An estimated 38% of American adults between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth, while 35% of those over 65 are missing all of their teeth. This is the result of many Americans not seeking the routine dental care they need.
Why you need a dentist: A good dentist will help you maintain proper oral hygiene as long as you go in for frequent dental visits which can prevent tooth loss and decay. Those who do not frequent a dentist at least twice a year are at serious risk for tooth loss, which can often cause depression and self esteem issues.
If you are suffering from tooth loss or decay, finding a dentist should be your number one priority in order to prevent further health complications. You may need a cosmetic dental procedure, such as dental implants, to restore your smile as well. A cosmetic dental procedure is one that aims to restore the look and feel of your mouth.
How to find a dentist: If you have moved recently or are looking to switch dental offices, here are a few ways to find a great dentist near you.
- Ask your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers for personal recommendations. Whichever name comes up most frequently is probably your best bet.
- If you are moving, ask your dentist for a recommendation, or ask your general care doctor or local pharmacist for names and numbers.
- Do an online search and look at a few dental websites to get the gist of what’s out there and what each dental office offers.
- If all else fails, contact your local or state dental society, provided by the American Dental Association.
What to look for: Once you’ve narrowed your search down, start making calls and asking to come in for a quick visit or consultation. You want to make sure that you are comfortable with your new dentist, so don’t be afraid to ask the following questions.
- What are your office hours?
- Where were you trained? Where did you get your degree?
- How often do you attend dental conferences or dentist workshops?
- Are you certified to give anesthesia? If so, what kind?
- If I have an emergency, how can I get ahold of you or your office staff after hours?
- What type of payment plans do you offer and what insurance companies do you honor?
- What is your policy for missed and/or late appointments?
Check to see if the office is well-organized and up to date in terms of dental technology. Ask to have a quick tour of the office to make sure the environment is sterile.
Special needs dental care: If you are looking for a new dentist because you, a loved one, or a child has special needs, there are steps you must take at your new dentists’ office.
- Let your new dentist know about you or your love one’s health condition or financial situation.
- Ask if the dentist has had any previous training or experience with a patient with special needs.
- Find out whether or not the dentist office is handicap accessible.
- Ask the dentist if their office can accommodate patients with your specific condition (whether financial or health-related).
If you don’t think you can pay for dental work, there are also options available where you may be able to receive dental care for a reduced price. However, you may need to look a bit harder for these services. Helpful links.
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