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Choosing A Family Dental Clinic: A Patient's Guide

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When you have kids, it is certainly more convenient to get all of your dental care done at one family dental clinic rather than having everyone go to a separate dentist. Family dental clinics are amazing for that reason—they offer services for patients in all stages of life, from infancy to old age. There may be several family dental clinics within driving distance, and choosing the one that's best for you is not that easy. If you want to ensure you choose the very best clinic for your particular needs, there's a more detailed process you can follow.

Ask what the in-house dentists specialize in.

Most family dental clinics employ a dentist who has experience and certifications in pediatric care. But outside of that, specialties vary a little. There may be a dentist who does periodontal work or one who specializes in geriatric cases. If you have someone with a history of gum problems in your family, you may want to go to a dental clinic with an in-house periodontist, and if you have an older family member, one with geriatric experience is ideal. If your children are approaching middle school age, a clinic with an in-house orthodontist can be preferable, since many children need braces and/or retainers.

Ask about scheduling practices.

The more kids you have, the more important this option is. You probably don't want to have to drive to the dentist four separate times for four separate kids each time they need a checkup. As such, call the various clinics and ask how they handle scheduling. How far out can they typically schedule appointments? Do they make it easy for families to schedule back-to-back appointments so everyone can get their teeth cleaned at once? This will help you know if the family dental clinic can meet your family's needs. 

Ask whether they can handle emergencies in-house.

It's only a matter of time before someone in your family has a dental emergency. If you can find a family dental clinic that has emergency hours in-house, that is ideal. Otherwise, you will have to go to a separate emergency dentist, which is fine, but just not as convenient or comfortable as going to your regular dental clinic, especially when it's a child who needs emergency care.

There are lots of great family dental clinics out there, but their services will vary somewhat. Ask the questions above to help settle on the clinic that's best for your family. Contact a family dental clinic for more information.