What to look for when choosing a dentist near Paradise Valley
Have you recently moved to the Valley of the Sun, and are working hard to get all the services your family needs in place? Or maybe you have lived in the Valley for a while but feel like you should find a dentist who is a better match for your needs. If you live or work in the Paradise Valley area, Life Smiles Dental Care could be a terrific choice. Dr. Paul Nielson and Dr. Timothy Schmidt share their guidance, to help you feel confident in this important decision.
Keep the big picture in mind
Choosing the right dentist for yourself or your family is about much more than who can clean your teeth. The body of evidence supporting a vital link between oral health and overall wellness is growing daily. Health-savvy individuals view dental care as part of an integrated approach to living well. The dentist you select should have your best interest in mind and illustrate it at every appointment with a philosophy of transparency – open, two-way communication about diagnosis and treatment options.
How can you determine this? Schedule an initial consultation with the dentist. Have some questions in mind about a specific dental issue. For example, “My teeth look so dingy lately. Can you help?” Then listen carefully.
- Does the dentist skip over questions about your health, medications, and lifestyle that might reveal potential causes of discoloration?
- Does he immediately offer one remedy, rather than explaining each potential solution (perhaps in-office teeth whitening, at-home whitening, composite and porcelain veneers, and crowns)?
- Is discussion of cost, treatment time, and longevity of results avoided or deferred to another member of the team?
- Do you feel pressured into an immediate decision?
If the answers to these questions are “yes,” keep looking.
Continuum of care
If you have children, choosing a dentist takes on even greater meaning. The treatment your child receives at an early age can be a determining factor in how he or she feels about dental care – both professional and home hygiene – throughout life. An ideal family practice creates pleasant, trustworthy experiences that let a child feel safe. As a parent, you have the added assurance that the dental team who knows your child’s oral, medical, and family background will provide continuing care. You won’t have to switch dentists when your child becomes a teen or adult.
Many practices have “family” in their business name or accept patients of all ages. How do you know if they are truly kid-friendly? On a busy day, make an impromptu visit to the dental office you are considering. Notice if there is an area for children in the reception room. Watch how the front desk staff greets children, and the interaction of the hygienist as she leads a child and parent to the treatment room. How do they react to a frightened child, or one who is crying loudly or throwing a tantrum?
Making life a little easier
Dual careers, school activities, sports, and social time – family life is busy! Convenience is a big factor in choosing a dental office, so selecting one near home or work makes great sense.
Ask the front desk if appointments for multiple family members can be scheduled at the same time. Having your bi-annual cleaning and exam while Junior’s cavity is filled saves travel and missed work time.
No one likes to think about a dental emergency, but they happen, especially with active kids. Ask how the practice accommodates urgent situations. Is immediate advice offered by telephone? Does the office allow time in the daily schedule to see emergency patients? What diagnostic technology is on site to evaluate the extent of damage? Can treatment be provided same day? Compassionate emergency care goes a long way toward turning a dental tragedy into a manageable task.
Today, a common complaint among healthcare consumers is, “I always have to see at least two doctors.” Of course you want to be referred to a specialist for a complex dental problem, but you need the handiness of a practice that provides a broad range of services. The dentist you are considering should offer the preventive care, general and restorative services, and cosmetic treatments you are likely to need throughout life.
At Life Smiles Dental Care, you get convenience and value in a dentist in the Paradise Valley area. Call (602) 786-5484 to become our newest patient!