What is a family dentist? This is not a dentist who only accepts patients with kids or with grandparents sharing the family home. No, the modern family dentist is often a professional dentist with a full support staff of hygienists and assistants. This is also someone who is likely to be getting all kinds of training in the latest techniques because they want to simplify their patients’ lives.
Why Choosing the Right Family Dentist is Important
How can a dentist actually simplify anyone’s life? By ensuring that they know all of the latest techniques, materials, and needs of their patients, the modern dentist can really become a “go to” solution.
Naturally, that doesn’t mean that choosing the right family dentist requires you to just look at the list of services offered and go with the office that has the most. It means that you must assess your needs and narrow down the choices to the offices that seem to be the best fit.
Consider that you may indeed be a multi-generational household and while your kids need a children’s dental expert, the older members of the family may need a dental office that can handle dentures, implants, and advanced care.
So, choosing the right family dentist means knowing what you need.
Anticipate Your Needs
Of course, that means that a lot of the work choosing the right family dentist starts with a bit of guesswork. After all, do you really know that your family is going to benefit from such things as orthodontics or smile makeovers? Will they need implants or oral surgery? Is it imperative that the office has emergency services?
It is not really possible to anticipate all of your needs, but you can use your family history, knowledge of your needs over the past years, and some light guesswork to begin steering yourself towards optimal candidates.
What about insurance and financing? That is something that a lot of people overlook in when choosing the right family dentist and it ends up costing them. Be sure you understand what sort of coverage you have or the kind of payment arrangements you might need before you book a visit.
Check Ongoing Education
Something you really want to see when choosing the right family dentist is that the dental professionals in the practice are up to date on the latest materials, procedures, and techniques. Dentistry is one medical industry that is constantly experiencing new discoveries. If you were to simply research a subject like overlays or invisible braces you would discover that these things have advanced quickly and that a good dentist will have had to get some education around them.
How do you discover these things? When choosing the right family dentist you should begin with some online research. Go to the various office websites to see what they have to say about themselves, their staff, their mission, etc. Then use the Internet to conduct research around customer reviews or feedback.
There are many ways you can get details about a family dentist, and once you have a few viable candidates you should start asking friends, co-workers, and other parents if they have any recommendations. It is likely that the names you have discovered will also be recommended by others. Use this “word of mouth” to determine which family dentist is going to be a good fit to your needs. Book a few visits, get a good feel for the offices, and then make your choice.
Dr. Goldberg is a family dentist in Toronto offering dental implants and emergency dental services.