Choosing a Raleigh Dentist

If you live in Raleigh, NC and are trying to choose a new dentist, you could easily face a dilemma when you start trying to narrow the field to suit your own purposes. Most of the state is underserved when it comes to patient/dentist ratios. Not so for Raleigh, perhaps due to the presence of the nearby UNC Dental School. Ignoring for a moment the existence of clear subspecialties of dentistry (such as oral surgeons and periodontists), there are more than 250 general dentists in Raleigh from whom to choose!

Because there are so many general dentists in Raleigh, many choose to focus on a specific audience, such as children (pediatric dentistry). But you may become confused about what services other types of dentists are actually making available to you, especially if you read the promotional materials for Raleigh dentists. All of the categories that follow are merely areas of focus that, like pediatric dentistry, have to do with the type of people a Raleigh dental practice is trying to specifically serve. This is, after all, an age of specialization, and it just makes good sense for dentists in Raleigh to be responsive to needs of different types of patients. The same approach for choosing a dentist cannot be used successfully in many other areas of the state of North Carolina – especially rural areas, where one or just a few dentists may be trying to serve the needs of an entire county. (That’s why plans for a second dental school in the state were recently launched.)

To help you sort through your confusion if you live in Raleigh, the categories most often used by general dentists in the area are defined below. These definitions are provided to assist you in making the best choice possible for your circumstances. The definitions are informal; most being neither formally defined by the American Dental Association nor by the NC Dental Board. Except where indicated in the definitions, there are no specific regulations that govern them. The NC Dental Board requires that all general dentists meet certain guidelines, and general dentists in Raleigh may opt to call themselves any of the following (except where additional requirements apply and have been noted below). In Raleigh, using the first four categories – if they are applicable to your needs – is one of the quickest ways to narrow the field of 250 dentists significantly. If you have needs for Sedation Dentistry, you will narrow the field even more quickly. (Raleigh had only six NC Dental Board certified providers of Oral Conscious Sedation dentistry in June 2009.)

-Cosmetic Dentistry – Dentists who perform work that is primarily aesthetic in nature – in other words, they provide services that will enhance your smile.

-Sedation Dentistry – Dentists who provide additional sedation services (beyond the “standard” anesthetics used by most general dentists) to help manage anxiety and sensitivity to pain. Effective in 2009, the NC Dental Board now regulates the administration of sedation by general dentists – requiring both special training and experience for those who provide sedation services. There are different levels of sedation permits. Most patients who experience anxiety or have sensitivity to pain can be served by the level known as Oral Conscious Sedation.

-Implant Dentistry – Dentists who provide dental implants (replacements for your natural teeth), which are an alternative to dentures and bridges, or may be used in conjunction with them to provide greater stability and/or an improved, more natural appearance.

-Comprehensive Dentistry – Dentists who are interested in being full-service providers for their patients – sparing the patient/family from frequent referrals to specialists. Their services may include cosmetic and implant dentistry services, orthodontic services, and periodontal treatments – in addition of preventive dentistry services. These dentists may have more extensive training in order to offer the broader range of services. (Check the experience.) In addition to convenience, they offer an ongoing and full understanding of the patient (needs, preferences, expectations, general health) to make all aspects of dental care more customized and easier for patients. This is a relatively new type of practice in Raleigh, although rapidly gaining popularity.

-Preventive Dentistry – Dentists who focus on the preservation of healthy teeth and gums and the prevention of cavities and oral disease. All general dentists have training in preventive dentistry, as well as restorative procedures (fillings, crowns, etc.) needed to preserve oral health. Preventive dental care is more likely to be at least partially covered by dental insurance, while cosmetic dentistry services often are not.

-Family Dentistry – Dentists whose focus is on treating patients of all ages (as opposed to pediatric dentists). Family dentists often place primary focus on providing preventive dentistry services, rather than cosmetic dentistry services.

Now that you understand the differences in types of general dentistry service categories that exist for Raleigh dentists, don’t be confused if you find that some dentists fall into more than one category. Pick as many categories as you feel apply to your own or your family’s needs. Because Raleigh dentists are situated in the state’s “cradle of technology,” most are likely to have websites that state what their areas of focus are. This is particularly true of dentists who fall into the first four categories. More than likely, you can locate the type(s) of dentists of interest to you by using a search engine, and then explore what each dentist’s range of services and experience is within any given focus area.

Even in technology-savvy Raleigh, you may find some Family Dentistry and Preventive Dentistry providers who do not have websites and prefer to focus on the more “traditional” range of general dentistry services. They may choose to limit their listings to conventional print phone advertising directories, or general online directory listings. Remember, too, that Comprehensive Dentistry providers usually provide Family and Preventive Dentistry services, in addition to their broader range of services.

Use the categories identified in this article to help you decide which types of services you want – both now and in the future. Narrow the field down to a much smaller number of Raleigh dentists who are a good match for your needs. Then, contact the ones that look like the best match, and ask any additional questions that might not be answered on their websites or other information that has been made available to you about their practices.

Experience Matters!
As you begin the final round of evaluation to find the general dentist in Raleigh best suited to your needs, remember that experience is very important to consider, too. Check the initial training of the dentist, but also consider what types of additional clinical experience the dentist received, in addition to the number of years he or she has been in private practice. From a reputation standpoint, how long has the dentist been in practice in the Raleigh area? If you plan to use cosmetic or comprehensive dentistry services, it may be helpful to ask about the number of similar procedures your prospective dentist has performed. Certainly, looks matter when it comes to cosmetic dentistry results, but function and oral health are very important to preserve during the smile enhancement process.

Don’t Fear the Dentist – Beating Your Dental Anxiety

The dentists in Pasadena want you to know there is no reason to be afraid of dentist. It seems that many people possess a fear of dentists. The problem is when this fear becomes overpowering and it prevents people from visiting a dentist and maintaining the health of their teeth. The key to having healthy teeth and keep your teeth white is to prevent problems before they begin. People with dental anxiety will not go to the dentist and this results in problems.

Regular cleanings from your Pasadena dentist is the best way to keep your teeth healthy. Regular care will prevent problems like tooth decay and gum disease. When it doesn’t prevent a problem, it at least catches problems early while they are still small. This way the problem can be fixed before it escalates into a major problem. This is what happens to anyone with a fear of dentists. They avoid going so when they finally do discover a problem it is already a serious problem and requires a lot of work to repair.

If your anxiety is bad, you can get sedated before any dental procedures. Your dentist will give you a mild sedative, usually by breathing or in an IV. The sedatives will help you relax while letting you be awake to answer questions and talk to your dentist in Pasadena.

One reason people fear the dentist is a result of a bad experience. Any negative experience will cause someone to harbor negative feelings. The emotional scarring can last for years. One bad experience at a dentist can cause a person to think badly of all dentists. So even though most dentists are not bad, people with dental anxiety will think they are.

When a person with a fear of dentist is looking for a dentist, they should be careful and look around for a good dentist that they can trust. This begins by asking family and friends who they use, and recommend. Once you visit a Pasadena dentist don’t hesitate to ask him all the questions that come to mind. This will help you feel more relaxed. You are the customer so the dentist should always try to make you feel at ease. The best dentist will do everything they can to establish trust. If you feel intimidated, you should look for another dentist.

You will be going to a dentist in Pasadena at least every six months. It is very important to be able to trust your dentist. the first time you visit your dentist, tell him or her about your fear. They should be willing to talk to you about it and recommend ways to get around it. If you don’t think the dentist is going to help you, shop around to another dentist.

This may should backwards to many people, but you should find a dentist with many customers. A busy dentist is more than likely a good dentist. So in this one instance a long waiting list is a good thing. You can also tell this by looking around the facilities. People waiting in the waiting room and a nice office are signs of a great dentist that is well respected. People who are happy with a dentist will keep coming back.

If you have dental anxiety, always let your dentist in Pasadena know before hand. This is so he can work with you to get over your fear of dentists. By establishing a good relationship with your dentist, you will be able to get over your fear. It will take some time, but before you know it your fear will be gone and you will be able to go to the dentist without worrying.

7 Things to Keep in Mind When Finding the Right Dentist for Your Family

Is your dentist providing you with the best services you require? Are you having difficulty deciding who to give the responsibility of keeping you well informed about your teeth? Are your teeth in the best care they can possibly be in? These are the critical questions every patient should consider when seeking aid concerning dental care. Having an unqualified dentist can be the difference between a set of perfectly healthy teeth and a dental disaster. Here are a few tips that can serve as a guide for finding the right dentist for you, your family, and your loved ones.

1.) The word around town
The first thing you should do when looking for a dentist is to ask around. If you think that performing a small research on the person who will be responsible for you and your family’s dental care is too ‘stalk-ish’, then perhaps you need to educate yourself on how important your teeth are to you. Do not be afraid to ask around about dentists you may have found or heard about. Many life situations have shown that good information about other people can be gathered from others who have also gone through the same.

2.) Do your homework
Nowadays, you can find plenty of the information you need right from your desk at home. The Internet is a good place to start when you have a few names in mind. Find out as much as you can about the backgrounds of the dentist you are about to take up. As classy as a dentist educational history may be, take care to also check how much experience your future dentist has had. Official recommendations from other institutes and even other dentists can help you decide whether the dentist is right for you and your family.

3.) What is there to know?
Now that you know who to ask about the dentists in your area, what kind of information are you looking for? Not only should your dentist be able to give you all the preventative information about your oral health, you also need to be comfortable with asking questions and sustaining a friendly relationship with the professional. You need to find a dentist that you can trust. This is far easier to achieve if your dentist is friendly and communicative. For this reason, it is crucial to book appointments and meet with the candidates. Like in any relationship, you need to know whether your dentist is someone you will be able to work with in a long run.

4.) While you’re in…
Now that you are aware of the importance of making appointments with your dentist candidates, take the opportunity to perform a different kind of investigation. Just like a person’s bedroom says a lot about their personality, so does a dentist’s office. It is not a bad idea to look around and be attentive to your dentist cleanliness. A office that in not well-kept will not only present further health risks to you and your family, it will also tell you about your dentists work habits. A good dentist does not only practice hygiene and organization during operations but also in other areas. Negligence, just are cleanliness, is a habit.

5.) “You get what you pay for”
Although the most expensive dental clinic in the area is not necessarily the best choice for your family, it is important to understand the fundamental necessities for a good dentist. Shying away from paying a few extra notes could lead to larger cost in the future when you find that your dentist is ill-equipped for an important procedure. A dental clinic with all the facilities will not have to send you around town for various procedures. This will save lots of time and energy. That is why it is important do your research and find out exactly what a common dentist should have. Good equipment may not necessarily mean expensive. What is important is that all the equipment is in proper working order and is always clean.

6.) When trouble comes
Imagine a scenario, perhaps very early in the morning, when you need an emergency visit to your dentist, will your dentist be available? The availability of your dentist is also an aspect that deserves keen attention and thorough thought. How far is your dentist? What are the open hours? Depending on your needs, these questions may be the deciding factors for your new family dentist. If your dentist is more than a 30 minute drive away, then it is time to think about whether the drive is worth it. On another note, make sure the working hours of the dentist are suitable to your family’s needs. The decisions you make now based on these questions will save you lots of trouble and pain in the future.

7.)There is a fit for everyone
The most important thing to remember when finding the right dentist is that there is no perfect dentist. The right dentist for you and your family solely depends on you, your needs, and your circumstances. You need to weigh all the aspects that have been treated earlier and find the right balance. You may not be able to afford the most expensive dentist, but you may not need to. Many dentists are qualified enough to do a good job of taking care of your family’s oral health. Your first priority should be making sure you are well informed about your health and maintain a healthy communicative relationship with your dentist.