Contemporary Dentistry

What to Look for in Your Dentist

In finding the dentist best suited for your specific dental requirements, a certain level of knowledge about the field is a necessity. You will need to be acquainted to some extent with the different fields in order to ensure that you will entrust your teeth to only the best local dentist or dentists around. A qualified dentist is one who carries the title DDS or DMD after their name.

The first dentist that you will most likely encounter in your search is a general or family dentist. Like his or her title states, a general dentist is licensed to assess your overall oral health as well as provide you with treatment.

In case your condition requires the attention of a more specialized dentist, your general dentist may simply refer you to those who specialize in that particular field. Nevertheless, you should be proactive and find a reliable dentist that you can contact in the off chance that you encounter any dental emergency. To help narrow your search, here is a checklist of the things that you should consider:

Choose a dentist with a office located near your home or workplace. This will lessen your travel time and transportation costs. Likewise, this will make it easier for you to come in for an appointment during emergency situations or even schedule a quick visit during your break times.

Choose a dentist who provides affordable services. Your insurance plan can cover your dental expenses to a certain extent. Nevertheless, you should still check beforehand whether your chosen dentist will accept your insurance as payment, or will otherwise allow you to pay in installments. This can be a crucial requirement particularly since costs can vary depending on the dentist’s area of expertise and some specialists charge more than others do.

Choose a dentist that makes you feel at ease. Even routine, annual, check-ups will require you to lie down for long periods; as such, it is vital that you find a dentist who makes you feel at ease. Likewise, you must have no apprehensions about sharing any feelings of discomfort or anxiety about certain procedures or asking questions regarding any symptoms you might be experiencing without hesitation. In this way, he or she will be able to provide you with the most appropriate responses or necessary treatments.

Choose a dentist with capable staff. Aside from your chosen dentist, his or her staff should also be able to answer your more trivial questions. After all, they will most likely be assisting the dentist during your treatments. Therefore, they should also be able to earn your trust and make you feel at ease.

Choose a dentist who provides emergency dental services. As much as you might follow your dentist’s reminders to always brush, floss, and come in for regular check-ups, emergencies are still bound to arise. During those times, it is even more important that your dentist be easily accessible even after normal office hours or during the weekends. Although some dental emergencies can be given some temporary treatments before you reach the dentist’s office, it is still important that you inform your dentist of your dental emergency as soon as possible.

You should never prolong any dental emergency particularly if you are feeling any extreme discomfort. However, for those times when you are not able to immediately travel to the dental clinic, here a few temporary remedies for the most common dental emergencies.

  • Toothaches. Before administering treatment to ease the pain, ensure that your teeth are free of any small food particles that could result in cavities. Gently floss in between your teeth and rinse your mouth with warm water. Afterwards, apply a cold compress on your cheek to lessen the pain and go to your dentist as soon as you can.
  • Broken or dislodged teeth. Contact your dentist immediately and save the teeth or all the pieces that you can find. You can rinse the teeth with water, but do not attempt to put them back in your mouth by yourself. Instead, attempt to stop the bleeding with a piece of gauze and apply a cold compress at the side of your swollen face. Afterwards, take a painkiller if necessary and proceed to your dentist’s clinic as fast as possible. There is a larger chance to reattach your knocked-out teeth if treated by your dentist within an hour.
  • Lost crowns or fillings. Immediately after realizing that you have lost your dental filling, abstain from eating to avoid getting food lodged in the cavity. In case a crown falls off, apply a small amount of toothpaste or dental cement on the inner tooth to act as a temporary adhesive. Afterwards, contact your dentist to receive treatment.
  • Abscess. Abscesses are serious oral infections that can affect not only your teeth and gums, but can even spread to other parts of your body. Therefore, it is important that you see your dentist as soon as possible when you encounter any unusual swelling, pain, and pus in your gums.