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Dental services may seem expensive. In Canada, we don’t have to pay directly when we visit a doctor or hospital, so we may not realize the high cost of providing health services. Overhead costs are heavy for dentists. They have staff, gear and other operating costs.
The nice news is that you can prevent costly dental treatment by brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist frequently for a check-up. Regular check-ups cost cash, but they’re less expensive than fixing significant dental problems that stem from neglect.
How often you go for a check-up relies upon your oral health needs. The objective of a check up is to catch small problems early. For many folks, this implies a check-up every six months. Your dentist may suggest more frequent check ups depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, issues you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on.
Ask yourself these questions:
•Do I floss every day?
•Do I brush twice each day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist’s directions on how to brush correctly?
•Do I eat a balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?
•Do I smoke?
•Do I have a record of cavities or gum illness?
•Is my overall health good?
The solutions to these questions are all factors that can affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for check-ups.
The first step in selecting a new dentist is to list your needs, which might include:
•Hours of practice
•Generalist or expert practice.
Ask your family and friends if they can recommend a dentist. Other members of your community, for example your physician, may be able to offer recommendations. Some provincial dental associations have Web sites that permit you to search for a dentist in your area.
Yellow Pages advertising might also prove useful. It will list each dentist’s location, and can include other details that may aid you in your search.
Once you have narrowed your list to two or three names, call the dentists to see if they are accepting new patients. This first call could also give you some sense of the office environment, but there isn’t anything like the first visit to help you in deciding if it’s a great match for you.
Original dental records belong to the dentist who provided the treatment, and not the patient, because dentists have to keep all of their records for a period of time, as set out by their provincial dental regulatory body. After you have selected a new dentist, you can request that a copy of your records be transferred from your former dentist.
You may be required to sign a release form from your previous dental office and you can also be charged an administrative charge for having your records copied and sent to another dental office. If you have questions about the records transfer process in your province, ask your dentist or contact the provincial dental regulatory body.
Your health is extremely important to your dentist. One of the methods that your dentist helps you keep healthy is by preventing the spread of germs. The strategy to spot germs from spreading is to use a barrier of protection such as gloves and masks.
Your dentist and other dental team members also wash their hands constantly. In addition, they sterilize hardware used in the dental office and clean the furniture and fixtures in the examining rooms.
If you would like to find out how this system is carried out in your dentist’s office, ask to be shown how it’s done. Dentists welcome the opportunity to ease their patients’ concerns, instead of having them leave the office with remaining questions. We hope once you see the work that goes into making the dental office a clean and safe environment, you will feel at ease.
How often dental x-rays are required to be taken depends upon your oral health. A good adult who has not had cavities or other problems for one or two years probably won’t need x-rays at every appointment. If your dental situation is less stable and your dentist is monitoring your progress, you may require more frequent x-rays.
If you’re unsure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask your dentist. Remember that dental x-rays deliver very little radiation; an x-ray examination is a crucial tool for your dentist, to be sure that little problems don’t progress into larger ones.
It’s important to get an early start teaching oral hygiene, so that your child will learn that visiting the dentist is a normal part of medical care. The initial step is to choose a dentist for your child.
It may be your own dentist or a dentist whom focuses on treating children, know as a pediatric dentist. Once you have chosen a dentist, call the office to find out at what age they see child patients for the first time. CDA encourages the evaluation of children, by a dentist, within six months of the first tooth or by one year of age.
It’s important to make the first visit a positive experience for your child – 1 reason why it’s often best to visit before a difficulty develops. If you think there’s a problem, however, take your youngster to the dentist right away, irrespective of what age.
Be sure to get an early start on regular dental care at home. Start cleaning your child’s mouth with a soft damp fabric before teeth come in and continue with a soft toothbrush once she has a first tooth. Limit the amount of sweet treats you feed your child, and focus upon healthy food decisions from the beginning.
Dentists have been doing what’s called “non-vital” bleaching for a few years. Non-vital bleaching is done on damaged and/or darkened teeth, which have had root canal treatment. “Imperative” bleaching is done on exemplary teeth for aesthetic reasons. “Critical” bleaching, also called lightening, may be carried out in the dental office or the dentist may teach the patient on how to do the bleaching at home. There are also a large variety of products for sale in stores. Not all products quality are equal and not all give you similar results.
Different products, including those used by dentists, may also have different risks and side effects.
Lightening toothpastes with abrasive ingredients are really not bleaching products at all, but work on surface stain only. These products are sold in many stores.
Some lightening toothpastes do contain a chemical ingredient that cause a chemical reaction to lighten teeth. Typically, they have the bottommost quantity of “bleach.” They may not whiten as well as stronger products, but they have less chance of side effects. These pastes are brushed onto teeth and washed off, like regular toothpaste.
Bleaching kits sold in stores stay on your teeth longer than toothpaste and contain stronger “bleach.” These store-bought products don’t come with the extra safety of having your dentist monitor any side effects. They also feature a one-size-fits-all tray that holds the “bleach” and is more likely to leak the chemical into your mouth.
Dentists may use products with stronger “bleach”, but they give patients careful directions to follow. They are also trained to spot and treat the side-effects that patients occasionally report during whitening. Additionally, if a tray is a requirement to apply the “bleach”, dentists supply custom-made traysDue to the strength of the whitening agents used by dentists; these treatments tend to produce the most impressive results.
Patients should be aware the long-term use of lightening or bleaching products may result in tooth sensitiveness or tooth abrasion. Please consult with your dentist before utilizing a bleaching or bleaching product.
Ask questions. It sounds straightforward enough, but we frequently feel humbled to ask straightforward questions. There isn’t any need to feel like that. You will feel far more comfortable, and be able to make a better decision, if you understand the dental procedure that is recommended to you. If you don’t say anything, your dentist may believe that you already understand.
If you can see any photos of the procedure or what it seems like when it is done.
Inquire, how many times your dentist has preformed this procedure in the past.
How much it will cost?
How long it will take?
If this recommended procedure will need to be redone in the future.
If there are any alternative options to the process and if so, what are the pros and cons of each?
Can I have a second opinion?
The final choice about when and how to proceed with any treatment is yours. To help understand what is involved in the treatment, your dentist may give you some printed material to read.
If you have already left the dental office without asking questions, call back later. Watch out about getting information from unknown sources, including sources on the web. Some of this information would possibly not be trustworthy.