Maybe you’ve moved. Maybe you’ve switched jobs or insurance coverage. Whatever the case – you’re shopping for a family dentist. Your family may have many members with several different dental needs. How do you find the right family dentist to cover them all? Ask yourself a few questions to follow the path to the
Start With Basic Needs
You know each member of your family should have regular checkups twice per year. What will make it easy to make that happen?
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- Choose a family dentist that is in your network coverage, whenever possible. Check the online resources available from the American Dental Association (ADA) and your insurance company for eligible dentists in your area.
- Choose a family dentist that is in your area. When you have an emergency, or even just for day-to-day visits, you don’t want to travel far, if you can avoid it. However, if you have specialized needs – such as cosmetic dentistry or sedation dentistry that not all dentists perform – it might be worth traveling to a convenient location for the best service.
- Choose a family dentist that works with all ages. If your household includes infants, children, juveniles, adults, and seniors – you have a wide variety of needs. No two people have the same mouth, and an experienced dentist will take a personalized approach to every patience. Find a dentist who suits your whole family.
The best long-term care is preventative care, and the best family dentists emphasize prevention. It’s the most basic of all care functions – keeping up with regular care to avoid long-term damage. When you’re choosing a new family dentist, make sure they consider preventative care to be essential.
Think About Emergency Dental Care
Life happens. People hurt themselves. Sometimes in the mouth. When someone in your family is dealing with painful gum disease, mouth injuries, or possibly need a root canal, it feels good to turn to someone you can trust.
The best family dental practices in Texas provide as many in-house services as possible, and can easily and quickly refer you to other specialists who can help when the situation is out of their level of experience. Choose a family dentist who is available to help you when you need it.
Think About Extended Dental Care
People at different ages deal with different dental issues. While the most common issues can be dealt with at your family dentist, there may be specialized services you need over time – such as braces, retainers, teeth straighteners, cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, dentures, and more!
It sounds like a lot, but with the right family dentist, it’s easy to manage. Choose a family dentist who will discuss your family’s changing needs, help you prepare ahead for issues they see coming up, and offer not only referrals to trusted and respected specialists, but discuss alternative approaches where appropriate.
Think About the Relationship
Having a great relationship with your family dentist can help you better handle oral issues in your whole family – cleft lip or palate, crooked or brittle teeth, gum disease (which can contribute to heart disease), trouble eating, jaw problems (which can contribute to ear issues) – and even more. Having the right family dentist that you can trust with your whole family’s oral health is worth spending some time shopping around.
Shop Around for the Right Family Dentist
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. After receiving a referral from an ADA or your insurance (or another reputable resource), read through the dentist’s website thoroughly. What questions do you think of that apply to your own family? What concerns do you have?
Submit a request for information about your specific needs. Or call and schedule a 10-minute phone call at a nurse or dental assistant’s convenience to discuss your questions with them. The assistant who answers the phone may be able to answer some of the questions, but a little longer conversation with one of the other team members may make you feel the most at-ease and ready for an in-office visit.
Plan the First Visit
Of course, when you go in for the first time, take your list of questions with you. Ask anything you didn’t get fully answered, or anything else that occurs to you. We also suggest that you bring the family member with the most needs with you first. Bringing the whole family at once can be overwhelming – but who is the family member with the most dental needs? It can be a great introduction to have them join you on the first visit to your new family dentist.