If you have recently moved to a new area or don’t have a family dentist that you regularly see, it can be difficult to know how to find and choose the best dentist in your area. It is important to have a local dentist for preventative care and screening. Once you choose a dental office, they will be able to recommend how often you should see the dentist and remind you when you are due for an appointment.
An average healthy person is recommended to visit the dentist once per year. Those at higher risk of gum disease, tooth decay, or others issues may want to see their dentist more frequently. Professional care such as cleanings and dental exams help prevent, identify, and treat issues early on, before they become more serious.
When to Find a Dentist
Your family dentist can identify early signs of infection, gum disease, and other issues. Addressing these oral health concerns early through the use of fluoride treatments, sealants, scaling, and recommended at home oral care routines can prevent small issues from growing into more serious concerns that require more invasive (and more expensive) treatments such as fillings, root canals, and other oral surgery. In addition, a tooth decay or abscesses that are left untreated can lead to more serious infections, bone loss, or gum recession. Your dentist can also screen for early signs of oral cancer. For these reasons, it is not recommended to wait until you have a toothache or dental emergency to start looking for a dentist.
How to Find a Dentist
Choosing a North Vancouver dentist isn’t just about finding someone with the right qualifications. It’s also about personal fit. The following are a few ideas on how to find a new dentist.
- Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or co-workers. Ask them what they like about their dentist and the dental office.
- See if your previous dentist can refer you to someone that they know of in your new area.
- Consult the provincial or territorial regulatory authority or dental association. Many association websites have a dentist locator or dentist directory and membership in the association may be a necessary component of licensure.
How to Choose a Family Dentist
Once you have a few recommendations, consider calling or visiting a few dental practices before making your decision. Below are a few questions to consider.
- Is the location convenient?
- Do the office hours work well with your schedule?
- What kind of equipment and technology does the office use?
- What are the policies for emergency or after-hours care?
- If you have children, is the dentist taking patients of all ages?
If you have any special needs such as a disability or anxiety about visiting the dentist, ask if the dentist has experience working with these needs. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to and discussing treatment options with your dentist.