How to choose a dentist

One of the most important steps to protect your dental health is finding a dentist (orthodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon, etc.) that you feel comfortable with. The following tips and tricks will help you find a good, local dentist.

Questions to ask a dentist

Ask about the extent of the dentist's training and clinical experience in performing the specific procedure you may require. For example, not all dentists are trained in specific cosmetic dentistry procedures. In addition, certain procedures, such as an anterior porcelain veneer, may serve both an esthetic and functional need. A procedure that satisfies both needs might be the better option when compared with a standard functional restoration offering no esthetic benefit, but you will need to investigate which dentists have the training and experience to perform the procedure that best meets your needs.

Are you able to make an appointment at a convenient time? (Evenings and weekends if needed?)

Determine dental costs prior to treatment. Dental cost totals should include procedure fees, anesthesia fees, and facility fees. If you have dental insurance, chances are good that there will be some benefit coverage applicable to procedures such as preventative dental care (professional cleanings and exams) and amalgam fillings (the traditional metal fillings). Less coverage may be available for composite fillings (which have an enamel-like finish) and restorative dental work such as bridges and crowns. Coverage for orthodontia varies among dental insurance plans. Your out-of-pocket costs are typically determined at the initial consultation.

What arrangements are available for emergency services?

Inquire about the use of dental lasers as an alternative to traditional dental tools such as tooth drilling and scalpels.

Before committing yourself to a dentist, identify all the procedure options that would solve your cosmetic dental concern. Ask about the pros and cons of each option.

Is the dentist willing to work out payment plans? (example, monthly payments)

Oral health is important to your overall health.

Consider the following:

Heart Disease: If you have gum (periodontal) disease, you may have a higher risk of heart disease. The germs that cause gum disease may also block arteries and lead to stroke.

Respiratory Disease: People with existing lung problems, weak immune systems, and elderly people are at higher risk of getting a lung infection from breathing in bacteria from the mouth.

Diabetes: Gum disease can make diabetes worse by making blood sugar harder to control. People with diabetes may have trouble getting gum disease to heal.

Premature Deliveries: Gum disease is linked to risk of premature and low birth weight babies. Researchers are working hard to find out more about this connection.

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