What Is A Family Dentist?
In short, a family dentist is someone who sees all ages of patients and is also called a general dentist. They are familiar with all areas of dentistry, but usually prefer to practice basic dental care. From examining a baby’s first tooth to evaluating a geriatric case, family dentists are a great place to look for general dental needs. General dentistry typically encompasses cleanings, exams, fillings, crowns and bridges and emergency care. Depending on the office, services might include partials, dentures, root canals, extractions and even implant treatment. Many procedures can be completed by a family dentist, however, for more complicated services or difficult cases there is a list of specialists for each area of dentistry that your general dentist can refer you to.
Why See A Family Dentist First?
A family dentist will be your dental “home”. It is the place you can go every six months for preventive cleanings and exams. It is meant to be a place that you build a sense of trust with a staff intent on helping you to maintain a healthy mouth. It is also a great place to bring family members and refer friends to. In the event of a dental emergency, a family dentist can typically see you on short notice and help you get into a specialist if needed. A general dentist also has an after-hours contact for established patients and can help with dental needs that occur when the office is closed.
What Dental Treatment Options Are Available?
One of the best reasons to visit a family dentist is to get help in reviewing your options. Oftentimes patients have an idea of what they want done, such as an extraction or an implant, but may not know there are other options available. Perhaps someone’s tooth hurts and they think the tooth is not restorable. A family dentist will be able to provide insight into the problem and evaluate whether the tooth can be restored with a filling or with a root canal and crown. If the tooth needs an extraction, the family dentist can either provide this service or make a referral to a specialist for the procedure.
The Longer You Wait The Worse It Will Get!
A number of patients who call our office haven’t been to a dentist in a long while, sometimes in excess of 10 years. It can be extremely frightening thinking about what the dentist might find and what will need to be done to fix cavities and broken teeth. Even the thought of the dentist finding a first cavity can create a tremendous amount of anxiety. The down side of waiting is that dental problems only get worse with time, and without treatment, they can lead to very expensive restorative procedures. Fixing problems while they are small and minor can help patients save hundreds and frequently thousands of dollars.
Can Dentistry Be Comfortable?
Modern dentistry has come a long way in the past several decades, now catering to high-anxiety patients through various methods of sedation if necessary. Your family dentist can offer advice on what options are available and point you towards the most comfortable route to take. Sedation ranges from oral prescription medication, nitrous oxide gas, all the way to Intravenous (IV) sedation. Bringing a music player and noise cancelling headphones are a great way to block the sounds around the dental office. If you have dental anxiety, call your family dentist and ask what options are available to make you visit as comfortable as possible.
To learn more about our practice visit Biltmore Avenue Family Dentistry's Home Page or Contact US for questions. If you enjoyed this article, we invite you to peruse our other Blogs and check out our last article “Why Preventive Care Shouldn’t Be Considered Elective”.