist procedure – such as root canal work, for example – they will be able to see other family members sitting in the dentist’s chair and having their teeth examined. This should help to put them at their ease and to understand that dental check-ups are perfectly straightforward and nothing to worry about.
Oral Health Advice
When visiting the dentist as a group, families will receive oral health advice together. Paediatric dentists will often have specialist knowledge about oral hygiene education that is suited to younger children, but family dentistry focuses on oral health at all stages of life. This might mean offering guidance on brushing as milk teeth start to come out and adult teeth appear or on the oncoming presence of wisdom teeth, something that can affect teenagers as well as adults, for example. By educating a family together, positive oral health outcomes tend to be more likely as the family dynamic encourages the group to work together on brushing, flossing, mouth rinsing and so on.
Visiting a Family Dentist Without Children
There is no need to visit a family dentist with children if they are confident to be seen on their own. Most parents choose to do so, however, at least until the age of about 14. Young adults who have a disability or learning difficulty which means that they may be worried about visiting their dentist will often find that family dentistry continues to be a useful service that they can take advantage of as they age. This is because of the friendly atmosphere that many family dentists have taken the trouble to create in the work.
The right dentist for your family can instill confidence during exams and treatment. Don’t settle for just any dentist. Look for one who specializes in family dental care. Once you have built a solid relationship between the dentist and your family, it will reward you in the years to come. Your family will be thankful for great dental care that fits their needs. Spend the time to find what will work best for your family.