What To Look For In A Family Dentist
Dr. Ken Yabuki
Finding and choosing a family dentist can be challenging. After all, you have to find someone that works for yourself, your spouse and your kids. And it has to be someone that the family can trust. One of the primary keys is to find a dentist that specializes in a wide area of dentistry, including pediatric dentistry. Asking friends and colleagues who they use, is always a good beginning.
Choosing the right family dentist boils down to three core items:
1. A dentist that understands that children, including teenagers are not adults.
2. A dentist that understands your unique family values and concerns
3. A dentist that has excellent qualifications and current patient reviews.
Here are some things you should consider in choosing a family dentist:
- Look for a dentist with whom you can establish a great rapport with. This dentist should also be experienced as much as possible, as they are able to recognize potential problems right away and inform you of the best treatment options and prevent further damage.
- Choose a dentist that has worked with both adults and kids, including very young children. Checking if the dentist has a website and going through their online biography can give you a good idea about his or her experience. Of course, asking your friends, especially those with young children, for referrals is always a good idea. Read reviews and research for great dental practitioners within your community to help narrow down your choices.
- You should be comfortable talking to your dentist. After all, you want to be able to ask questions and air out concerns about everything from proper dental care to healthy snacks that will not damage yours or your children’s teeth. Consider every visit to your dentist as an opportunity to gain valuable insight about oral health and preventive care, on top of getting professional evaluation and care for your family’s teeth.
- Look for a dentist and dental hygienist who are gentle, patient, and kind. You may want to survey their offices for games and toys in the waiting room to help make your children become comfortable with every visit. Choose a dentist who is kind and will make your children feel encouraged and gain a positive attitude toward dental visits. You will want your children to look forward to visiting the dentist and caring for their teeth after. Dental appointments should never feel like punishment.
- Dentist availability should be a major factor in your decision. Your dentist should be able to see you within a few hours, even on weekends, should emergencies arise.
- Check the dental office and make sure that it is comfortable. After all, you will be spending a lot of time in it on a regular basis, so you should be able to relax before and after your procedure. It’s nice if the office is equipped with comfortable furniture, current reading materials, an area where your children can play. The small details can symbolize how your dentist take great care in ensuring that patients are at ease and that your comfort and satisfaction are valued.
- Choose a dentist that is current with the latest dental technology and techniques. A dentist that uses the latest techniques and whose office is equipped with modern machines can provide better results. It also pays to seek one who is constantly improving his or her craft through continuing education, workshops, and conferences. Never settle for one who only offers the basics, because you might need procedures that may require advanced techniques, such as dental implants, porcelain veneers, and porcelain inlays, to name a few.
- Choose a dentist that allows interviews. A dentist who cares about you will be more than welcoming to perform a on-site interview. You want to find out how a dentist thinks and feels before you are sitting in the patient chair.
- Always ask about UPFRONT pricing and what payment methods are available, plus the type of insurance the office currently uses. Having a great family dentist is also one that works with you in its payment structures, but also tells you what things are going to cost before building a huge bill. If a procedure out of your present price range is required, find out through the front office how payments can be deferred or even covered through insurance, credit lines or similar.
- Everyone slips up or has periods of time that dental care is last on the list of priorities. A good family dentist will be non-judgemental in their approach and will work with you to resolve the issue without guilt or condemnation.
- Your dentist should have a valid and currently license in the state they practice. For the state of California, this can be found at the California Dental Board.
Surf City Dentist would like to be your family dentist. Call us for an in-person interview appointment. Your health, your family, your kids are important to us.
This blog is for advisory purposes only. Actual medical/dental diagnosis can not be done online. This blog does not replace the opinion or procedures recommended by others licensed professionals in the field.
Please see a licensed dentist or doctor.