In 2019, did you know that 64.9% of adults and 85.9% of children had a dental visit for one reason or another?
And while those percentages are pretty good, there are still some families who have yet to start choosing a dentist for their needs.
However, finding the best family dentist can make your family’s lives easier and less stressful overall.
So if you’re in need of help picking a dentist, here are 9 questions to start with!
1. Do You Have References?
References are so important to see what kind of reputation your dentist has. So it’s important to ask for a reference list in order to reach out to those who have had any services with them.
And of course, you want to see mostly positive experiences from their practice. But, don’t be swayed away from any negatives, because you can’t please everyone in today’s society.
A good rule of thumb is to reach out to at least 5 to 8 different references to get a feel for their experiences. And ask them any questions you might have concerns about.
2. What Are Your Specialties?
Some dentists run their practice with overall dental needs in mind. However, some specialize in certain areas. Therefore, it’s always important to ask about their specializations to ensure they meet your needs.
For example, some pride their practice in more extreme procedures like root canals. And others only work with children and focus on their needs.
But whatever the case, remember you need a family dental practice for your household. This should ensure everyone, whether adult or child, is taken care of.
3. What Kind of X-Rays Are Taken?
Some dentists don’t always take proper X-rays at the proper times. And asking about their X-ray policy and procedures can save you any stress.
X-rays are important to make sure the dentist knows what’s going on. And they should also have a regular schedule of conducting these. This allows them to monitor your teeth and jaw, should any problems arise.
If they avoid this question or don’t seem to have a good policy in mind, this may be a red flag for your family.
4. Will My Satisfaction Be Guaranteed?
Make sure your dentist always has your best interest in mind. In other words, make sure they can guarantee your satisfaction to the best of their ability. This will ensure your family is taken care of.
Always remember, teeth are fragile to work with. And because of that, your first fix may not always be the best. And if that’s the case, make sure your dentist is able to reanalyze his work and make the necessary changes.
They should always be willing to work with you to give you the best care.
5. Can You Help With a Preventative Plan?
Ask your dentist if they can help you with a plan to prevent any further damage in the future. This can save you time and money in the long run if you’re taking the proper care.
This is especially important for children so that they do not disrupt the growth of their adult teeth. Therefore, your dental practice should help you come up with ways for your family to avoid major problems in the future.
6. Do You Offer Payment Plans?
If you should ever need a major operation, it’s no secret that it will most likely cost quite a bit of money. And for those without insurance, it will cost even more out of pocket.
And to take precautions, always ask if they offer payment plans. This will help greatly in the long run when you can’t afford the full cost upfront.
7. What Is Your Waiting Policy?
Nowadays, it’s important to know what their practice’s waiting policy is. Especially with COVID-19, no one wants to wait for hours in a small waiting room with other people around.
So, ask about waiting times and how they are taking the proper precautions to battle the virus. Keep in mind, they do have other patients and give them some leeway when waiting for a few minutes.
8. Do You Provide Estimates or Quotes?
Asking if they provide estimates or quotes can be great when you need to save some money. It also helps you find the proper dentist that fits your financial needs.
And if you’re having a problem with your teeth, this can help you get a feel for the dentist and how he runs things. They should give you a rundown on cost, procedure, and what to expect overall.
9. Do You Provide a Treatment Schedule?
Of course, each person’s teeth and oral care will be different from the next. So you may end up needing to see your dentist more often than your family member.
And this is important to know from your dentist, that way you know how often to expect to visit.
Plus, if they provide you with a specific schedule, this could be a good sign of knowing that they are making sure your individual needs are met. But, always ask for the reasoning behind the scheduling to ensure you know what’s going on with your oral health.
Best Family Dentist
Having the best family dentist is so important for the well-being of your household.
And hopefully, these 9 dentist questions will help you find the best match for you in your town.
So if you’re in need of any dental services in the Indianapolis area, contact us today! We will take the best care of you here at Southeast Family Dental!
You might scoff at your dentist’s urging to brush, floss and care for your gums. It might sound like a broken record, but all of us here at Southeast Family Dental are willing to sound like broken records if it can prevent our patients from having to deal with gum disease. Gum disease is much more common than you might believe. It begins with gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. Gum disease varies in severity and is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. POOR DENTAL HYGIENE Most often, gum disease, beginning with gingivitis is the result of poor dental hygiene. Inflammation is caused by bacteria that is trapped between teeth and gums and allowed to grow. Without intervention, gingivitis can become periodontitis and cause loss of the bone support around the teeth. For this reason, gum disease causes tooth loss. Patients don’t recognize gum disease as a problem because it often presents itself as localized in one area of the mouth. A sore gum next to one tooth doesn’t seem like such a big deal to some. However, left untreated, one small sore place can become a major oral health issue. Besides noting red, swollen gums, dentists check for gum disease by measuring the pockets between the gums and teeth. That’s why they probe and record depth measurements during your check-up. Changes in those measurements can indicate the presence of gum disease. STEPS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING GUM DISEASE There are steps every person can take to reduce their risk for developing gum disease: * See your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings * Brush your teeth at least twice each day * Floss daily * Rinse your teeth after meals when you cannot brush Preventive care with the Southeast Family Dental practice is the first step to oral health. In fact, it is not uncommon for Dr. Geiger, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Miller to find evidence of gum disease. Studies have shown that up to 75% of adults over age 35 are affected by gum disease and they don’t even realize it. Gum disease can affect your overall health condition. For that reason, you will find that Southeast Family Dental provides extensive gum disease therapy. Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy – as well as to reduce the risk of other conditions like diabetes and heart disease through good oral health. Contact us today to make sure you aren’t risking your health because of unrecognized gum disease.
If you’re like the dentists at Southeast Family Dental, one of the first things you get packed when preparing to travel is your toothbrush and toothpaste. If you aren’t like them and are thinking more of bathing suits and sunscreen, that’s okay, we still have you covered. Here are several tips from the staff at Southeast Family Dental for taking good care of your teeth while you are traveling: * Take your dentist’s phone number with you. You never know when there will be a slip or fall that results in a dental emergency and you have a critical question about your teeth. Even if you can’t access the emergency care you would at home, having that link could prove to be invaluable. Plus, you might want your dentist to be prepared to provide restorative care on your teeth once your travel is finished and you get home. * Use the American Dental Association website to find a local dentist in the place you are traveling. Yes, there are dentists all over that will open their door to you in an emergency. However, you won’t know the local area and want to be reassured that the dentist you choose to trust with your teeth and smile is qualified and reputable. * Keep your toothbrush ventilated. If you have a travel container or cap to store it in your bag, be sure it is ventilated. Enclosed containers or plastic bags create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria can not only encourage decay on your teeth and infection in your gums, but it can make you sick as well. Keep your toothbrush well-ventilated so it can dry out. * Solutions if you have forgotten your toothbrush in your travel bag: a. Clean your teeth by swishing your mouth with water after eating b. Use your finger or a washcloth to apply toothpaste to your teeth. Be sure to get both the inside and outside of your teeth – and gums! c. Ask at the front desk if they have a complimentary replacement toothbrush for you, and, if not, if there is a gift shop for those traveling without their own toothbrush. d. Make a point to find a pharmacy or store that sells toothbrushes. It’s not only people who travel who need toothbrushes, resident of every place you are traveling want clean teeth, too! * Keep sugarless gum handy. If you are traveling a long distance, especially by air, you might not have the opportunity to brush your teeth for a long period. Chewing gum is one way to not only keep your ears from hurting with changing altitudes, but it can help clean your teeth and freshen your breath, too. Just be sure it is sugarless; you don’t want to add bacteria-creating fuel to the food lodged between your teeth. Traveling can be the highlight of any season and taking good care of your teeth, although maybe not your first priority while on holiday, is one way to make sure your travel is pleasant. Getting a toothache can ruin any day, but it would be even more distressing if you were on vacation. Here at Southeast Family Dental, we know that with regular preventative care, you and your teeth will be prepared for excitement and fun wherever your travels take you because we give you a reason to smile!
When the century turned from the 1800s to the 1900s there was a huge surge of technology to make life easier, especially for domestic goddesses… housewives. There were electric appliances of all sorts that made their way into homes: toasters, mixers, vacuum sweepers, and washing machines. All these new electric innovations really made life easier and were much more efficient and effective. Today we just accept all these appliances as the norm in our homes, but back then, each of them was revolutionary! Later, toothbrushes were electrified and teeth were given the super-duper cleaning treatment. This is one that every dentist, including us here at Southeast Family Dental, are still excited about! The novelty of the electric toothbrush still delights users so brushing becomes a more regular event for adults and children alike. The problem is that while we learned to let appliances do the work in many instances, we still may not be using the electric toothbrush properly. Why, you ask? There are several ways that you could be using your electric toothbrush for brushing your teeth that is making it less effective. * Many electric toothbrush users press the bristles too hard against the teeth. Stronger pressure does NOT equate to cleaner teeth. Hold the electric toothbrush lightly against the teeth to given them a good brushing. * Another point about holding the electric toothbrush the best way is to hold it angled at 45 degrees so the brush is touching the gums. Brushing your gums while brushing your teeth helps to stave off gum disease. * Sometimes electric toothbrush users keep the device in constant movement. The best practice is to keep it on one or two teeth at a time. * Another point about moving the electric toothbrush is that there is no need to move your electric toothbrush in an up/down or left/right motion. Let the electric toothbrush do the work! Relax and just enjoy the fact that it is doing the work and brushing your teeth for you! * The last point to remember to use your electric toothbrush appropriately is to replace the toothbrush heads when needed. Some show their wear from brushing with frayed bristles. Other brands of electric toothbrushes have a fade indicator built into the heads of their devices. Just be sure to pay attention to the condition of the heads and replace them when needed. Part of good oral hygiene Brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of good oral hygiene. Another is seeing a dentist for check-ups on a regular basis. Preventive care helps you maintain your teeth longer and can actually improve your overall general health. Here at Southeast Family Dental we want everyone to be healthy, which is why we provide sedation dentistry for those who get nervous about dental visits. We want to give you a reason to smile!
If you cried out, “Water!” you are absolutely correct. The sugar content in drinks like soda pops and juices can be staggering and more people are becoming aware of that because of the calorie issues. But what is less known is the effect of the acids in drinks, including alcoholic libations. The acids have a negative impact on the enamel on your teeth, eating it away and leaving teeth vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. Even with that knowledge, however, we don’t always opt for a glass of water instead. Besides the argument that we LIKE the other drinks, what else holds us back? The dentists and team at Southeast Family Dental have wondered and talked about that. Our patients have told us that they drink tap or bottled water at home for the most part—after the initial few cups of coffee in the morning. We noticed they were very particular in saying they drink water AT HOME. Interestingly, this is not a phenomenon unique to the United States. A recent article at Dentistry Today reports that the Local Government Association (LGA) in the United Kingdom says that 8 out of 10 people usually drink tap water at home, but only a third do so while dining out. And, 15% of those who drink tap water at home don’t even think to ask for it in a restaurant. So What Is the Story About Water and Drinks When Dining Out? One of the points that came out of our office discussions is that people (in the US and abroad) may feel awkward just ordering water in a restaurant. So we started paying attention to what happens in restaurants. Here are some of the observations we made: * No mention is made of water as a drink option at all in fast-food restaurants. * Few restaurants automatically bring a glass of water to the table. * Most restaurants will bring water if requested. * Some restaurants will provide bottled water or specialty water at a cost. In years past restaurants would automatically bring water to the table for each person when you were seated. That is simply not the case any longer. It seems that restaurants don’t offer water and often discourage people from ordering water. In Europe, tap water is most often considered just like any other drink order in restaurants. You pay for the glass of liquid and refills are at the cost of another drink. But that is not the case in most of the restaurants in the United States. The Southeast Family Dental dentists delight at the option of lots of free refills of water glasses here. We want to find out what our patients and readers actually drink when dining out. So we would like you to answer a poll (it’s quick and easy!). Although we offer a wide array of services from preventive dentistry to restorative dentistry solutions, and even cosmetic dentistry, our practice wants all our patients to have the healthiest teeth and oral health possible. Drinking water may seem like a small change, but it can have huge benefits for you. Contact our office to schedule a dental check-up soon. A healthy mouth is good for the rest of your body’s health, too! Please, take our poll and be honest! We really want to know.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.