Posted by Roots on Whyte Dental
Choosing a new dentist in Edmonton involves a lot of work. One of the requirements of a family dental practice is that they can address all the needs of your loved ones, including any special needs. But just because you trust your dentist, or a specialist you’re referred to, does not mean that you have to agree to every dental procedure they recommend. Asking the right questions before your treatment can help to ease anxiety and give you peace of mind that you’re making the best decision for your situation.
In some cases, you may not be certain that you need a specific procedure that your dentist is recommending. Perhaps it’s not medically necessary, or is an upsell. Do you think you should get a second opinion? Dental professionals are supposed to make their patients comfortable. They should listen to their needs and acknowledge their ideas and dreams, and then recommend the most appropriate course of action. But this doesn’t always happen.
Fortunately, patients have a right to quality care. This means you can ask any question regarding your dental health, diagnosis, and the recommended treatment. There are many things to consider before agreeing to a dental procedure, even if it is one of the common ones, like fillings, crowns, root planings, and root canals.
Here are a few questions to help you make an informed decision:
1. Can you describe what my dental problem is, so I can get a second opinion?
This seems like a rude question to ask your dentist, especially if you’ve worked with him/her before. Although it suggests that you don’t completely trust your dentist, it is a necessary question for you as a patient to ensure that any tests and procedures that will follow are absolutely necessary, and not just a way for the dentist to make you pay more.
Even if you’re not particularly keen about the cost of treatment, you may need to ask this question if you’re not comfortable with the diagnosis or treatment plan. So a second opinion can help to confirm a problem or propose alternative ways to address an issue.
Some things that may cause you to consider a second opinion include the dentist’s refusal to explain the need for X-rays or scheduling multiple procedures within a very short time frame (when it’s not necessary), such as for multiple dental fillings, yet there’s no sensitivity or you were previously unaware of any problems.
2. What type of fillings do you use?
Dental fillings are arguably the most common tooth repair procedures. Fillings are used to repair broken or chipped teeth to restore their shape, size, and aesthetic. There are different materials available, but you probably want to choose a tooth-coloured material such as porcelain or composite resin as opposed to amalgam silver fillings.
Although amalgam fillings have been used for over a century, there are newer, safer, more attractive, and equally strong dental materials that can be used. More importantly, recent studies show that amalgam fillings contain mercury, which can harm your body.
3. Is this the least invasive treatment for my problem?
Unfortunately, some dental professionals recommend the treatment that is easiest for them, or one that requires replacement or additional work sooner, rather than offering the most appropriate, long-term solution for your case.
During your consultation, ask your dentist to give you all the options to address the problem, regardless of whether or not he/she provides them. This will help you make an informed decision before agreeing to the only procedure that the dentist provides.
4. What are the benefits and risks of this procedure?
Every medical procedure—including dental—involves some degree of risk. Even if it’s a procedure that you’re familiar with, perhaps because you have heard of various success stories from a friend or colleague, it’s important that you discuss with your dentist about what to expect, including the risks and benefits. You should have realistic expectations about a procedure before it starts, or risk wasting money in additional procedures to achieve the desired look.
5. Do you provide lifestyle and nutritional counselling in your treatment plans?
A visit to a dentist should leave you more educated and informed about maintaining and improving your dental and oral health. Most dental problems are caused by avoidable things, such as cavities due to the consumption of too many sugary items, teeth discolouration due to consumption of coloured foods and drinks without cleaning your teeth afterward, bad breath due to smoking and gum disease, and tooth cracks and fractures due to biting on hard items (like ice) or playing sports without a mouth guard.
Beyond recommending a treatment plan for your case, it is important that your dentist informs you about how to take better care of your teeth to avoid other cases of infection or injury. This includes maintaining a proper diet. Brushing and flossing regularly is important, but it’s not the only preventive measure. Proper nutrition can help to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth responsible for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath; reduce the risk of teeth discolouration; promote tooth remineralization, and so on.
Your dentist must be willing to recommend appropriate lifestyle changes, like wearing a mouth guard when participating in sports or choosing a diet that focuses on high quality meats, organic vegetables, and healthy fats while minimizing sugars, grains, and processed carbs. Such a holistic approach will help to ensure that your natural teeth stay healthy for longer.
Final Note: Continue Learning
Everyone hopes to retain their natural teeth for a lifetime. Visiting the dentist once or twice a year for preventive procedures such as professional cleaning and a dental exam is an important component for the long-term health of your teeth and mouth.
Do the proper research to find a good dentist in Edmonton who will help you protect the dental health of your family by not only performing the right procedures for the right problem at the right time, but also educating you so you can create a good at-home dental care routine. Having a greater understanding of your oral health will also help you realize risks and problems sooner, so you can take the appropriate action.
Book your next appointment with Roots on Whyte Dental by calling us at 888-396-4932 or contact us here!