Whether you grew up wearing braces or have seen friends struggle with the pain of dental procedures, you’re likely familiar with the need for regular dental care. You might even be inclined to get extra help keeping your pearly whites bright and white. But what is the best way to keep your smile healthy? Here are some tips to get the best dental care at home or from a dentist:
Check out the dentist’s schedule
The most important thing to know about your dentist is when he or she sees patients. There are plenty of great dentists out there, but only a few of them will be available when you need an appointment. So, it’s a good idea to call around to see if there are any cancellations or if your dentist is booked up for an extended period of time. You might also consider finding a new dentist if your current one is booked up too much of the time. Many dentists offer appointment “drop-in” hours, so if you are able to drop by when they’re not scheduled to be doing appointments, you may be able to get an instant appointment.
Ask about dental care specials
Dentists are often able to offer special deals for patients. For example, some dentists will offer a special deal on dental implants or just common restorative dental care services. Others may offer a special deal on a certain type of clean or scaling treatment. If your dentist has a special deal, ask about it and take advantage of it. A clean or scaling treatment that you don’t need may be expensive, so if you don’t need it, it can really add up.
Ask a lot of questions
You can ask your dentist what he or she is going to do when they are treating you during your appointment. Ask them to talk you through the treatment and show you exactly what they are going to do. Ask if they have any questions, too. If they don’t, they may not be the right dentist for you. If you have any questions of your own, ask them. If your dentist doesn’t know the answer, they may be able to get it for you and what’s more, they will be able to answer any of your other questions as well.
Go to a dental school or clinic
While going to a dental school or clinic might not be an option for everyone, it’s worth considering if you can’t find a dentist who is available when you need an appointment. Dental schools and clinics often offer dental care at reduced rates for students and on a non-profit basis. If a clinic is volunteering its time, the price is usually significantly lower than what you would pay at a private practice. You can also consider seeking help from a community organization like a church, synagogue, or health center. Many of them offer low-cost or free dental services.
You can search the website for the Commission on Dental Accreditation for a dental school in your state.
Find a local volunteer dentist
If you have no luck finding a dentist that is available when you need an appointment, consider getting assistance from a local community organization. Many communities have volunteer organizations that offer free or low-cost dental services. In some cases, you might be able to get your teeth cleaned or fixed by a dentist that is not a licensed professional. It’s best to check with the organization first to make sure they are who they say they are. You can also try checking your local community health center or hospital. In many cases, they may offer free dental services.
Don’t go to the hospital for dental work
This is a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. You should never go to the hospital for dental work. If you do, you will be charged a lot more money than you would at a dental school, clinic, or community organization. Visit a local dental school, clinic, or community organization instead. These are much less expensive alternatives and maybe faster, too.
Stay away from predatory dentistry scams
As with all health services, there are some sketchy dentists who will try to lure you in with low prices and then bill you a lot more money than you expected. Make sure you only go to licensed dentists with current licenses, insurance coverage, and experience. Avoid dentists that advertise low prices but do not have insurance coverage or who may not be practicing dentistry for very long.
Dental care can be both extremely painful and expensive. Luckily, there are a lot of great ways to get on board with regular dental care without going broke. If you’re looking for a way to keep your teeth healthy, from a dentist or from a community organization, you can’t go wrong with regular care from a dentist or other dental school, clinic, or organization. Regular visits to a dentist can help you avoid many dental issues before they become big problems.