If you are like many people, you have probably muddled through life without proper oral healthcare habits like scheduling frequent dental visits, and you are aware of the price you had to pay for it. Refusing or postponing your dental visits is a huge mistake, especially if you have a dental issue that is likely to worsen with time, for example, a cavity, necessitating expensive treatment procedures.
Now that you are mature and a parent, you would not want any of your children or family members to postpone or skip their dental check-up appointment. Instead of scheduling appointments with different dentists whenever you or a family member need a dental or oral health checkup, you would want to partner with a reliable family dentist.
A family dentist can help you and your family members stay on top of their oral and dental health. Aside from improving your smile's appearance, maintaining top-notch oral and dental health lessens the chances of cavities, gum disease, cancer, and even heart disease.
At Washington Dental, our skilled dentists have significant experience delivering comprehensive oral healthcare to patients of different ages. If you are looking for a family dentist in Lomita, you can count on us for all your and your family's dental and oral healthcare needs.
Family Dentistry at a Glance
Unlike specialized dentistry, family dentistry focuses on a wide range of oral and dental health services for patients of different ages, including toddlers, teens, and older adults. Although it involves general maintenance of your dental and oral health, some key exceptions make this branch of dentistry different from general dentistry.
While a general dentist mainly deals with adults, a family dentist can offer dental and oral health services to all patients, regardless of age.
Convincing Reasons to Retain the Services of a Reliable Family Dentist
If you are unsure of whether to retain the services of a family dentist, here are compelling reasons to do so as soon as possible:
You Will Receive Convenient Services
One of the major reasons many families partner with family dentists is to avoid the hassle of visiting different dentists for different dental and oral health services. If you are a dad or mom, you cannot ignore the convenience of working with one dentist for all your and your family's oral and dental healthcare needs.
When you partner with a family dentist, all your family members can schedule back-to-back dental appointments. That means you can make a one-stop visit with your family whenever you are available, even on weekends, instead of scheduling many weekly or daily dental visits for all your family members' dental healthcare needs.
All Your Family Members Will Enjoy Personalized Services
Another benefit of working with a family dentist is that he/she will know your family's dental and oral health history, allowing him/her to offer each person the personalized services that he/she deserves.
If you or any family member has had past cavities, fillings, or surgeries, your family dentist will have that information in his/her record, enabling him/her to determine suitable treatment for each person based on this information.
A proactive and skilled family dentist will easily detect new abnormalities in your mouth since the last routine check-up and take appropriate action if necessary. If you had any orthodontic issues, like malocclusion, treated in the past, your dentist will be vigilant with your children to detect these signs early for quick intervention.
You Will Create a Lasting Relationship With Your Dentist
You cannot undermine the importance of trust when dealing with any service provider, especially healthcare providers. When there is trust between you and your family dentist, it becomes easy to communicate your health problems openly and honestly without the fear that the information could end up in the wrong hands.
When a dentist has all the details he/she needs, he/she can accurately diagnose signs of dental and oral health problems, meaning you and your family will receive the precise treatment you deserve. It is also easy to share your dental anxiety or fears with your dentist if you trust him/her.
If your dentist is aware of your dental fears, he/she will make the necessary adjustments to ensure your treatment is non-invasive and comfortable.
You Will Receive Regular and Consistent Dental and Oral Health Services
To improve and maintain your oral hygiene, you should visit your dentist no less than twice a year (preferably every two months) for dental cleanings and check-ups. Having a reliable family dentist makes you and your family members eager to make dental visits, meaning you will never miss any appointments.
Having the same skilled family dentist handle your dental or oral health needs every time assures you of the consistent treatments you need to stay on top of your health.
Helps You Set an Excellent Example for Your Children
Some of the habits children grow into and retain in their lifetime are the ones they learn from their parents. That is particularly true when it comes to dental and oral health habits. If you are reluctant to brush your teeth at least twice a day and do not schedule frequent visits with your dentist, your children will likely pick up these bad and unhealthy habits.
Conversely, when you visit your dentist with your family, your children will grow up knowing that dental appointments are critical for optimal oral and dental health. Introducing your children to a dentist from a young age can help eliminate dental phobia and anxieties, which are a problem even for some adults.
You Will Enjoy 24/7 Services
Once you partner with a family dentist, you will not have to worry about where you will find the help of a dentist when you or any family member suffers a tooth breakage or fracture in a collision or accident. Dental emergencies are common among children and teenagers, especially if they enjoy sports or playing outside.
Whenever you or a family member has a dental emergency, you can count on the services of a family dentist to receive the necessary medical attention immediately.
Generally speaking, partnering with a reliable family dentist is a great investment for your and your family's dental and oral health needs. Aside from the benefits mentioned above, a family dentist will give you continued education and updates about modern dentistry technology and healthy practices that can take your daily oral healthcare to the next level.
Dental and Oral Health Services a Family Dentist Can Offer
A reliable family dentist can provide several treatments and procedures you and your loved ones could need to improve your oral and dental health. Once you partner with a family dentist, you will enjoy the following services from one dentist:
Generally, it is advisable to introduce your toddler to a dentist before his/her first birthday or before his/her first tooth erupts. A family dentist can oversee your children's tooth eruption process and teach them how to practice great oral hygiene as they grow older.
Your dentist will examine your children's dental health and plan a personalized treatment that meets their needs at every stage of their oral and dental health development. A reliable family dentist will listen carefully to your concerns and treat your children with the utmost respect they deserve to ensure they grow up enjoying every dental visit.
Complete Oral Exams
Unlike regular dental check-ups, a complete oral exam will take longer because your dentist will devote extra attention to finding all the information about your oral and dental health for accurate diagnosis and treatment. During a complete oral exam appointment, you can expect some or all of the following:
- Oral cancer screening.
- Your medical history review.
- An examination of your jaw joint.
- An evaluation of your bite.
- An examination of your neck and head.
- Tooth-by-tooth examination.
- An examination of your gums.
- Cavity and infection diagnosis.
- An assessment of the progress of your previous dental work.
- X-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans to assess the health of your bone support and teeth.
Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleanings
Maintaining great oral and dental hygiene is critical for your overall health, but it is easy to neglect or assume. Scheduling regular six-month dental check-up appointments could seem unimportant compared to your work or other activities, but it is a critical part of your dental and oral health. Below are some of the benefits of regular dental check-up appointments with your family dentist:
- Mouth and Teeth Examination
During regular dental check-ups, your dentist will carefully examine your mouth and teeth for any signs of gum disease, decay, cavities, or other oral health issues. Your dentist could also require x-ray images to check for cavities and abnormalities you cannot see with your naked eyes. If these oral health issues are detected early, the higher the chances of treating them.
- Remove Persistent Stains and Plaque in Your Teeth
Although daily brushing and flossing can keep your teeth clean, it is difficult to remove some stains without a dentist's assistance. During regular dental appointments, your family dentist can provide professional deep cleaning services to remove stubborn stains and tartar (hardened plaque) that you cannot remove with a toothbrush.
During deep teeth cleaning, your dentist will use special dental tools to scrape off tartar buildup on the surface of your teeth and below your gum line. Aside from keeping your teeth looking sparkly and clean, deep teeth cleaning helps prevent cavities and gum diseases.
Cavity and Tooth Repair Services
If you or a loved one has a cavity, you could benefit from the services of a family dentist. A cavity is typically a hole on the surface of your tooth caused by decay and is a common dental health issue. Below are common signs and symptoms that you have a cavity in your teeth:
- Visible holes on the enamel of your teeth.
- Toothache or sensitivity around the area with the cavity.
- Black or brown spots on the surface of your teeth.
- Pain or sensitivity when eating or drinking sour, hot, or cold food.
- Pain when chewing or biting food.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should talk with your family dentist as soon as possible. The type of treatment your dentist will choose if you have a cavity will depend on the extent of the damage caused by the decay on the tooth.
In most cases, a dentist will treat a cavity by removing the decayed section of the tooth and filling the area with tooth-colored composite fillings to restore its size, shape, and color for a brighter smile.
Although a family dentist can treat cavities through fillings, the best and most effective way to treat cavities is to prevent them from occurring by scheduling regular dental visits and practicing healthy oral habits.
Orthodontics is an important dentistry specialty focusing on diagnosing, preventing, and treating bite problems and other teeth misalignment issues. You or any of your loved ones could be excellent candidates for orthodontic treatments if you have any of the following dental irregularities:
- An open bite.
- An underbite.
- Crowded or crooked teeth.
- Gapped teeth.
- Impacted teeth.
Aside from impacting the appearance of your smile, the above dental irregularities can cause bad breath and put you at risk of severe issues like cavities and gum disease. Although some of these issues are not painful, visiting a dentist for early treatment is important.
Common orthodontic treatment procedures your family dentist could recommend if you or any family member has any of the above dental irregularities include the following:
- Wearing clear aligners for Invisalign.
- Wearing metal braces.
- Wearing retainers.
- Palate expander placement.
The orthodontic treatment your family dentist will recommend will depend on your unique dental condition and preferences.
Cosmetic Dentistry Services
Cosmetic dentistry is a specialty that focuses primarily on improving the appearance of your teeth for a brighter smile. If you want to whiten or improve the appearance of your teeth for a brighter smile, you can rely on your family dentist. Apart from making you appear healthier and younger, a smile makeover can boost your self-esteem and confidence.
The most common cosmetic dentistry services you and your loved ones will enjoy once you partner with a family dentist include the following:
- Teeth Whitening
Also known as bleaching, teeth whitening can improve the appearance of your teeth for a brighter and more attractive smile. Although teeth whitening toothpaste can help whiten your teeth, it is not enough to keep them bright.
Your family dentist can provide every family member personalized teeth whitening services to ensure less discomfort and quicker results.
- Dental Veneers
Dental veneers, or porcelain veneers, could be your best alternative smile makeover option if teeth whitening is not an ideal remedy to remove intrinsic stains on your teeth' surface. Dental veneers are water-thin, tooth-colored shells that your family dentist will attach to the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance.
Common cosmetic concerns that dental veneers could address include the following:
- Chipped teeth.
- Cracked teeth.
- Uneven alignment.
- Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a more pocket-friendly cosmetic procedure than dental veneers. During dental bonding, your dentist will use laser ultra-violet (UV) light to bond a tooth-colored composite resin on the surface of your teeth to improve their size, shape, and overall appearance. Like dental veneers, dental bonding can help solve the following cosmetic dental concerns:
- Cracked or fractured teeth.
- Chipped teeth.
- Gapped teeth.
- Discolored or stained teeth.
- Invisalign Braces
You cannot go wrong with wearing Invisalign braces if you have misaligned teeth and are looking for a suitable alternative to conspicuous metal braces. Invisalign is a series of custom-made, clear braces or aligners you wear over your teeth like a mouthguard to help push your teeth into proper alignment over time.
Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, meaning you can remove them whenever you want to eat or brush your teeth. However, they must remain in your teeth all day, including at night, to provide the necessary pressure to shift them into proper alignment for a brighter smile.
- Dental Implants
You could be an ideal candidate for dental implants if you have a missing tooth or extremely decayed teeth that you cannot save through a root canal or filling. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that your family dentist will surgically insert in the missing tooth's bone socket to support an artificial tooth (dental crown).
As your jawbone heals, tissues will grow around the implanted titanium metal post, providing proper anchorage and a foundation for an artificial tooth.
Before partnering with any family dentist, you should speak with him/her to know whether he/she can offer the above cosmetic treatments to ensure every member has the brighter smile they deserve.
Fluoride Treatment Services
Fluoride is a natural-occurring mineral that helps strengthen your teeth' enamel (tooth outer surface) to prevent cavities or reverse early signs of decay. Eating fluoride-rich food and using fluoridated toothpaste or water is crucial to keeping your teeth healthy and stronger.
These healthy practices can help you apply fluoride to your teeth. However, your family dentist could recommend fluoride treatment if he/she finds this procedure necessary to strengthen your teeth' enamel and keep cavities at bay. While there are several over-the-counter fluoride treatments you could use, your family dentist could recommend in-office fluoride treatments, such as:
- Fluoride varnish.
- Fluoride gel.
- Fluoride supplements.
- Fluoride mouth rinses.
Generally speaking, these treatments have more fluoride than what you will find in your toothpaste or tap water. The earlier your children are exposed to fluoride, the better, especially if they are at risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Dental Sealant Services
The rough chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars) can develop tiny grooves, also known as fissures, that create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive, causing cavities. If you have fissures in your back teeth, your family dentist could recommend the application of dental sealants (plastic coatings) to create a smooth surface that is easy to clean.
Like fluoride treatments, dental sealants can help prevent decay and cavities because they make your back teeth smoother and stronger. Once dental sealants are in place, they can last for two (2) to seven (7) years, but they could last longer depending on your dental hygiene habits.
Teenagers and children are common candidates for dental sealant services, but an adult without a filling or decay could also benefit from this procedure to improve his/her dental health.
Restorative Dentistry Services
Restorative dentistry is another treatment option or service you will enjoy once you retain the services of a family dentist. As the name suggests, restorative dentists specifically focus on repairing and replacing missing teeth to restore your chewing functions and improve the appearance of your smile.
Your dentist could recommend restorative dentistry services if you or a loved one have any of the following dental concerns:
- Decayed tooth.
- Damaged tooth.
- Missing teeth.
Depending on your unique dental health needs, a family dentist could offer any of the following dental restoration treatments:
- Dental filling.
- Root canal therapy.
- Dental implant.
- Inlays and onlays.
- Dental crowns.
How to Find a Competent Family Dentist
As you can see above, having a family dentist you and your family members can trust has several advantages. For you and your family to enjoy the broad range of services a family dentist can offer, you should take your time to choose the right dependable expert. The following tips can help you find a reliable family dentist without hassle, especially if you have relocated to a new location:
- Consider whether your prospective dentist has modern dental equipment.
- Consider whether your prospective dentist is qualified and experienced.
- Consider the reputation of your prospective dentist.
- Consider your prospective dentist's cost of services.
- Consider whether your prospective dentist is licensed.
- Consider whether your prospective dentist has excellent communication skills.
- Consider whether your prospective dentist is courteous and respectful.
Find a Reliable Family Dentist Near Me
At Washington Dental, we have experienced family dentists who can offer you a wide range of dentistry services to help you stay on top of your dental hygiene and your family's oral health. If you are looking for a reliable and compassionate family dentist in Lomita for your entire family to see, call us at 310-326-5183 for an obligation-free consultation.
We are dedicated and focused on ensuring you and your loved ones grow with the healthy and bright smiles you deserve for a lifetime.