Choosing a dentist

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:29 pm
Choosing the right dentist for you and your family is an important step in your oral health care. Communication is an important factor. You should feel comfortable talking to your dentist about your concerns, and your questions should be answered thoroughly and in terms that you understand. State board licensed dentists in general practice are qualified either to provide all aspects of your dental care, or to refer you when specialized treatment is needed. Dentistry is much like the medical field where doctors participate either in general practice or specialize in a certain condition or part of the body. In your search for a dentist you may want to seek referrals from family, friends, co-workers, your physician, or contact your local directory of the American Dental Association. In addition, there may be a referral service in your area that will provide you information about their participating dentists. If you're moving, your current dentist may be able to make a recommendation. Consider a prospective dentist's office location, office hours, dental emergency procedures, fees, payment plans, and general condition of the office, including the availability of up-to-date dental health information. Feel free to visit more than one dentist to ensure that you're most comfortable with the one that you choose for long-term care. Finally, you should also have confidence in the dental hygienist and the remainder of the staff that your dentist employs since they will be providing care and information about your dental health and procedures as well.

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