Your family dentist isn’t simply someone that regularly gives your teeth a deep clean, scale and polish. Your dental surgeon should become a trusted member of your family health support team. Having a trusted dentist to look after not only your teeth, but the oral health of all of your family members is incredibly important.
A good dentist will look after you and help you to prevent many dental health issues from developing into more serious problems. They are trained to look for early signs and indicators of oral cancers, gum disease, inflammation and periodontal disease that could be a sign that there is something else seriously out of balance in your body.
As well as making good use of their knowledge, training and expertise, you should be completely comfortable with your dentist and have a good relationship with them. This is why you need to find a dentist that your whole family are happy with.
So what things should you be looking for when assessing a new family dentist? Let’s look at some top tips for choosing the best one for your whole family.
Check their qualifications and experience
Obviously, you will want to trust the oral health of your family members to someone that is fully qualified and has experience of working with both adults and children. Check their recent training history too because you will want to choose a dentist that is keen to keep on updating their skills and knowledge. A dentist that qualified 20 years ago, but has not conducted any further training may be lacking in knowledge about the latest tools, technology and dental techniques that have developed over the past few years.
Age range restrictions
At first glance many dental practices don’t actually specify what age ranges they deal with. There are many dentists that treat adults only, just as there are practices that have a number of dentists with at least one staff member that has trained as a paediatric dentist. Telephone the dental practice and check whether there are dentists that are taking on new patients. It may be that the only dental surgeons taking on new patients at that practice are taking adults only because they have no experience of treating teens or young children.
Ideally, you will want to look at a dental practice that offers services to adults, teen and children. There are some dedicated dental practices that specialise in treating children only, so if this is the only option in your area, then you may need to consider registering at two different dentists – one for you, your partner and any adult children or grandparents, and the other for your young children.
Most cosmetic dentistry is carried out on adults and seniors. Treatments such as teeth straightening, teeth whitening and dental implants are common procedures for adults. While children and young teens may be in need of braces, in most cases these treatments can be conducted by a family dentist rather than a cosmetic dentist. This is why you will need to find a family dentist to build a good relationship with so they can take care of your children’s teeth and offer routine care, such as cleaning, filling and check-ups. These are routine tasks that a cosmetic dentist may not offer as part of their services.