Dentistry: Offering Preventative and Restorative Oral Health Care

If you are looking for a dentistry practice that will accommodate the interests and oral health needs of your entire family, a well-established family dental practice may have just what you need. This type of practice is committed to making the entire family feel at home. With a full array of dental services offered to you and your family members, you will be able to have a bright, white smile, along with healthy teeth and gums.

If you are interested in getting a cosmetic procedure known as veneers, you can ask your family dentistry practice if they offer this service. This dental procedure is often used to restore a single tooth that may have been discolored or fractured, but you can get veneers for multiple teeth in order to create a glamorous, “Hollywood” smile.

Other reasons a person may opt to get veneers include individuals who have worn away the edges of their teeth, resulting in a prematurely aged look, individuals who have small teeth that cause spaces, which are not easily closed, and individuals whose teeth are badly positioned and appear crooked. If you receive multiple veneers, it can lengthen teeth that have become shortened by wear, close spaces, provide uniform symmetry, shape, and color, fill in black triangles caused by receding gums, and make your teeth appear straight.

Additional dental procedures you may be able to receive from a family dentistry include implant placement, bridges and crowns, teeth whitening, sealants, extraction, tooth cleaning, and the filling of cavities. They may also be able to help you with sleep apnea and snoring problems, halitosis, and the fitting of mouth guards to prevent tooth damage due to teeth grinding.

There are differences between a general and family dentistry practice in that the general focuses on restorative services while the family uses both restorative and preventative measures for overall oral health care. A family practice also focuses on patient psychological factors such as providing comfort for a child who may be apprehensive about visiting the dentist. It is best to see a dentist at least twice a year for tooth cleaning and a check-up, in order to prevent tooth decay and plaque buildup.

If you are interested in the services a family dentistry practice provides, call their offices for additional information. A professional staff member will be able to answer any questions you may have and can even help you set up an appointment so you can come and check out the facilities before committing your time and money.

Sedation Dentistry – The Growing Practicality

Too many Americans are going without regular dental health care – and that’s the perfect recipe for letting minor dental issues develop into major problems that are much more costly-to-repair. Dental anxiety or unusual sensitivity to pain can result in people not getting regular checkups. That’s why one of the most important changes in the world of dentistry is that sedation dentistry is so much more readily available. This information is an opportunity for you to understand a bit about its history, current approaches, and why it is a very practical and safe consideration for dental patients.

How new is sedation dentistry?
You may not have heard much about it until the past few decades, but it’s been around for a long, long time. One of the sedation techniques that is still used today dates back to the 1840s. That is when Connecticut dentist Horace Wells first experimented with and introduced the use of nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas. And it was actually another dentist (one of Wells’ students) who introduced the use of ether as a form of general anesthesia.

Since that 19th century progressive thought leadership in the field of dentistry and pain management, the range of techniques and medications used has broadened, and great strides have been made in providing safe administration of dental sedation. In the 21st century, both the world of dentistry and the world of medicine at large have an excellent understanding of the risks associated with all types of sedation and anesthesia.

In addition, dentistry also has a much better understanding of how two different issues – anxiety and pain – are so tightly intertwined. Dentists also are highly trained in the use of both psychological and pharmacological approaches that can be used to manage either or both issues.

Are there different types of sedation dentistry?
In October, 2007, the ADA (American Dental Association) adopted guidelines that address three different levels of sedation – minimal, moderate, and deep sedation. (While the document Guidelines for the Use of Sedation and General Anesthesia by Dentists is accessible on the ADA website, it is written in language more suited to those in the field of dentistry.)

What the general public should understand, though, is that these are guidelines – not legal requirements for practicing dentists. In the United States, the regulatory responsibility for the practice of dentistry lies with the individual states. Some states have recently adopted specific laws that govern the practice of sedation dentistry as a service to the residents of the state – to afford them the assurance of safety in the use of this increasingly popular dental service. Individual states are not bound to adoption of the ADA guidelines; they can define their own levels of sedation as well as the training, experience, and accreditation process that will be used. That is not to say that the ADA is not highly influential in the individual states’ decision-making process.

What kind of sedation is likely to be right for me?
That is an excellent question, but also one to which there is no accurate answer unless you are well-versed in dentistry. Some of the difficulty lies in the fact that there are different levels of sedation dentistry available, and that the number and names of those levels can vary among states where regulations are in place. And the answer can also be specific dental procedure(s) being performed. However, this basic information can be helpful to you as you start considering sedation dentistry for yourself or a family member.

– Sedation, as well as general anesthesia, is a pharmacological way of altering your level of awareness of what is happening around you (i.e., your level of consciousness).

– Your level of awareness/consciousness does not “step down” by specific levels, it is a continuous scale. (That’s why defining specific levels of sedation is, technically speaking, somewhat fuzzy. Levels are normally tied to a range of awareness/consciousness, which will have some overlap with the level above and below.)

– The medications used to provide sedation can vary. In addition, some are administered orally, some by inhalation, and some intravenously (in the veins). Sometimes medications are used in combination. Both the type of medication and how it is administered are usually factors in how various states define their regulatory statutes and levels of sedation.

– Different people respond differently to the same medication, even if they have the same physical characteristics and the exact same dose is administered. That’s why training, experience, and safety measures are important in sedation dentistry.

– Patient risk (and the potential need for resuscitation) rises as the patient’s degree of awareness and consciousness lessens. In general, you should not ask to be sedated more than your circumstances would suggest.

– Sedation dentistry is not a substitute for local anesthesia (numbing agents). Some people assume that their dentist will only use one or the other. The decision to use sedation is, for the most part, a separate decision from that to use local anesthesia, even though both are pharmacological methods used to provide patient comfort.

A Matter of Practicality
What type of sedation is right for you is not a decision that you need to make for yourself. Your sedation dentist should base his sedation approach on the specific procedure, your personal sensitivity to pain, the degree to which you may experience dental anxiety, and whether for practical reasons it makes sense to sedate you for an extended period of time for the service(s) being provided.

If you have dental anxiety that is related to a previous painful experience, sedation dentistry, or perhaps just the fact that your dentist is qualified to provide sedation may be the very thing you, and many others like you, need to get regular check-ups, address existing dental problems, and make sure you maintain your oral health. More and more studies are revealing a relationship between oral health and your overall general health.

For those interested in cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry can often be a means to more quickly achieve the smile of your dreams. With sedation, it is often possible for your cosmetic dentist to combine into a single extended visit what would otherwise require two or more visits.

Whether you do or don’t need sedation services right now, why not look into sedation dentistry? A dentist who offers sedation dentistry – especially in states that mandate special training, experience, and equipment – is one who makes patient comfort, as well as good oral health, a priority.

Family Dentistry Care for All Ages

Caring for your teeth is an important part of overall health maintenance. Choosing the right practice to care for your family’s dental needs is a difficult decision to make. Finding a qualified family dentistry practice can enable every member of your family to see the same practitioners, which can simplify your life.

Assessing the Training

The qualifications of a family dentistry clinic will be one of the main factors that you consider as you assess various practices. Dentists must attend a dental school to receive formal training. After graduation, the next step involves testing to earn a license. Caring for teeth is an evolving process as methods of care and new techniques continue to be released. To remain cognizant of the latest advancements within the field, a professional needs to receive additional training every year. Membership within organizations is also preferred to ensure ongoing training.

Experience Counts

It is recommended to take your family to a respected dentist with years of experience and reliable credentials. Ask about the procedures the professional has experience with, and the number of times the professional has performed the procedures, to get an idea of their proficiency.

Services Offered

Some family dentistry offices only offer general care, and others provide other types of procedures in additional to the general care. Possible services that could be offered include orthodontics, sedation, and restorative or cosmetic dentistry. If you find a clinic that offers these services, find out more details, such as the number of procedures performed and the length of time the clinic has been offering this type of care. A professional should have specific training and experience in specialized services. For example, cosmetic dentistry involves a number of very specialized procedures. If you need this type of care, make sure the professional you choose has the required expertise. If a clinic does not offer the services you need, find out about referrals to other professionals.

Consider the Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the office can also play a part in your decision in choosing a clinic. Visit the office and notice the waiting room, the staff, and the exam rooms. Look around to see whether the offices feel comfortable and look clean. Note the staff and whether they seem professional and friendly. If you have young children, the staff should be able to help your kids feel comfortable and safe by explaining terms and procedures in a nonthreatening way.

Additional Details

Ask questions about additional details that are a part of tooth care. For example, find out how the clinic handles emergencies and whether emergency appointments are available during off hours. Ask about availability of appointments and the typical wait for a cleaning appointment. Find out about cancellation policies, co-payments, and make sure the office takes your insurance, if applicable.

With some research, you can ensure that the practice you choose for your family dentistry care will serve everyone’s needs for many years. Having a professional that you know and trust to take care of your teeth can be a source of great comfort.

What Family Dentistry Can Do For You

Family dentistry is a branch of general dentistry. Most often, these 2 phrases are used synonymously. It involves the dental care of the entire family, ranging from baby’s first tooth to the elderly.


These dentists are responsible for educating families about oral hygiene. They also help you to keep your gums and teeth healthy by reducing the buildup of plague. These dentists also fill cavities, and teach you how to fight against tooth decay. They are the first doctors you see whenever you have a dental problem.

The Services They Provide Are Numerous

Dental services are readily available to the general public and every family should have a dentist. Making use of the dental services available to you leads to better overall health. Dental checkups are recommended for everyone in the family and it should be done 2 times a year. During these visits, your family dentist will clean your teeth, and also check for any dental problems.

Regular checkups with family dentistry will prevent accumulation of plaque on your teeth, which in turn, will prevent decaying of the teeth. Fluoride treatments can help protect teeth from decay and your family dentist can provide these treatments. Regular checkups can also help you to find problems earlier, and necessary preventive measures can be taken. If they are not treated in the initial stages, the problem will become worse, and more invasive procedures, like root canal treatments and dental implants, may become necessary. If your family dentist is concerned about the health of your teeth, he/she may advise you to take x-rays to figure out the presence of cavities. X-rays can also be used to find out any other problems with the teeth, such as misalignment issues.

Training and Practice

Family dentists complete their education at dental schools. After graduation, they receive the license to work as a dentist. Most family dentists do further studies in basic cosmetic dentistry. This includes porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. This category of dentists is known as family and cosmetic dentists. Family dentists are also responsible for referring patients to specialists, if any specialist services are required. If you need teeth straightening, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist. You may be referred to endodontists, if you need root canal treatment. If it is oral surgery that you need, you will be referred to maxillofacial surgeons. In short, family dentistry takes care of all the dental needs of your family.

5 Tips on Picking a Family Friendly Dentist

When trying to locate a new general dentist for you and your family many different emotions run through your mind. There are many factors that must be explored in order for yourself and your family to be completely comfortable when visiting the dentist. The internet and word mouth gives everyone an opportunity to leave their opinion on just about everything so it only takes a few clicks online to find out everything you want on a specific dentist you might be interested in. Below are so tips you can follow when choosing a general dentist.

1. Ask Around: Not exactly sure on which dentist to choose? Reach out to your friends and family. Ask around and see which dentist many visit and enjoy visiting. Also ask the people around you if they have heard any bad news or press on any of the general dentists in your area. Your friends and family will not be scared to give you the truth about any dentist. Referrals are a great way to find only top notch dentistry providers. They will not be scared to tell you how much there gums hurt when they left someones office.

2. Check Online: Search a specific dentist’s name that you are interested in online and see what you come up with. If someone or a group of people have had any negative opinions you will see it in a search results. Any lawsuits or violations will usually find their way online in search results as well. Make sure to review a few pages of search results. If any negative press exists it could go back a few pages. Don’t be alarmed right away if you see negative press. Sometimes it could be a disgruntled employee or a past client seeking revenge. Read and make an educated analysis on the negative press. If a group of people have the same complaint than it might be in your best interest to find another general dentist for your family.

3. Ask to Meet the Dentist: If the dentist is a proud citizen of the community they will have no problems meeting you at their office in order for you to get a bit more familiarized with them as a person. Most family dentists will have no problem meeting with you face to face so that you gain confidence in bringing your family to see them. Come down and ask to take a tour of the office so that you can see what the office looks like and get a general feel and vibe from some of the co-workers.

4. Scheduling: People’s lives are getting increasingly hectic so it will be important to be able to make appointments on the fly. Find out if you can make an appointment quickly or if you will have to wait two months before you can get in to get your teeth cleaned. What if an emergency comes up on the fly and you need to get in there quickly, will they be able to accommodate?

5. Flexibility: Find out just how flexible the office is with everything. If you miss an appointment will you be charged? Are there some sorts of payment plans for procedures insurance does not cover? These types of questions are important to know for your decision process. If you have had any problems in the past with a certain dentist try and remember what that problem might have been and ask this new dentist if you will fall into this issue with this new practice.