Taking a Look at Local Dentists – Not Just for Root Canals Anymore!

In earlier decades, towns and cities were significantly smaller than they are now and finding a dentist was a matter of walking down the street to your neighbourhood dentist, or driving downtown to “see that fellow your sister recommended.” In the past three decades major cities have exploded in size opening new doors for dental professionals everywhere. So how to you choose the dentist that’s right for you and your family?

In a typical lifetime, you will have to see your dentist at east once per year for typical checkups; factor in incidentals (cavities, dentures, crowns, a root canal, etc.) and you’re there a lot more often. Add in some cosmetic dentistry (teeth whitening, veneers, etc.) and you’re taking the level of service from your dentist to new heights.

How To Choose

  • Visit your local Dentist Association website for a list of recommended Dentists in the city.
  • If you are moving from one province/state to another, check with your previous dentist to get his / her opinion on a new one.
  • Ask your friends, neighbours, colleagues, etc. about the dentists they have used.
  • After you have your search narrowed a bit, visit more than one dentist to see if you feel it’s a good fit.
  • Ask the dentists if they have recall schedules for regular patient checkups.
  • Ask for treatment options – good dentists will always give you all the options, not just the most expensive one.
  • Ask your candidates if all treatments are explained fully before being completed and if they always have ready lists of advantages and disadvantages of specific treatments.

Why It’s Important to Find the Right Dentist
Your dentist is the person that will be responsible for your oral care for a very long period of time. You need to make sure that the dentist you choose has a specific list of services in all three categories of dentistry: Preventative, Restorative and Cosmetic.

Preventative dentistry refers to regular checkups, periodontal therapy, nightguards for teeth grinding and oral cancer screening, among others. These services should be offered on a regular basis to their patients.

Restorative dentistry are procedures that you may need throughout your lifetime. These procedures include: fillings, tooth extractions, dentures and partials, root canals, and dental implants.

Cosmetic dentistry is a rapidly expanding arm of dentistry and is now being offered at most dental offices. These services are aesthetic services and are generally performed to perform “smile makeovers.” These include: teeth whitening, porcelain veneers or Lumineers, bonding, and tooth jewelry.

Whether you’ve just moved into Edmonton or are unhappy with your current dentist, finding the local dentist that’s right for you is crucial to your oral and general health.

Low Cost Dental Services in Texas

Texans with aching teeth can find relief at low costs and, sometimes, at no cost.

Dentistry From The Heart, a national non-profit organization that promotes free dental service events across the country including several single day events at private practices in Texas. The free dental services provided to needy community members include cleanings, fillings and extractions with patients seen on a first come first served basis.

When one event was held in San Antonio in 2010, the line started forming a 7pm the night before and over 400 people showed up to be treated by the dentists and support staff who volunteered their time and talents. Unfortunately, less than half of them could be seen by the time the doors were closed.

The Texas Mission of Mercy is another organization that puts together free dental events. With the primary goal of relieving pain, the services provided are limited to those that can be done in a mission setting such as fillings, cleanings and extractions. Services for cosmetic dentistry and braces are not offered at the events which usually take place over a period of 2 days.

While free dental options are few, those seeking low cost services should look into dental schools including the University of Texas Health Science Center Dental Branch locations in Houston and San Antonio.

Procedures provided by students with faculty supervision are available at rates that can be as much as 40% less than those at a private dental practice.

For more affordable dental service options available on a sliding scale you should look to local non-profit organizations. Community Dental Care in the Dallas area, for example, operates 11 dental clinics and is the largest nonprofit provider of routine and preventative dental services to low-income individuals in Texas.

Texans can also find many low cost dental and other health care services they need by phone. Through a unique program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission callers can be directed to local services by simply dialing 2-1-1.

When to Seek Dental Services

The best time to seek dental services is before you actually begin to experience any problems with your teeth or gums. Unfortunately, most of us have an inherent fear of dentists and this fear stops us from going to the dentist unless it is absolutely necessary. The truth is, by going for regular biannual dental checkups you will actually reduce the likelihood of experiencing any major problems with your teeth.

What Do Dental Services Actually Entail?

Dental services do not just include extractions and root canals. During your regular checkup, your dentist will clean and scale your teeth to remove any existing tartar or plaque buildup and will check your gums and teeth for any sign of decay or cavities. Depending on the condition of your teeth, your dentist may then recommend the best dental treatment option or combination of options.

Here are some of the many options that are included in the dental services that may be offered to you and what they are used for:

Sealants and Bonding: Tiny grooves on the surface of the teeth act as perfect havens for bacteria. When a sealant is used, it seals up the grooves and protect the teeth against decay and cavities. Bonding helps to repair discolored, chipped or crooked. In both these processes, the color is carefully chosen to match your natural tooth coloration so that it looks as natural as possible.

Fillings: Fillings are used when there is already a cavity. They help seal up the cavity and prevent any further decay and can be either the direct or indirect type.

Bridges: When you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, the other teeth eventually shift their position in an attempt to fill in the empty space. This could in time result in a change in the overall shape of your face and also causes problems when eating. Dentists use bridges to fill in these gaps so that it prevents any further problems.

Dentures and Dental Implants: Both of these are basically prosthetic teeth that are used to replace missing teeth. While dentures are removable, dental implants are fixed.

Extractions: This is usually the last option that a dentist will resort it. Most dentists will do their best to strengthen and save your original tooth. However, sometimes it is just not possible and the only option is to extract it. In earlier days, this was done with a localized anesthetic. This meant you were aware of everything that was going on and it could be scary. Today, most dentists will give you the option of sedation dentistry, where, with the help of a general anesthesia you are blissfully unaware of the proceedings.

Why is the Root Canal Procedure No Longer Feared?

With the common cases of decay and infection in the tooth that calls for the root canal treatment, several sedation dentists have come close to the patients who severely need their services. Come to think of it, there are a lot of individuals who suffer from dental phobia. Some of them may have lower tolerance for pain while others might have traumatic experiences in the past. Whatever the reason is, there is a professional who could handle the root canal procedure.

Sedation and Sedation Dentistry

Sedation is a strategy that is geared towards pharmacologically adjusting your central nervous system so it could come up with a relaxed and calm feeling. The sedative drugs such as the sleeping pills, depressants, tranquilizers, anxiolytics, and the likes are utilized to bring on sedation. They could likewise be applied in different ways.

Sedation dentistry, on the other hand, is the technique that is applied by a sedation dentist to provoke an anxiety-free and soothing state on the individuals who undergo some dental treatment, particularly the root canal procedure. There is no denying that such process could bring forth loads of ache especially when the patient has the least passion for experiencing pain. When applied, the patient feels oblivious about the number of hours that the process has eaten up.

While it is true that a number of people refrain from setting dental appointments because of their dental phobia, there is a major reason that must prompt you to get one. Oral health is basically necessary. To help you out, the sedation dentist would address your apprehension with a technique that has been professionally learned.

Sleep Dentistry Explained

For most of the times, the term sleep dentistry has been used to mean sedation dentistry. It may get misleading, so to speak yet in truth; you don’t actually sleep during the root canal treatment or any other thorough dental procedure. You may acquire the feeling of being sleepy since the sedation dentist has injected you with soothing drugs that totally lull you into some relaxing state. However, in cases when you need a stronger type of drug that could provoke a deeper slumber during the treatment, what would be administered on you is general anesthesia and not sedation dentistry.

The Types of Sedation as Performed by the Sedation Dentists

To further promote a feeling of ease and calm on the patient, there are three main types of sedation which the sedation dentist may be prompted to use.

Oral Conscious Sedation. A sedative drug is prescribed by the sedation dentist which needs to be taken before the treatment. If the person deals with a more severe anxiety, then another sedative is advised to be taken while at home an hour before bedtime prior to the day of the dental appointment. The common sedatives include Valium, Dalmane, Halcion, and Versed.

Inhalation Conscious Sedation. The use of oxygen and nitrous oxide are commonly prescribed by a sedation dentist. The thing is, this type of sedation allows the prompt recovery of the patients so they could get on with their normal routine.

Intravenous Conscious Sedation. The sedation dentist who is to apply the IV conscious sedation must be professionally trained. It is held to be more effective and the patient simply forgets about the dental procedure.

With all of the techniques that the sedation dentist is able to apply, there is indeed a solid reason on why root canal treatment should no longer be feared.