Dentistry – A Multi-Faceted Profession

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with teeth and tissues in the mouth, along with giving advice and administering care to help prevent future problems. They help tell us the right ways to brush our teeth, floss, diet, and other proper dental care procedures. They can assist in removing tooth decay, filling cavities, replacing teeth, and even straightening teeth. Just like regular doctors, dentists have the authority to write out prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications. In dentistry, a lot of equipment is used such as x-ray machines, drills, mouth mirrors, probes, forceps, brushes, scalpels, lasers, and digital scanners. Dentists usually have four other types of workers that assist underneath them such as dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, and receptionists.

Most dentists practice in the general needs of dental care. There are nine separate fields that dentists can specialize in. These fields include orthodontists, pediatric dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists, endodontists, oral pathologists, oral radiologists, and dental public health specialists. Many dentists prefer to work alone in their own private practice. Some only work four days a week instead of five. Dentists have a great deal of licensing and education required for their field of work. Dental schools require that dentistry majors have two years of pre-dental schooling before attending four years of dental school. All dentists have to take written and practical exams to become licensed. In order for dentists to do more in the field they must have a few more years of schooling added to the dental degree. Dentistry is becoming more and more popular as the years progress. It can lead to injuries because of the tools that they use every day to complete tasks. Even though many people do not like going to the dentist, if they keep their teeth in good condition they will only have to visit the dentist twice a year.

Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Family

When you move to a new town, you have to take care of so many things. You need to make sure your mail forwards to the correct address, and you must familiarize yourself with the area in which you live. Eventually, too, you’ll need to look into finding new places to patronize for the services you need: hairstylists, general physicians, and especially a dentist. If you have moved too far away from your current DDS, it’s important to make sure you find a new one to keep up your twice-a-year appointments.

So, how do you find a new dentist you feel will take care of your family’s oral care needs? Your natural first instinct may be to ask people familiar with the area – friends, family, co-workers. Personal referrals make for a large percentage of our decisions regarding businesses and purchases. If you have a subscription to Angie’s List, you can search for reviews of dentists in the area as well. The Better Business Bureau may be another helpful source in locating a reputable dentist office.

While personal recommendations may sway you toward visiting a specific office, there are some things you ought to look for during your initial visitation with a dentist to see if you want to keep that particular one. As you research, ask these questions:

1) Does the dental practice handle pediatrics and adults? Of course, it’s easier to bring everybody to one place for dental care. If you have children, you definitely want to look into a family dentistry.

2) Does the practice have an oral surgeon on the premises? If you or somebody in the family has a history of dental issues, you may wish to have all oral care handled at the same place.

3) Does the practice offer 24-hour emergency care? Some tooth issues may not be able to wait until a scheduled appointment. You’ll want a dentist who provides emergency care when needed.

4) Does the practice keep later hours? A dentist might not work twelve hours a day, but if you find you cannot keep morning appointments you may want a practice that offers late afternoon cleanings with a hygienist, when it’s convenient for you.

There may be other qualities you’ll look for in a dentist – commitment to community service, location, years of experience. However you go about finding the new dental office for your family to patronize, take your time and weigh all the options before making your appointments.

Family Dentistry – Young Adults From Ages 18 to 30

We now check in with the age group most likely to have to change dental care providers. As young adults it will now be up to your children to make their own choices for their own care and when staying in a hometown to go to college or start any endeavor to get out on their own is rare. If it’s possible to continue care with the same dental team it will be to great advantage. If not, new technology can help make the transition to a new Dentist easier as records and digital x-rays can be transferred quickly.

A new patient will be required to have a new set of x-rays taken but it’s best to have the historical record of dental development available for reference. One very good reason for this is eruption of the wisdom teeth, which are molars. Sometimes called the third molar, they will usually form and start eruption in the later teen years. They are the back teeth and often crowd the jaw to some extent. Measures to make sure the wisdom teeth do not become impacted are essential. Pericoronitis can be the result of an impacted wisdom tooth. It can be a dangerous infection caused by the bacteria accumulated in the dental deposit which cannot be cleaned by means of the regular hygiene practices by the patient. The teeth next to the wisdom teeth can become in endangered by severe crowding also. Your family dentist can monitor this situation carefully and may offer to extract the impacted or crowding wisdom tooth, which is often for the best both for health reasons and economically. Impacted wisdom teeth should be extracted as soon as possible. Generally in the teen years and early twenties the roots are not formed nor the bone as firm as they will be later. Extraction can be difficult if delayed. The eruption of the wisdom teeth is something you can discuss with your family dentist and possibly plan for ahead of time.

Patients in this age group are often starting families of their own. Always tell your dentist if you are pregnant. Routine dental care should be received during the second trimester but x-rays should be avoided except in an emergency. New technology has improved the safety of x-rays, however, and your family dentist will take every precaution if x-rays are absolutely necessary. Keep your regularly scheduled dental checkup appointments as they are important now more than any other time. Hormonal changes put pregnant women at greater risk for periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis. Be sure to let your dentist know of any concerns such as tender or bleeding gums and supply a list of medications including pre-natal vitamins. Some drugs should be avoided during pregnancy due to the affect they can have on the development baby’s teeth. If morning sickness is a problem let your family dental team know, possibly they can recommend a brand of toothpaste that would be more tolerable for you. Good dental hygiene and nutrition are paramount at this time not just for mom but baby too, as his or her teeth begin to develop in the second trimester.

With all of this in mind we come to the next challenge. The ages between twenty and thirty are when dentists see the most “catch up” work needing to be done. Parents are no longer responsible for this age group and there is sometimes a real evident transition, often due to economic changes and insurance gaps. Of course good dental hygiene habits help but unfortunately there is only so much a tooth brush and floss can do. There are places only a dental hygienist can clean thoroughly, do some dental decay and gum disease can result if no professional care is given.

These are very exciting times in person’s life and hopefully a healthy balance can be achieved during this time even though it might be a challenge. Some of the things to keep in mind are:

– When moving along in life young adults will possibly need to establish relationships with new care providers. But with help this can be made easier.

– Problems with wisdom teeth need to be addressed in a timely manner.

– Pregnancy is an important time to communicate and visit your family dentist or your new family dentist.

– It’s best not to have to play “catch up” with dental care and even though at this time in life it may be more difficult to keep regular appointments with your dentist it will definitely be worth while.

Family Dentist Services

Having a family dentist is so much easier. You will be able to have kids and adults teeth done in one office and the billing can even fit your budget better. It is a smart thing to do to have a family dentist.

There are many services that a family dentist will provide for you and your family. Of course you have to expect the general teeth cleaning for all ages. This will include a demonstration for kids on how to successfully floss and brush their teeth. They will provide fluoride treatments at the end of the scraping and the polishing and for kids even allow them to pick a delicious flavor which is harmless when swallowed.

At the end of a child’s visit they will receive some kind of fun reward for being so good in the chair. They will also receive a new toothbrush, tooth floss, and tooth paste. This will encourage them to brush their teeth every day to prevent cavities.

X-rays are available and should be taken for everyone’s teeth once a year. This helps to make sure that your teeth are in the best condition possible and there are no cavities or other such problems. If there are cavities found in anyone’s teeth then the dentist will set up a date for a filling to be put in.

The dentist also does procedures such as pulling wisdom teeth which will eventually happen in almost everyone’s life. Family doctors are great for this because they can follow what is happening with your child’s teeth as they get older so there are no guessing games about what needs to happen inside your child’s mouth.

If your child needs braces, they will be taken care of in-house or be recommended to a great orthodontist. The orthodontist is a completely different job but they do go hand in hand so it is common for a dentist to have one office that he or she works with closely to ensure they are providing the best care for their patients.

Having a family dentist keeps you in the loop. You will know what is going on with everyone’s teeth in the family with one friendly stop. Teaching your kids that the dentist is a positive thing instead of a negative thing is important. Of course the dentist will tell you and the kids themselves. This will allow for a more pleasant experience for everyone and make sure that they are in the healthiest state possible with their teeth.

Types of Family Dentistry

The majority of dentists who are practicing are general practitioners who are trained and able to work with a wide spectrum of patients of all ages. A small minority of dentist are specialist that treats only in one of the nine specialty fields such as an oral surgeon or a dentist who treats only children.

When it comes time to decide what kind of dentist would serve your family best there are many advantages to choosing a family dentist. This choice makes it easier on your busy schedule to schedule appointments for the whole family with one practitioner instead of running all over town to take the kids to a pediatric dentist and you and your spouse to a general dentist.

A children’s dentist may have a waiting room that is set up for kids with games and toys but it isn’t the waiting room that should be selling point. When you are trying to decide between a family dentist and a specialist you need to ask yourself some basic questions. Is it going to make it easier or harder on you or whoever chauffeurs the kids to the dentist to have to go to a different dentist from the adults in the home? Is having a dentist who can only treat your child until they turn eighteen worth the future inconvenience? Wouldn’t it be easier if your child grew up with the same dentist they could continue to go to as young adults who already knows their dental history and oral hygiene habits?

Your child should start seeing the family dentist at a young age, even while they still have only baby teeth to contend with. The dentist can educate your child and whole family about the proper care of teeth and help install good life long oral hygiene habits at a young age. Ideally if visits to the family dentist have begun at a young age it will be second nature to your child to take care of their teeth as they age and they won’t develop a fear of the dentist chair that is so common in not only children but adults as well.

If your child is already fearful of visiting the dentist it can help for the family dentist to be someone who you are already familiar and comfortable with as a patient so you won’t worry about the care and treatment your child will receive knowing the quality of care you already see from this doctor.