If you are like most people, you probably don’t enjoy the dentist too much and the thought can make you uneasy and nervous. Calgary Family Dentist knows how intimidating it can be, and we want to help guide you through the process as painlessly as possible. Not only that, but its our job to make sure our patients are educated in order to make informed decisions about dental procedures.
What if you find yourself in a position where your dentist is telling you all kinds of things that need to be done and you are lost and confused? Some dental procedures can be quite complicated.
How do you know when the time to seek a second opinion is? Do you wonder if what is being proposed is medically necessary? Are you asking yourself if you can afford it? All these questions are normal!
Here at Calgary Family Dentist, we will take the time to sit you down, allow for questions and explain your options, so that you are armed with the answers to help you on your journey to great dental health.
So, what now? To get you started – we have put together some questions that you should ask to your dentist before agreeing to any treatment.
1. What are the risks of this procedure?
With every medical procedure comes some amount of risk – that includes dental procedures as well. Its more than okay to ask your dentist about these risks, which of course differ depending on what treatment you need. If you need to be sedated or have other medical problems that you think might interfere it is your responsibility to discuss those with your dentist so that you can make an informed decision about the risks and benefits together.
2. Am I eligible for all procedures?
Its important to know that what worked for one person may not work for you. When speaking with your dentist its important to discuss all health problems and issues that might affect the procedure. For example: if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, on blood thinners, are taking blood pressure medications or antibiotics – all of these could affect certain types of treatments as well as the pain relief options that are available to you. Tell your dentist about anything that can you think of – even if it doesn’t seem like much to you at the time.
3. What kind of fillings do you use?
Did you know that metal fillings are dangerous and not necessary? In the past gold and amalgam fillings were popular and have since been replaced. At Calgary Family Dentist, we choose to use safe options for fillings and always keep our patients’ safety in mind. Currently the most common filling option are composite resin, which is like a very durable plastic and porcelain which carry much less risk than metal fillings. These can also be matched to your natural tooth color. The durability of your fillings is based largely on the type of material used and how you take care of your teeth. Don’t underestimate the importance of asking your dentist about materials used.
4. What options for pain relief are available to me?
We know how much anxiety and fear many people have when planning a trip to the dentist. Calgary Family Dentist will meet your fear with a compassionate and helpful staff. We will put you at ease from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave. In addition, Calgary offers several options to ease your fear including but not limited to nitrous oxide and oral sedation. IV sedation is the safest form of sedation dentistry since the amount of drug given can be tailored to each patient. Don’t be afraid to discuss your fears with your dentist and together you can make the best plan for pain-free treatment.
5. How long can I expect my procedure to last?
Whether it’s a filling or dental implant, it’s important to ask your dentist how long they will last. Knowing this can help you make an informed decision about whether to opt for a cheaper “quick fix” or something longer term. After all – if you end up coming back year after year for small fixes, it could end up costing you more in the long run. Different materials offer different durability times and your dentist should be able to break this down for you in an easy to understand way.
6. Do you have before and after pictures of your work?
Your dentist should love this question especially if they are showcasing cosmetic work! They may even have it on display in the dental office or waiting room. If they don’t have before and after pictures of their work, it’s probably a red flag. Asking for photos can help calm your nerves and give you something to look forward to for your upcoming procedure.
7. What is the difference between a dental veneer and a crown?
A dental veneer is a way of using your existing tooth to alter the shape or to help with discoloration. Usually about ½ mm of your enamel is removed and then a mold is taken of your tooth. Your dentist will complete an examination and let you know if this is the right option for you. A dental crown is designed to help protect and strengthen an existing tooth. The procedure is very similar to veneer. Crowns fit like a cover over your tooth and become your tooth’s new surface. There are different types of crowns and Calgary Family Dentist can help you pick the right type of crown that is best for you and your lifestyle.
8. Is it okay to get a second opinion?
This isn’t always a fun question to ask a dentist, but a caring dentist will not be offended. Sometimes all we need is a second opinion to help us feel reassured that the path we are taking is the correct one. It can be a red flag if a dentist tells you that you have several brand-new cavities that need to be filled immediately or seems to pressure you when you question what procedures need to be done. Trust your gut and get the second opinion if you desire it.
9. What happens if I don’t get this procedure?
Since dental procedures can be very stressful – it’s okay to ask the question “is this is necessary?” What’s the worst that can happen? A good dentist should be able to explain the reasons why. For example: An infected tooth left untreated can cause pain, swelling and infection which would require antibiotics. By discussing options with the dentist, you’ll potentially avoid a worse situation by simply asking the question.
10. Do you provide nutritional guidance along with my treatment?
Rest assured that if you find a dentist who also cares about your overall wellbeing, it’s a very good sign! If you suddenly have a lot of cavities, sensitive teeth, jaw pain, or an increase in dental decay it’s safe to say that you might want to seek counsel from your dentist. At Calgary Family Dentist, we like to get to the root of the problem – pun intended! We believe that good dental health starts with your overall health. Do not underestimate the power of proper nutrition. Opting for veggies, high-quality meats, and healthy fats over processed carbs, sodas, sugars and other harmful foods can help you avoid future problems.
11. What are my options for payment?
Dental procedures can be very expensive and at Calgary we know this can add stress to an already stressful situation. At your consultation we will discuss payment options and are more than happy to reach out to your insurance provider if necessary, to find out what is covered. You should be provided with a written estimate after your consultation which your dentist will discuss with you. Priority can be given based on urgent need to less urgent. Don’t let financial worries be the reason your dental health suffers. We are more than happy to work with you.
Whether you choose Calgary Family Dentist for your next procedure or not, our hope is that you are now armed with questions and answers that will allow you to head to your next procedure well informed and at ease! If you have more questions, we would love to answer them. Call us today to set up a consultation where we can discuss all your needs in person and set a plan to get your dental health on track.
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