Investing in your smile and overall dental health is essential today, and it all begins with selecting the right dentist for both you and your family. Whether you are new to a neighborhood, need specialty treatment, or decide it’s time to switch to an office that offers children’s services in addition to adults, here are the six things you need to know before choosing your next dentist.
1. General vs. Specialty Care
Not all dental offices offer the same type of care. Begin your search by asking yourself what is most important. Do you need a general dentist to keep your dental health in top shape, or do you need a specialist that can address a specific problem?
Selecting a general dentist that offers a variety of care gives you one office to build a relationship with and depend on for most of your family’s dental needs. Here you will receive ongoing preventive care, such as cleanings and checkups, and also maintenance or restorative treatments.
If you are looking for specialty care, such as a root canal, orthodontia, or a cosmetic procedure, you may want to look for a specialist. However, many dentists today offer a wider variety of services and treatments, so you may be able to find one that can offer everything you need in one office.
Whichever you choose, be sure to also check on the credentials and training of the dentist to ensure you work with the best available.
2. Available Services and Treatments
When researching your choices, understand what it is each dentist offers in terms of services and treatments. Not all dental offices are the same or even similar when it comes to this, so you’ll need to find out specific offerings to ensure you choose the best one for your family’s needs.
For example, if you already know you would like to try Invisalign® to straighten your teeth, then check to see if this is covered or offered by each dentist on your list. Do the same for needs such as periodontal treatments or a solution for sleep apnea.
Keep in mind, however, that if the dentist doesn’t offer certain treatments, they will be able to refer you to a specialist. You can ask about this when determining whether the dentist is a good fit or not.
Dental emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone in your family. Knowing that your dental office is available for emergency care can bring peace of mind and also ready access to your dental records should an emergency occur.
Since not all dental offices provide for emergency care, be sure to confirm this when researching your options. Many dentists today offer flexible hours, weekend appointments, or provide a phone number in cases of dental emergencies.
4. Latest Dental Technologies and Sterilization Practices
As medical technology continues to evolve, so too does dental technology. Dental offices staying up-to-date on these technological advancements show that they are prioritizing the overall patient experience as well as streamlining treatment processes.
Technologies such as dental lasers, digital x-rays, and intraoral cameras can lessen the time required to complete a treatment, meaning patients spend less time in the chair. These technologies can also lower the number of required dental visits for a given procedure.
Just as important as dental technology is the sterilization practices of a dental office. These sterilization practices are meant to protect patients and staff alike and are essential to everyone’s health.
For example, here at Lifetime Dental Health, we prioritize sterilization of all our equipment, tools, and surfaces and follow the strict guidelines of the American Dental Association (ADA) as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
5. Patient Care Approach
If you are hesitant or experience anxiety when considering a trip to the dentist, it may help to know that many dentists today offer solutions to help alleviate such discomfort.
These solutions range from providing more comfortable chairs to playing soothing music to offering sedation dentistry.
If this describes you or anyone in your family, find out if the dentist you are considering offers such patient care approaches, showing they understand your anxieties and value your time in their office.
The team at Lifetime Dental Health believes patient comfort is a priority. In addition to offering sedation therapy, we also provide items like headphones, soft blankets, neck pillows, and warm towels to enhance the experience.
6. Insurance and Payment Information
Dental care costs can fluctuate depending on various factors, and are not always easy to plan for in many instances.
If you have dental insurance, determine which dentists fall under in-network coverage. While this can influence your decision, be sure you are comfortable with the dentists under your plan, and if not, don’t hesitate to look outside that covered network.
Also, many dental offices today offer flexible financing options and payment plans for those without dental insurance or whose insurance only covers so much. Find out about these options before choosing your dentist so you won’t have to worry about the financial aspects as much.
Schedule a Consultation with Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus Today
Dr. Richard Barry and his team at Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus offer patients highly personalized care and treatment plans. We also utilize the latest technology along with comforting amenities to make the experience as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and get to know us and how we can help.
When it comes to maintaining your smile and overall oral health, regularly scheduled dentist appointments can make all the difference. Yet, there are times when you potentially need additional treatments beyond those preventive exams and cleanings. When this occurs, it helps to know when to choose a family dentist over an orthodontist.
The Differences Between a Family Dentist and an Orthodontist
The more you know about the differences between a family dentist and an orthodontist, the easier your decision can be when it comes to which one to choose for your dental needs.
A family dentist provides a wide range of services and procedures for everyone in your household, including children and seniors.
Overall, your family dentist is your go-to for all dental health-related issues, including gum disease, tooth decay, broken or cracked teeth, and oral cancer. They can also refer you to other trusted specialists, such as orthodontists, whenever necessary.
While the orthodontist is also a dentist, they are highly specialized and provide only certain services and treatments to patients.
To be more specific, an orthodontist specializes in jaw alignment and moving teeth into proper placement. Offered procedures usually include correcting the following:
gaps between teeth,
crowded or protruding teeth,
bite issues, such as overbites, underbites, and crossbites,
spacing issues, and
Patients usually seek the help of an orthodontist if they want to improve their smile, experience serious problems with crooked, overcrowded, or misaligned teeth, or their teeth in some way affect the ability to chew food or speak properly.
When to Choose a Family Dentist Over an Orthodontist
When it comes to whether you should choose a family dentist over an orthodontist, first consider what the issue is, its cause, and what you are hoping to achieve with treatment.
In general, contact your family dentist for any of the following situations:
You want to maintain the health of your gums and teeth (preventive care)
You have concerns over the health of your mouth in general
You believe you may have tooth decay, a cavity, loose filling, or gum disease
You wish to improve the look of your smile
In many instances, your family dentist will provide a variety of helpful services, such as preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, to care for whatever needs arise throughout the year. The advantage to this is that your dentist already knows about your oral health and previous issues and treatments and can facilitate a faster review and better solutions geared toward your circumstances.
There are times, however, when answering the question of whether to choose a family dentist over an orthodontist can be challenging. You may be looking for beneficial solutions to help your child’s teeth align more properly, or you yourself have a misalignment and wish to have a straighter smile.
Fortunately, your family dentist may be able to help with these, offering certain orthodontic services which will be beneficial. For example, here at Lifetime Dental Health, we offer our families two orthodontic options – Invisalign and a Six Months Smiles® System.
Invisalign is a short-term treatment for straightening teeth with the use of clear, removable aligners. You simply remove them when you need to drink, eat, or brush your teeth. These aligners are a good option for adults who are looking for something other than traditional braces.
Six Months Smiles® System
Our Six Month Smiles® System is for those patients 16 and older and consists of wearing clear braces to align those teeth that are most visible when you smile. These teeth are easier to adjust than the molars situated further back in your mouth, so you’ll only need to wear the braces for six months to achieve positive results.
These clear braces are a great option for those experiencing:
crowded, gapped, or misaligned teeth in the “smile zone,”
a misalignment of previous orthodontic work, or
a desire to obtain a straighter smile without requiring traditional braces.
While there are advantages to choosing a family dentist who offers orthodontic treatments, much will depend upon your own particular circumstances. Start by scheduling an informational consultation with your dentist to gain an overview of your current dental health and the options available to you.
Contact Lifetime Dental Health – Your Family Dentist in Columbus
When it comes to all your family’s dental needs, look no further than Lifetime Dental Health, located here in Columbus. We not only provide preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services but also offer orthodontic solutions for those wishing to improve their smile. Contact our Columbus office today to find out more and see what options are right for you.
When it comes to dental care for you and your family, it is important to find a provider that you can trust. Your dental health can greatly affect your overall well-being, and a good oral care provider can help keep you healthy and happy for years to come. Follow these tips to find the right dentist for you and your family:
Talk to your Insurance Provider
The first step in finding a family dentist is looking for a professional that is accepted by your insurance plan. Contact your insurance provider to get a list of dental care professionals that are in-network with them. This will stop you from falling in love with a dentist or practice that your insurance doesn’t cover and can save you money in the long run.
Visit the Practice
One of the most important aspects of family dental care is building your children’s relationships with their dentist. A positive introduction to the dentist, good oral hygiene education, and a welcoming environment can set your child up to have good oral health habits for life. To make sure that your children will feel safe and welcome, pay a visit to any prospective practices before becoming official patients. Getting a feel for the environment and meeting the staff will help you decide if the practice is a good fit for your family. When you visit, ask the staff about any dental health programs they have for children.
Your friends and family know you better than anyone, so ask for recommendations. A lot of people have great, long-lasting relationships with their family dentist, and will happily give you recommendations. Seek out referrals from families, specifically with young children, to make sure that your potential new dentist is good with kids.
Look at Online Reviews
One of the best ways to see if people are happy with their dentist is through online reviews. Reviews allow you to read honest feedback about the patients’ experiences. If you see a bad review, make sure to note how the practice responded to the disgruntled patient. This will give you an accurate idea about the level of customer service that the office provides.
Research the Dentist
The more you know about your dental providers, the more confidence you will have in your care. Look up the dentists, where they studied, where they have practiced, any additional certifications they have and continued education courses in which they participate. Many dental websites will also have a “Meet the Dentist” page that will allow you to know more about your dentist on a personal level.
Look up their Services
Along with a certified, welcoming dentist, you want someone that meets all of your dental care needs. The last thing that you want is to have to go to other practices for additional services. Look for a family dentist that offers cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry. Look for dentists with extensive and informative websites that give a thorough description of available services.
Come Visit Lifetime Dental Health
If you are searching for a family dentist in the Columbus area, come see us at Lifetime Dental Health. We offer a welcoming, warm office environment and will do anything we can to make you feel right at home. At our practice, we are committed to continuing our education and staying up-to-date on the latest dental advancements and technologies so that we can give our patients the best care possible. We strive to make as many resources available to you as possible and are committed to helping educate you about your dental health options. Give us a call at (614)-333-9498 to learn more about us today!