5 Tips for Choosing General and Family Dentistry Services

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5 Tips for Choosing General and Family Dentistry Services

general and family dentistry

Imagine your children laughing after a dental check-up instead of leaving in tears. Choosing the right general and family dentistry practice now could save you grief later. Unfortunately, there are almost 186,000 dental businesses in the US (and the industry is still growing).

Instead of choosing the first family dentistry practice you find, use these tips to narrow down your options. Find a dentist your children will love today!

1. Gather Referrals and Reviews

The easiest way to narrow down your options is to request help from other parents in St. Louis. Talk to friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors in the area. Ask if they can recommend a family or general dentistry practice nearby.

As you begin gathering referrals, prepare a list of questions you want to ask about each patient’s experience. For example:

  • Where is the practice located?
  • Is the practice clean?
  • Is the team friendly and professional?
  • Does the dentist have a good bedside manner?
  • Are your kids comfortable around them?
  • What dental services do they offer?
  • Are you satisfied with the services you received?
  • Have you encountered problems with this dentist?

If the patient experienced issues, ask how the dental practice tried to find a solution. Look for a practice and dentist who cares about patients. Otherwise, you’re likely to encounter the same problems. 

If you’re new to the area, look for patient reviews online. Read a handful of reviews on Google Business, Yelp, and Healthgrades.com. Reading online patient reviews will ensure you find a trustworthy dentist.

Look for comments about the dentist’s friendliness and professionalism. Avoid practices where patients had issues receiving the care they deserved. Choosing a general dentistry practice with a glowing reputation can help you feel confident in your choice. 

2. Look for Experience

While there are 186,000 dental practices in the country, some dentists have more experience treating patients than others. Look online for information about each dentist’s professional history.

Determine how long each practice has operated in St. Louis. A long-established practice likely has processes in place to ensure a positive patient experience. You’re less likely to encounter scheduling or billing issues at these practices.

Newer practices and dental teams may still need to get their footing. They may not operate well as a team. 

Once you find an established practice, consider how long they’ve offered both general and family dental services. Make sure the team has experience treating younger patients. Otherwise, a sterile, cold, adult-focused environment may make your child uncomfortable. 

Your child may experience dental anxiety or fear at a general dentistry practice. About 36% of people in the US have a fear of dental treatment. Another 12% have an extreme fear.

Dental anxiety could keep your child from receiving the care they need. If their dental anxiety isn’t resolved while they’re young, it could affect them as adults. Your child may skip routine, necessary appointments when they’re older.

Finding a great family dentistry practice now can set them up for success later. They can stay with the same dentist even as they get older. They’ll grow comfortable with their dentist and confident receiving services at the same practice. 

3. Check Credentials

Before choosing a general and family dentist, check each dentist’s credentials. Visit Healthgrades.com or the practice’s website for information.

Determine where each dentist received their education. Confirm they have a diploma from an accredited institution. If the dentist doesn’t provide proof of their degree, remove them from your list of options.

Consider when each dentist graduated. While it’s important to find an experienced dentist, you should also find a team with up-to-date knowledge. If the dentist graduated decades ago, determine if they continued their education. 

Ask about the recent courses they completed and the technology they use in the office. Make sure they’re aware of new technology, procedures, and dental techniques. Otherwise, they may use outdated technology or practices, which can affect your family’s experiences as patients.  

Determine if the family dentist completed child psychology courses or other classes relevant to child medical care. Confirm they have a thorough understanding of children’s development. A dentist who has completed child psychology courses will have an easier time calming your child’s anxiety. 

4. Explore St. Louis Dental Services

Before choosing your family dentist, look into the dental services they offer. St. Louis dental services can include:

  • Dental hygiene
  • Tooth extractions
  • Night guards
  • Mouth guards
  • TMJ treatment
  • KCP treatment
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Frenectomy

Look for a dental practice that offers a range of services. In addition to general dentistry, the practice may offer restorative and cosmetic dentistry services.

Restorative dentistry services include composite resins, dental bridges, dental crowns, root canals, implants, and dentures. Cosmetic dentistry includes bone grafting, dental bonding, Invisalign, teeth whitening, and dental veneers.

Choosing a dental practice that offers a range of services can save you time and money later. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you can visit your local practice for all the help you need. 

Determine if the practice offers emergency dental services. If there’s an emergency, immediate treatment is crucial.

Make sure the dental practice is near your home, work, or child’s school. If you need emergency services, you can receive treatment without traffic delays. 

5. Schedule a Consultation

Schedule a consultation appointment with three local family and general dentistry practices. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask each dentist beforehand. For example:

  • What are your credentials?
  • Have you continued your education?
  • What dental services do you offer?
  • What insurance do you accept?
  • What’s your experience with children?
  • How would you put my child at ease?

Ask each dental practice if they accept your insurance. If not, ask if they offer financing options or have any special offers available.

Review your notes and choose a dentist you can trust with your family’s oral health and comfort.

Find General and Family Dentistry Services Today

Don’t rush to choose the first general and family dentistry practice you find. Instead, choose the best practice in St. Louis. With these tips, you can feel confident your family is receiving the best dental care. 

Forest Park Dental has offered exceptional dental care since 1986. We offer quality service at an affordable price. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

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