Let’s face it, there are dentists everywhere. There are offices that are family owned, corporately owned, or somewhere in between. The truth is, any dentist would love to have you as their patient.
But choosing your dental team is a very important decision because your dentist and hygienist do more than just clean your teeth.
Oral health is linked to overall health, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist regularly.
What’s the key to a good patient/dentist relationship? You need to find a dentist who you can trust with your health. We’re here to help! At Spodak Dental Group, our team strives to elevated dental care in a calming and comfortable environment with a goal to help our patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.
Keep reading to learn the 9 questions you must ask your dentist.
1. How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?
You might have heard that you only need to visit your dentist for cleaning every 6 months, or that you should go back every 3 months. Even worse, that you don’t need to see your dentist unless you’re in pain!
The key to knowing how often to visit your dentist is to listen to his/her recommendations.
Your dentist and hygienist will perform a comprehensive exam, X-rays and cleaning at your first visit to establish your oral health. If you don’t have any areas of concern and your teeth are in good shape, your dentist might only need to see you every 6 months. However, if you have teeth and/or gums that require more frequent cleanings, which could be due to heredity factors or poor at-home care, your dentist might need to see you every 3 months.
The good news is that the goal of your dental team is to have your teeth and gums as healthy as can be, so when they are able to get your oral health in it’s best shape, you might be able to reduce your frequency of visits.
2. How Should I Care For My Teeth at Home?
The easiest rule of thumb is that you should brush your teeth at least 2 times a day for at least 2 minutes each time. It is also important to floss at least once a day to remove food that your toothbrush might have rinsed.
In an ideal world, you should brush, floss and rinse after every snack, meal or sugary drink. But, we know that most people are busy and eat on the go, or don’t bring their toothbrush with them during the day. At the least, it’s helpful to rinse your mouth out with water after meals or drinks. Chewing sugar-free gum can help to keep your mouth moist (which is the mouth’s best defense against cavities) and remove leftover food particles.
Most dentists recommend electric toothbrushes (specifically Sonicare), alcohol-free mouthwashes, flossing in the “C-shape,” toothpaste with fluoride, and an anti-cavity fluoride rinse (ACT or Listerine Zero).
The most important part of the equation is that you are actively brushing, flossing and rinsing, so use whatever brand you feel most comfortable using!
3. How is My Dental Health Affecting My Overall Health?
There is a proven connection between oral health and systemic health. Some researchers even say that the mouth is the body’s mirror because links have been made between oral health and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and osteoarthritis.
The state of your smile may offer insight on the rest of your body and possible health-threatening conditions, sometimes even before other symptoms show up. This why it’s so important to visit your dental team regularly.
Your dentist will review your complete medical history every year, including allergies, medications and any changes in your overall health, and is able to notice any changes to your teeth, gums and bones in your face and jaw.
Our dental team is able to notice symptoms for diabetes, heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and acid reflux disease even before you might feel any difference in your body.
Make your dental health a priority and pay attention to your body.
Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is important to get your dentist’s professional opinion so you can stay on top of your overall health and make it the best it can be.
4. Will You Have to Refer Me to a Specialist?
It can be time consuming and frantic to visit several offices should you need additional work beyond a routine cleaning. This is why it’s incredibly convenient for a dental office to offer both general and specialty dentistry in one location. This saves you not only time, but also money.
Most often, dental offices will need to refer you out to a specialist if you need, for instance, a root canal. At a specialist’s office, you might be charged a consultation fee so the doctor can assess if he/she agrees with the diagnosed treatment.
So, not only do you have extra fees, you also had to take additional time off of work for this second appointment.
Having all general and specialty dentists under one roof (like we do here at Spodak Dental Group) allows you to have several “second” opinions and the ability to have multiple treatments done in a single visit.
We are proud to provide comprehensive care in one, state-of-the-art location for the benefit of our patients, and will never refer them out to another dental specialist.
5. What Risks Are Associated With a Procedure?
Our doctors and treatment coordinators will review all aspects of any treatment and procedures they recommend. Our goal is to make sure you are informed and know what to expect. We will also review:
• What to do prior to the procedure
• How to make yourself most comfortable after the procedure
All team members are dedicated to successful outcomes, and will work diligently to ensure that you are well taken care of and that the risk of complications are minimized.
Our in-office nurse reviews each patient’s full medical history and complete list of medications and allergies, and will even consult with his/her primary care providers or specialty medical doctors.
Our belief is that our patients should have total knowledge and information so they are fully aware of the benefits and risk of each procedure, and feel like they are an active part of their treatment plan.
6. What Foods Should I Avoid (Or Include) in My Diet?
Both your smile and your body will benefit when you eat a healthy diet. While your dentist won’t tell you that you can’t eat certain foods ever again, there are some good guidelines to follow.
• Avoid foods that take a long time to chew, including candy, dried fruit and caramel. These foods can get stuck in your teeth and increase the amount of time that bacteria can thrive and cause cavities.
• Drink water after drinking sweet or sugary beverages. Drink sweet/sugary beverages in one sitting, i.e. not sipping a soda for an hour.
• If you can, it’s a great idea to brush, floss and rinse after every meal. But, we know that most people don’t carry around their toothbrush, so at least try to rinse with water after snacks and meals, or enjoy sugar-free gum.
• It’s also important to stay hydrated, especially when drinking alcohol. Alcohol dries out your mouth, which increase the chances of getting cavities, so just remember to rinse, rinse, rinse!
7. What Else Can I Be Doing to Improve My Dental Health?
In addition to regularly seeing your dental team, there are several steps that you can take to improve your dental health.
• Using the right toothbrush is a great way to ensure healthy teeth and gums, and most dentists will recommend an electric toothbrush, or at least a regular toothbrush with soft bristles.
• Make sure you’re flossing, too, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
• Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, and try to rinse out your mouth with water after meals if you can’t brush.
Your dental team’s goal is to create a lifelong relationship with you and to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime. So remember to brush, floss and rinse daily, and see your dentist and hygienist for cleanings, X-rays and exams.
8. What New High-Tech Advancements in Dentistry Are You Excited About?
If the best is available, then get the best!
Advancements in dental technology happen all the time and the best option for you 6 months ago might not be the best option now. This is why it’s so important to choose a dental office that has the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art equipment, which affords you the best techniques and treatments possible.
Advancements in dentistry offer several time-saving and minimally invasive benefits, including:
• Orthodontically moving teeth into alignment without braces (Invisalign)
• Laser gum treatment without cutting or sutures (LANAP)
• Same-day crowns and veneers without temporaries (CEREC)
• Same-day total teeth replacement (All-on-4)
The Spodak Dental Group is constantly updating our practices to stay up-to-date with the advancements in the dental field, which is a direct benefit for our patients and their quality of care.
9. I’m Nervous About Visiting the Dentist. Can You Help?
Helping patients overcome their fear should be the priority of every dental practice. Through the skilled use of sedation, dentists can manage their patients’ fear and pain.
For many, local anesthesia may be all that’s needed to achieve a calm and pain-free experience. For others with mild to moderate anxiety, oral sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be used for relaxation.
Those with heightened anxiety can benefit from conscious IV sedation. Unlike oral medications, conscious IV sedation affords the dentist the ability to control the degree of sedation throughout the procedure, as needed, to ensure the patient’s optimal comfort and ease. The administration of IV sedation requires special training and certification. Placing your care in the hands of a fully-qualified practitioner will increase your confidence and quiet your anxiety.
For patients with extreme anxiety, or those facing complex or lengthy procedures, IV sleep sedation is a fear-quieting option. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist.
Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he/she will be able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable. Your dentist can also review every step of every dental appointment and procedure so you feel more in control.
It’s never too late to receive optimal dental health, and don’t let your fear hinder your chances of making the most out of your beautiful smile!
You’ll Love Your Dentist at Spodak Dental Group
Spodak Dental Group is a comprehensive dental destination providing all general and specialty services in one convenient, state-of-the-art, LEED Gold Certified facility. Our team of General and Restorative Dentists, Endodontists, Periodontists, Prosthodontists, Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and Anesthesiologists are uniquely equipped to treat all dental health needs.
Our team’s priority is to elevate patient care and provide an unparalleled patient experience, and they work hard with a goal to help their patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.
We welcome you to visit our office for a free consultation and meet the doctors and the team members, and experience the spa-like environment of our biophilic facility. We hope to meet you soon!