If you don’t want to outlive your teeth, it’s important to get regular dental care. This should include at minimum a cleaning and checkup twice per year. The checkup should include x-rays once a year (or more often if you are cavity prone) and an examination of your mouth and tongue to screen for oral cancer. If you’re new in town, finding a dentist should be one of your top priorities. Since not all dental clinics are the same, here are a few tips for finding the right general dentistry practice in Salem OR.
1. Find out the full range of services a clinic provides and make sure the practice can provide for your current or anticipated needs. Can the dentist do implants? TMJ treatment? How about cosmetic services like teeth whitening and veneers? Does the practice offer sedation dentistry? This last is an important concern for some patients.
2. Consider the staff and their qualifications. What kind of degree does the dentist have? Is he or she qualified to perform dental surgery? If you are looking for a dental practice to treat both children and adults in your family, is there a pediatric dentist on staff?
3. Evaluate the office environment. Is the waiting area appropriate for your children? Is it a calming place for someone who is anxious about a dental visit? Is the receptionist friendly and welcoming? Are all patients greeted in a friendly way when they walk in the door?
4. If you have dental insurance, make sure the dental practice accepts it or is willing to file it. Most will file for you even if they are out of your network. If you don’t have insurance, see if the practice arranges other financing options for their uninsured patients.
5. Find out how the practice handles emergencies. Do they offer an after-hours answering service and an on-call dentist or do they make a referral?
6. Finally, find out how hard it is to get an appointment. Does the office do work-in visits for a sudden problem? How long would you have to wait for your first cleaning appointment?
Finding the right dentist for you and your family is an important step when you settle into a new community. Visit us for more information about general dentistry in Salem OR.