Choosing A Family Dental Clinic in Langford
You may have heard the term family dentist and thought it was a bit redundant. After all, aren’t all dentists family dentists?
The truth is, while there may be a lot of similarities in what each of them offer, the relatively small difference in a family practice over a general practice can make all the difference to the people who use their services.
What is a family Dentist?
A family dentist and a general dentist can be compared to the difference between a general physician and a general physician in family practice. A family dentist has devoted the focus of his or her dental career on understanding and treating the needs of oral health at every age. The needs around geriatric oral health varies greatly from the needs of adolescent teeth, for example. With a family dentist, all stages of life are happily addressed. So, you can bring the whole family – Grandma and Grandpa, too. This can be impactful to a growing family for a few reasons.
No one is more interested in the healthy development of your developing baby’s teeth and gums than your family dentist. New mothers planning to grow their family by one can trust their family dentist to advise them on how to proactively mitigate oral health issues prior to delivering. Changes in hormones due to pregnancy can impact teeth indirectly. By relaxing the muscles intended to keep stomach acids restricted to the stomach, pregnancy hormones can contribute to reflux and morning sickness. Your family dentist will advise you about how best to care for your tooth’s enamel if you develop these symptoms. Other areas of concern to your family dentist include an effort to partner with you to reduce and, if possible, eliminate signs of periodontitis or gingivitis. Studies have correlated the presence of gum disease with early deliveries.
Families with special needs may appreciate the value of family dentists the most. Dental visits can be difficult and even traumatic for some children with special needs just by their very nature. For children with sensory challenges, the bright lights, masked men and women, and antiseptic odors can provide too much stimulation to allow a thorough exam to be conducted. In these cases, your family doctor may work with you in referring your child to a specialty clinic for comprehensive oral work done under general anesthesia. Far more likely, though, your family dentist will work with you and your child to book several short visits where the dental staff can interact with your child in small, manageable timeframes. Your little one’s comfort needs are readily accommodated-for at family practice dental clinics. Even if it takes a few visits before your dentist can get to a complete visual exam, this relationship building is often all it takes to help children feel comfortable coming to the dentist for a cleaning and exam.
The fact is, not everyone with dental anxiety outgrows it. Mothers and fathers whose anxiety is triggered even when accompanying children without undergoing treatment can procrastinate and put-off appointments if they feel it’s too stressful. A family practice is expert at accommodating the various needs of patients at any age. Their gentle approach and willingness to partner with you to ensure that dental appointments are as positive experiences as possible. Family dentists are on your team, so you can feel at ease.
A family dental clinic is your family’s one-stop shop for oral health care. Rather than make numerous appointments for each family member throughout the year, family dentists make it easy to see the whole family at the same appointment.
One difference between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist is that the pediatric dentists have an upper threshold where they will stop seeing adolescents or adults. If you have a child with anxiety around the dentist, or changes in general, forming a relationship with a family dentist early in their life can decrease the likelihood that they will have to switch providers. In the age of express, developing long term relationships with those who care for your health should not be undervalued.
What to Consider
When choosing a family dental practice, there are logistical considerations such as: location, office hours and fee structure to consider. Those should not be the only deciding factors. If you can, go in for a tour, ask questions, and see how your children interact with the dental staff in the office. A good indication that you’ve found a great family dental practice for your family is that everyone feels positive about their experience in the office and their interaction with staff. A family who is excited to see the dentist can make or break the likelihood of long-term oral health and compliance with routine visits. Your kids should be excited to show the dentist how well they’ve been caring for their teeth!