What to Look for
General dentistry has become an oversaturated industry which can make finding the perfect dentist for you and your family extremely hard. When looking for a good family dentist, you should look for the services listed below as a starting point to ensure the family dentist can do many services needed. If you are in need of anything a bit more complicated like an oral surgery, your family dentist should be able to recommend a surgeon for that specific procedure.
1. Deep Cleanings/Check-ups: Every general dentist will be expected to provide bi-annual cleanings. As mentioned above, it is recommended to visit your dentist every six months for a deep cleaning and checkup. This same rule of thumb goes for pediatric patients as well. In fact, children’s primary teeth are softer than adult teeth. Therefore, they are much more susceptible to getting cavities and bacteria build up and will need to have them treated immediately. Any issues can be caught early on is every patient visits the dentist twice a year for a dental cleaning and checkup.
2. Root Canal Therapy Procedures: If the patient has a cavity, it basically means the pulp of the tooth has become infected. It will need to be removed and filled with a dental filling. A root canal therapy procedure it is done to try and save the natural tooth from becoming fully decayed. If the tooth cannot be saved to the root canal therapy, it will need to be extracted in order to stop the spread of bacteria. Children are much more susceptible to getting cavities as their teeth or softer than adult teeth, and many issues can arise because of this.
3. Sealants: Some children cannot avoid getting cavities and having root canal therapy procedures done by getting assailants brushed on their teeth. A sealant is a thin resin that is brushed on the outside of children’s teeth that can protect the teeth from getting cavities or prevent them from the spread of bacteria or decay. A sealant is a step that many patients choose to skip because of the extra cost. However, this extra cost can prevent bigger price tags and a future appointment that triggered larger issues. Think of sealants as vitamins for your teeth; they are especially good for children’s teeth!
4. Dental Fillings: Dental fillings are typically used during the root canal therapy procedure to fill in the tooth after the infected pulp has been removed. There are multiple different variations of fillings either a composite filling can be used or a metal alloy material. A metal filling is typically only used during the root canal procedure while a composite filling can be used for both a root canal procedure as well as to repair a cracked or chipped tooth ( as it is a tooth-colored material). If you have a crack in your tooth and it hasn’t flowed below the gum line just yet, it is important to have this tooth repaired immediately using a composite filling. This is crack is left unrepaired, it can worsen by cracking below the gum line and providing a space for bacteria to crawl into. In some extreme cases, the tooth will need to be extracted!
5. Dental Crowns: If you have a deep crack in your tooth but a dental filling is not enough to keep it together, then your dentist may recommend a dental crown. A dental crown is typically made of either porcelain or ceramic and it is a tooth restoration that is placed over the top of your tooth to cover it from all sides above the gum line to seal and protect your tooth. A dental crown can also be used as an added layer of protection after a root canal therapy procedure. A dental crown can also be used to cover a tooth that is badly discolored and cannot be whitened using professional tooth whitening procedures.
6. Wisdom Tooth Extractions: Wisdom tooth extractions are extremely standard in the dental industry. You may be quick to assume a dental oral surgeon may be needed for a wisdom tooth extraction if the tooth has not grown past the gum line just yet. However, general dentists are well-trained and the extraction of wisdom teeth whether they are above or below the gum line. It can be beneficial to you as the patient to find out exactly what forms of sedation or local anesthetics are used in order to numb the patient from pain. Some dentists do not offer any form of sedation for wisdom tooth extraction, so you need to be educated on your family dentist procedures, so you do not run into this issue when it is needed.
When you find a family dentist that can do all of the procedures listed above, then you are well on your way to narrowing down your search! The best way to fully decide on a dentist is by visiting the office and speaking to the dentist. The overall atmosphere can usually give the patient a major yes or no when it comes to picking the perfect dentist for your family!