Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
It is all too easy to neglect your oral health, but failing to perform adequate dental care, including seeing a dentist regularly for cleanings, can have dire consequences. Damage or decay to your teeth can happen silently, without any pain or warning signs that anything is wrong.
If you do not see a dentist regularly, the damage may progress too far to reverse, and you may have to lose all your teeth and have dentures instead. Not an appealing prospect at any age.
Finding a dentist and having an examination as soon as possible should be a top priority, but how do you go about it? With so many dental offices available, the task can be overwhelming. It can help to go about the process in an orderly, step-by-step fashion.
1. Ask for Referrals
You probably know someone who can recommend a good dentist. You should ask for referrals from people you trust, including your doctor, family members, and friends. Someone who cares about you is likely to give an honest assessment of the dentist's skills and the patient experience you can expect.
2. Conduct Online Research
Once you have names of a few dentists from trustworthy sources, now is the point to pull out your rugged laptop and do some research on their offices. Look for patient testimonials on their websites, but also look at third-party review sites to see what people are saying about their experiences.
Pay attention to how many reviews there are as well as whether they are generally positive or negative. A few negative reviews should not disqualify the practice, but if the reviews are overwhelmingly negative, you should probably keep looking.
3. Consider Costs
One of the reasons why people may not go to the dentist as often as they should is because of the costs involved. If you have dental insurance, you should check whether services at a particular office are covered by your plan before booking an appointment. If you don't have dental insurance, you can still get the care you need from charitable or low-cost sources.
Dental school clinics often provide services at decreased costs to allow students to practice in a real-world setting under the supervision of instructors. There are also dental assistance programs that help to defray the costs. Low-cost options such as these are preferable to neglecting routine dental care. The serious issues that can develop are much more expensive to correct in the long run.
4. Assess Your Needs
If you require special treatment or accommodations from your dentist, you should search specifically for offices that can provide what you need. For example, if you can't take time off from work to see the dentist, you should look for an office that provides evening or weekend appointments.
If you have anxiety, you should speak to the dentist about what he or she can do to alleviate it. If you have a disability, you should ensure that the office is accessible. When you know what your needs are, you can look for clinics that specifically provide for them.
5. Visit the Office
Many dentists allow prospective patients to visit the office at no charge and give them a chance to look around. You should pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the office, the use of protective gear, and the professionalism of the dentists and their staff.
You should be prepared to ask questions about the practice's services and policies, paying attention not only to the answers themselves but the attitude with which dentists and staff answer the questions. Are they friendly and helpful? Sympathetic and concerned? Uninterested or hostile? As a patient, you deserve respect. If you do not receive it at one office, you should keep looking.
Frequent visits to the dentist are critical to maintaining oral health. However, you must also be vigilant about performing dental care at home in the form of daily flossing and brushing with a good toothpaste.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.