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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Dentist

As a society that knows so much about oral care, it's really quite surprising how many Americans haven't visited the dentist in the past 18 months. According to studies, 32 percent (or about one in three people) have not visited the dentist in the past year and a half. A more alarming report is the upward trend of that number. It doesn't seem to be tapering off or going down any time soon. In fact, studies suggest that number may be closer to 40 or 50 percent in a matter of years.

As a health conscious citizen, it's important you don't get caught up in this unhealthy trend. If you currently have a dentist, it is recommended that you have a checkup at least every six months. For those without a dentist, it's important to choose the right one. This is a brief guide to walk you through the selection process:

Where to Look. The first step in choosing the right dentist is knowing where to look. Firsthand referrals and customer reviews are usually the most helpful. Ask friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors for recommendations and look for common trends. Other sources of reliable information usually include family doctors, local pharmacists, or current dentists (if you are moving).

What to Ask. In an ideal situation, you and your dentist will form a long-term relationship. To make the most out of the search process, consider the questions you will need to ask: What are your office hours? How far in advance do I need to schedule? Where did the dentist receive education? How are emergencies handled out of regular office hours? Is information supplied about all costs and payment plans?

Visiting. It is not uncommon for potential clients to visit a dental office before committing. If you plan on visiting an office, make sure you perform a verbal and physical examination. You should ask questions, feel out the dentist's personality, and make sure the office is clean and organized.

Comfort Factor. While many factors can be measured and weighed according to their worth, it's hard to factor in comfort. When you find a dentist you are totally comfortable with, you shouldn't move on without a valid excuse. Your dentist may be required to perform long, sometimes invasive, procedures in the future. Comfort will go a long way in easing these situations.

Switching. While most patients remain with their dentist for as long as they live nearby, it's okay to switch dentists if they don't provide you with the services you need and desire. After choosing your dentist, make sure they live up to the promises they gave you in the search and interview process.

About Author Ziad Kaady :

Bridgetown Dental is one of Portland's top dental clinics with an amazing staff to serve our patients. You can visit us online at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> to learn more about our services or to book an appointment.

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Article Added on Thursday, August 7, 2014
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