If you have lovely teeth and smile, you might begin to wonder why people frequent a dentist. However, if you believe in this concept, there is a lot more to oral health than a flawless smile that you need to know. Healthy teeth and gums require regular visits to a dentist for individuals of all ages, including children and teenagers, and to achieve this; you need a dentist you can trust.

For many parents, having to book a different dentist for each family member whenever they have a dental issue or regular checkups can be challenging, considering your tight schedule. Luckily, having a trustworthy family dentistry practice to provide all forms of oral treatment to your family makes the dental visits more pleasant and consistent, improving their oral health.

At Washington Dental in Lomita, we are available to keep your family’s teeth healthy. We have given an overview of family dentistry, the benefits of the practice, and how to find the right dentist for your family to answer questions you might have regarding the practice.

What is Family Dentistry?

Family dentistry is a practice that deals with a range of dental care services for all the members of the family, children and adults included. Although the oral needs of adults differ from those of children, a family dentist will provide dental care for both temporary and permanent teeth under one roof so that you don’t need to schedule appointments with different dentists.

Family dentistry services are very similar to general dentistry because their primary concern is health and oral hygiene. The only difference is the family dentists focus more on handling oral needs for kids and teenagers.

Unlike specialized care dentists, family dentists provide multiple services under one roof but with various dental experts. You can find teeth cleaning and whitening, teeth replacement, and more under one roof from dentists you already trust, simplifying your duties as a parent.

What are Some of the Services You Can Find in a Family Dentistry Practice?

On top of regular checkups and teeth cleaning, a reliable dentist should provide the following dental services:

  1. Tooth Whitening

There are multiple tooth whitening options out there, but most of them are not permanent or long-lasting. Your teenage kids might have their solutions or remedies. Still, with Washington Dental providing tooth whitening options to your family, you can be sure they will obtain quality tooth whitening solutions.

Unlike home remedies, our bleaching agents provide instant results, and you don’t need to wait for days for the results to be visible. With a single visit to our offices, you or your kids can obtain the desired look.

  1. Dental Fillings

Teeth damage or decay is common among children, and it's good for the problem to be addressed at an early stage before it causes infections or other complications. Whenever you undergo a damaged tooth or have cavities in your teeth, you should understand that your family dentist can treat the cavities and stop the decay. A standard treatment a dentist will recommend for your children and even other adults in the family is dental filling.

A dental filling is an oral procedure where the dentist removes the damaged part and fills it with a filling to prevent further damage. Dental fillings can be performed safely for adults and kids as well, but you need an expert to do it, which is why we at Washington Dental are available to help you protect your family’s oral health. When we recommend this procedure for a family member, you should trust it is the best decision. We often conduct a thorough evaluation to determine that a dental filling is a suitable option. We provide both amalgam and composite fillings so that your family can have options to pick from.

  1. Periodontitis Treatment

Periodontitis is also known as gum, or periodontal disease, is an inflammatory dental illness that affects the gum tissue surrounding your teeth, increasing the risk of tooth loss. Once the condition sets in, its toxins produce bacteria that damage the bone and connective tissues resulting in bone loss.

Our family dentist will recommend periodontal treatment if they observe any of the following signs:

  • Receding gums
  • Pockets of pus between the tooth and gums
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Loose or shifted teeth
  • Bad odor

The common causes of gum disease include poor oral hygiene, poor functional habits, health conditions, or organic changes in the mouth. Adults are the most likely people to suffer from gum disease, but luckily, family dentists will have treatment options.

The kind of treatment your dentist will provide depends on the severity of the condition. First, we will examine the extent of the damage to come up with a conservative plan. Additionally, we will evaluate your dental hygiene to establish if you remove plaque every day.

Next, we will conduct a thorough cleaning, deep scaling and root planing to remove that tartar from the teeth. A local anesthetic will be administered during these procedures to reduce anxiety or discomfort. If we suspect bacteria in the pus pockets, we will administer antibiotics to treat an infection on the teeth.

  1. Orthodontics

Orthodontics is a treatment option for people of all ages intended to protect your bite, create a well-aligned smile, and promote teeth effectiveness. Although most of the people treated for this disease are children, the number of adult patients has increased significantly.

Orthodontic treatment is mainly offered in specialized care dental practices, and you will rarely find a family dentist offering these services. However, a family dentist can still help with teeth alignment by conducting an examination as early as seven years because most problems start at this age. What is good about orthodontic evaluation by a dentist is that the same person conducting an assessment on your kids will evaluate your condition. 

Once we spot an issue after an assessment, we will refer you to specialized care where the tooth can reposition the underlying root, thus reshaping the jaws, neck and making it easy to observe good oral health habits.

  1. Preventive Dental Services

If you and your family members don’t observe healthy oral hygiene, you will find yourself spending thousands of dollars on restorative dental care. However, if you practice preventive dentistry, you will save a lot of money and keep your family healthy.

We at Washington Dental emphasize the need to observe oral hygiene and educate on the daily habits or practices that can help safeguard your teeth. For preventive dentistry to be effective, you and your family must combine home-based dental care and counseling. For the kids, we recommend that you begin brushing and rinsing their teeth daily as soon as their first tooth erupts. When they turn a year older, our pediatric dentists will be available to create a detailed oral care prevention program that will ensure your family stays healthy.

Our family dentists will use fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay which is very prevalent among children. We recommend brushing teeth using fluoride toothpaste and using water treated with fluoride to floss the teeth after brushing.

Other strategies we apply include educating the entire family on how to observe dental care from home, eat a balanced diet and maintain regular visits to the dentist, at least once after every six months.  We also perform x-rays with signs of an oral condition, but the problem can’t be detected with a naked eye.

The most important aspect of preventive dentistry services is patient education. It is the part we focus on most, especially with the children, because when they learn good oral health habits, they will have a lifetime of healthy, appealing, and functional teeth.

Note that a family dentist can also take care of your family’s cosmetic dentistry needs. Whenever we offer any of the above services, we take a gentle approach that makes your kids comfortable, eliminates the anxiety associated with dental clinic visits, and instills healthy dental habits.

Why Pick our Family Dentistry Service in Place of Specialized Care?

If you are wondering why you should choose a family dentistry practice over a specialized care one for your kids and spouse, there are multiple benefits of family dental care that you might want to consider. Remember, the dental needs for your children are different from those of yours and your spouse.  You must let your children be examined by a dental professional that understands their needs and history. The best way to do this is to ensure that the person treating them for oral conditions at the age of one is the exact handling their oral needs during their teenage and adult life.

Having a family dentistry practice instead of specialized care will save you the hassle of hiring a dental practice now and then. The benefits of finding the right family dentist are:

A Dentist for Everyone

One significant advantage of working with the right family dentists is that every member of your family will be treated under one roof. You will save yourself from the hassle of finding a different dentist for each family member. Furthermore, because other family dentistry practices have additional scheduling, billing, and approaches, working with a family dentist will save you all the hassle. Working with one dental clinic means you understand their schedule, billing, and many more, thus avoiding the stress of dealing with multiple dental practices.

Proper Dental Care for Everyone

Family dentists have the training and skills to handle all oral issues affecting both children and adults. You can begin taking your kids to the dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts, although the most frequent visitors in these places are children and adults who require regular dental evaluations and cleaning. With the right family dentist, you can rest easy knowing that all the family’s oral needs are in the right hands. With regular evaluations, cleaning, and verbal counseling, problems can be prevented and identified on time and treated before they are not possible to become unmanageable.

Note that changing dentists all the time can affect your appointments because you might not feel comfortable attending a session. Further, you can easily forget appointments because of the changed schedule, preventing you from obtaining adequate care. Luckily, with a family dentist, you already feel comfortable around them, and because you are used to their schedule, it’s not easy to miss an appointment which is key to you and your family’s oral health.

It Becomes Easier to Establish a Strong Relationship with the Dentist

Dental clinic visits are usually associated with a lot of anxiety. The anxiety becomes even worse if the dentist is a new one because you are yet to establish trust. Luckily, with family dentistry, the dentist handling you is the same as taking care of the oral needs of your children and spouse. It feels nice to have a dentist who knows all your family members by name, and you are likely to feel free to express yourself. Also, seeing the same dental specialist establishes a sense of trust, and eventually, the anxiety associated with dental visits becomes no more. 

Similarly, seeing the same dentists as a family means it becomes easier for them to identify oral conditions that run in the family, thus taking the appropriate action. Feeling comfortable around a dentist will also ensure you open up about dental issues that you were afraid of discussing, leading to improved treatment and general oral health.

Family Dentistry Offers Convenience

As a parent, you already have a tight schedule, and you don’t have the time to drive from one dental clinic to the other in Lomita for each family member to undertake an oral examination. Doing so will consume both your money and time, which is why you need a family dentist. These professionals have the training and education to deal with all types of oral needs for all ages, meaning the whole family can see one dentist.

Your schedules will become manageable because you can obtain all the dental services you need under one roof. At Washington Dental, we provide specialized care on top of family dentistry services, meaning that if any of your family members need orthodontic or periodontal treatment, they can access the services under one roof. 

Comfort During Treatment

Anxiety is common among patients when visiting a dentist because some oral procedures like tooth extraction can be tremendously painful. Our family dentistry practice understands that they are dealing with children and adults, meaning they must put relaxation measures in place. If you are one of those people dealing with anxiety, music or watching the television can help you relax. The right family dentist will put these measures in place to help you feel comfortable during appointments.

When it comes to more invasive procedures like root canal and tooth extraction, a family dentist will have local anesthetic and sedatives to keep you comfortable throughout the treatment. Remember to inquire about the relaxation measures a practice has before picking one because this is crucial in maintaining a healthy and functional smile.

You Receive Guidelines and Updates on How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

The work of any dentist is not only to provide treatment but also to educate patients on how to care for their teeth and prevent future oral problems adequately. You will receive tips on caring for your teeth, the best toothpaste and toothbrushes, and diets to stick to for healthy teeth. When the same dentist offers education to members of the same family, it becomes easier to adhere to the guidelines, thus increasing dental health.

Besides, being comfortable around your dentists means you can ask questions that might feel embarrassing, like how to better brush and floss teeth. A family dentist will keep you up to date with the latest technological advancements in the industry, thus making better choices regarding treatment procedures.

It Simplifies Tracking of Dental History

If you retain the same family dentist for years, your oral treatment records will be in one place, making them easier to trace. Treatment from the same dentist means they can assess your progress and see if a particular treatment is working for you or not. Also, it becomes easier to monitor any developing dental problems.

Restores your the Esthetics of your Smile

Family dentistry services provide treatment options to patients of all ages. One common problem that affects the beauty of smiles among children and teenagers is misalignment. Luckily, with an experienced family dentist, these flaws can be corrected using Invisalign. For adults, chipped or fractured teeth might affect the quality of your smile, but it’s easy to fix them through veneers.

Replaces Missing or Damaged Teeth

It’s easy to assume that dentists recommend tooth replacement for cosmetic purposes. Although this is one of the reasons, teeth replacement is done to prevent serious oral problems. Suppose you lose a tooth and leave the extraction socket open for a long time. In that case, the adjacent teeth will tend to shift or move away from their sockets, affecting teeth alignment. Furthermore, tooth loss leads to loss of jaw bone density which affects your facial structure.

Additionally, you begin experiencing problems eating, speaking and it becomes difficult to observe suitable oral hygiene protocols because open sockets make it hard to brush and floss teeth. However, with an experienced family dentist, missing or damaged teeth will be restored. The dental expert will evaluate the remaining tooth and determine the extent of their damage to establish a health plan to replace the lost teeth.

Tips for Finding the Right Family Dentistry Practice

Having pearly white teeth doesn’t mean oral health. Healthy teeth and gums are also crucial in determining your health, making it imperative to visit your dentist regularly. Unluckily, not all family dentists are equal. Some will make promises they can’t fulfill just to acquire a new customer. The main question is, how do you avoid the scammers out there and find the right family dentistry. At Washington Dental, we have highlighted some of the ways you can find the right family dentist near you:

  1. Assess your Oral Needs

First, you must evaluate your oral needs and those of the family. Who in the family needs dental care? Is it the children or adults? Does the family have a history of oral conditions that might arise in the future? The answers to these questions should guide you to picking the right family dentist. Do not forget to discuss the needs of each family member so that everyone’s needs are considered when deciding.

  1. Develop a Criteria

Together with other family members, you need to develop a criterion that each candidate you are considering for the job must meet. Some of the crucial factors to consider are the cost of services, level of education and training, experience, and the atmosphere in the family dental clinic.

Choose the dentist with all the relevant academic and approval documents. Further, because there are many technological and procedural advancements in this sector, you need someone to continue education because they will use the latest research and technology in treatment. Shop around for quotes and evaluate all the items thoroughly to pick the family dentistry that will offer uncompromised dental services at affordable prices.

  1. Check Out Online Reviews

When finding a family dentist, the best place to start your search is by checking what former and existing clients have to say about a particular family dentistry practice. Go online and read reviews on what people have to say about the services offered by a specific office. If most clients seem happy and satisfied with the services and overall experience in a particular dental clinic, they might provide quality dental care services.

Also, you need to check what these clients have to say about the staff in the facility. Are they friendly and personable? Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable in the clinic or find the staff unfriendly, you might end up skipping most of your appointments, affecting the treatment and general oral health. Therefore, make sure your children and spouse have a good experience by picking a practice with happy clients.

Find a Reputable Family Dentist Near Me

It is hectic to take every other day off to visit a specialized dentist when you can easily take one day off and have all your family’s oral needs addressed by a family dentist. Therefore, if you are ready to learn more about family dentistry and how the practice can handle your oral needs, contact Washington Dental in Lomita at 310-326-5183 to arrange a meeting.