What Makes a Great Family Dentist?

woman at the dentistIf you are looking for a new dentist, you might be exhausted by all the possibilities out there. We recommend patients take the time to research their local dentists, and even interview them before choosing a new family provider.

If you are looking for a dentist in Hazelwood or Kirkwood, MO, visit us at Life Smile Dental Care to meet our friendly and professional staff. Drs. Blake Setien, Brent Setien, and Jonathan Brown are always excited to meet potential patients. Call us at (314) 521-5678 (Hazelwood) or (314) 966-7707 (Kirkwood) to make an appointment.

So what should you look for when choosing a family dentist? We find there are four qualities that set excellent dentists apart:

Enthusiasm for Oral Health

Charisma may not be a trait you usually associate with dentistry, but a great dentist will be excited about every opportunity to advance the quality of your oral care. Once you know to look for it, you’ll see evidence of this trait in everything he or she does.

Such a quality should be contagious, and any hygienists you meet should be equally positive in their chair-side manner. When a dental practice gets this right, you’ll feel yourself walking out of your appointment with a genuine enthusiasm for taking good care of your teeth and gums.

A good dentist knows that shaming a patient for not flossing, or expressing disappointment in missed appointments does no good in terms of long term care. If you walk out of an appointment feeling bad, look for a new dentist. We at Life Smile Dental Care want our patients to feel great when they leave us, and to translate those feelings into great home habits and routine appointments.

A Good Listener

A quality dentist knows that every patient and every family has unique circumstances. Unless we have a solid understanding of the factors affecting your life, we’ll never understand all the elements that may impact the health of your teeth and gums. For example, if a dentist doesn’t ask about conditions affecting your overall health, he or she will not be able to warn you of the dangers medical conditions may pose to your oral health. A dentist should also ask about your family history.

As advocates for healthy smiles, we must be proactive not just in preventing cavities—but in predicting oral conditions you may be prone to developing. We can’t do this unless we take the time to get to know you as an individual and family. A dentist who’s “only concerned with the mouth” is throwing away a valuable opportunity to treat the whole patient.

A Partner in Your Health

A great dentist is a healer and advisor. We know that good oral health cannot happen without your commitment, so we view every patient as a partner in health.

With a great dentist, no appointment is simply “routine.” Every dental checkup is a chance to learn what’s new in your life, and share information that can inform the decisions you make. Both our hygienists and our dentists stay current with research and industry advances that can help you make the healthiest choices for your family.

Flexibility

As we’ve already mentioned, every patient has unique circumstances. We try to accommodate our patients by being flexible and understanding of your needs. Many patients struggle with dental anxiety, and that anxiety can manifest in a number of ways. A fearful child will not behave the same way as a tense adult, so we are happy to take extra time and adjust our procedures whenever possible. Whatever it takes to get you the attention your teeth and gums deserve—we will do it! Sometimes it just takes a little extra time to establish trust and comfort.

We also offer emergency dentistry for patients who encounter dental crises after hours. No one should have to suffer through a debilitating toothache, especially not on the weekend. We are always willing to do what it takes, so you can get back to your life.

If you are looking for a dentist in Hazelwood or Kirkwood, MO, visit us at Life Smile Dental Care to meet our friendly and professional staff. Our dentists are always excited to meet potential patients. Call us at (314) 521-5678 (Hazelwood) or (314) 966-7707 (Kirkwood) to make an appointment.

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