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1645 East Greenville St.
Anderson, SC 29621

7 Foremost Questions to Ask When Choosing a Dentist

7 Foremost Questions to Ask When Choosing a Dentist

Whether you have a specific problem or are looking for a new dentist for general care, all patients should have confidence in the professional and personal qualities of their dentist. A good dentist will communicate comfortably and effectively, listen as much as he/she speaks, treat all patients with respect and dignity, and be enthusiastic about promoting good oral hygiene.

Are you looking for an Anderson SC general dentist? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care at 864-261-3132 to meet Dr. Vaughn Layne, and our staff. We would love to hear from you!

When you interview a dentist, these questions will help you get a sense of his or her qualifications, guiding principles, and bedside manner. Beware any dentist who does not welcome questions from potential patients.

1. In what areas do you specialize?

This is a great question to ask to solicit information about professional qualifications and interests. Ask about education, training, certifications, qualifications, and state license. Do they belong to any professional organizations? If they have a great amount of experience, how do they stay current on recent advances in the field? The answers you hear will tell you not only whether your dentist is a legitimate professional, but also what makes him/her special, and reveal the underlying beliefs and philosophies that lead him to the dental profession.

2. How do you ensure patient satisfaction?

A good dentist will have systems in place to make sure no patients walk away unsatisfied with their treatment. In today’s electronic world of online review sites and apps, a good dentist will know that routinely unhappy customers can harm their business, and will go the extra mile to make sure your care is happily received and valued.

3. Do you offer free consultations?

This doesn’t apply as much to routine care as much as it does to cosmetic treatments and advanced restorations. Most dental practices today offer some level of cosmetic dentistry, in addition to preventive and restorative dentistry, since keeping teeth healthy and beautiful go hand-in-hand. If a patient is considering cosmetic treatments, the dentist should be prepared to fully explain the process and answer questions about it before a commitment or financial investment is given. Treatments should never be coerced or initiated before you, the patient, understand all the factors, and have made the decision to proceed.

4. Do you have payment plans?

Many Americans do not have medical insurance, and even more lack quality dental insurance. Practical and compassionate dentists today will have systems in place to help patients get access to vital dental care, even for those with financial limitations. How a dentist answers this question will help you understand his or her commitment to oral health care and education.

5. How do you diagnose oral health problems?

Seeing a dentist for preventive treatments is routine, and most dental offices will have similar procedures in place for six-month visits. However, making sure you have a great dentist will really make a difference when you have a problem. Whether it’s a toothache, TMJ pain, a gum infection, or something worse—you want a dentist who makes full use of the diagnostic tools and body of medical research available in the industry. A good dentist will not jump to the most obvious conclusion when a patient has a complaint, but will consider all possibilities and make use of diagnostic aids and current research before given a patient a definitive diagnosis.

6. Will you give me a written treatment plan?

When an oral health problem is detected, be it cavities, infection, gum disease, impacted teeth, or otherwise, your dentist should make it a routine procedure to provide you with a written diagnosis and itemized treatment plan and timeline. A good dentist will have this information in his records as a matter of routine and sharing these details is critical to the patient/provider relationship. Beware any dentist who treats problems “on instinct” or without a methodical, documented, plan.

7. What advanced technology do you use?

From digital x-rays, to laser dentistry, there are a number of recent innovations that can enhance a dentist’s ability to diagnose and treat dental problems. Even if your dentist does not make full use of every technology available, he or she should be aware of recent advances and be applying some of those innovations to patient care. Look for a dentist who is proud of the enhanced capabilities of the technology they use and is excited about innovations in dental science.

8. What is the connection between dental health and whole body wellness?

With an ever-growing body of medical research indicating that oral health and medical health are connected, you want a dentist who doesn’t keep his head in the sand. A good dentist will want to know about your overall health when treating you, as many common medical conditions have dental implications that can advise proper care. He or she should also be able to confidently explain the medical consensus regarding gum disease and it’s link to heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious medical conditions.

Trust Your Gut!

Regardless of what questions you ask, what’s important is that you do ask. Meeting with a provider before you decide to become a patient is a great way to assess your own comfort level with the dentist, as well as his/her dental hygiene and office staff. Trust your intuition. If you don’t feel welcomed, or if your questions are belittled, take your business elsewhere. There are many excellent dentists in every community, and your oral health is too important to trust with someone who doesn’t value your inquiry.

Are you looking for an Anderson SC general dentist? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care at 864-261-3132 to meet Dr. Vaughn Layne, and our staff. We would love to hear from you!

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

How’s your smile?

We all try to take care of our bodies. We try to eat right, exercise, and avoid unhealthy factors that cause illness. Primarily we do this to extend the length of our lives, as well as the quality—but it also feels good to look good. Looking your best is the way you show the world you are healthy, and enjoy interacting with others.

Do you want to improve your smile? Call our Anderson, SC dental practice today at 864-261-3132 for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. Carolina Oaks Dental Care would love to help you look and feel your best!

For the most part, maintaining the health of our teeth is routine: brush, floss, and use a rinse or toothpaste to stave off the pigment stains left by everyday foods, such as coffee and red wine. You may need an occasional filling or root canal, but as long as your teeth our healthy and bright, they will contribute to an overall appearance of good health.

For many people, however, just having healthy teeth does nothing to address the flaws and inconsistencies they see in their own teeth. As we age, we notice these more acutely, and they can lead to a drop in self-confidence. Fortunately, the advances and innovations made in the field of cosmetic dentistry offer a way to fix what you don’t like, often at a much more affordable cost than you might expect!

See Your Teeth As Others Do

We usually only look carefully at our teeth when we are brushing them, (or if we’ve eaten spinach at lunch!). The problem with this is that we see them under a flattering layer of toothpaste foam, and not as they are seen naturally by those we interact with. That’s why it can be so startling to see a photograph or video of ourselves and we ask “do I really look like that?” If you want to see what others see, take a picture of your smile only, or a video of your mouth speaking a few sentences. Many people are surprised at how different their teeth look from what they expected. Why does that tooth stick out there? That tooth has definitely drifted since I had braces.

There are several treatments in cosmetic dentistry today that can correct any aesthetic flaw. Many are more affordable than you might think. See if any of these common complaints apply to you:

  • Dull, Yellowed Teeth
  • Crowded, Crooked Smile
  • Uneven Arches, Teeth that Stick Out
  • Pointy Canines
  • Metal Fillings
  • Gaps Between Teeth
  • “Gummy” Smile, Teeth Look Too Short
  • Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Myths About Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry gives you the opportunity to feel better about your smile, by correcting any aspect you are unhappy with. Many people never consider it because they simply don’t know how versatile and easy treatments can be, or have a false impression of what’s involved.

“Whitening Damages Your Enamel” – This is not true. Do you really think dentists would offer teeth whitening at the level they do if it actually harmed your teeth? Whitening uses hydrogen peroxide to bring oxygen deep into your enamel to naturally break down the pigments that stains, without endangering the structure of your enamel. This myth may have started because store-bought whitening products can sometimes cause a burning sensation to the gums and tooth roots. This only happens when the strips or trays fit poorly, allowing the gel to spill into places it’s not meant to be. (This doesn’t happen with dentist whitening systems, by the way!)

“Porcelain Veneers Make Your Teeth Look Huge” – Perhaps many years ago veneers added to the size of your teeth, but today they are wafer-thin constructions that are custom made in dental laboratories to fit your teeth like a glove. They are so natural looking, I can guarantee you’ve seen a veneers-enhanced smile and never even suspected.

“Braces are the Only Way to Correct Crooked Teeth” – Depending on the severity, teeth that look crowded and crooked can be corrected with veneers, dental bonding, or Invisalign. If you’ve always wished you’d had braces when you were younger, you can get the same results today without the metal mouth effect. No professional adult wants to wear distracting braces for two years to improve her smile, and, thankfully, you don’t have to.

“Cosmetic Dentistry is Only for the Very Rich or Very Vain” – False! More and more people have been taking advantage of cosmetic treatments, as they have become much more affordable in recent years. Smile makeovers are an important way that dental professionals can improve the quality of life for their patients, and let them smile with confidence again.

Makeover Your Smile with Carolina Oaks

Smiling freely and laughing with friends is a proven way to make your life more joyous. Similarly, self-conscious smiles are a subtle way you close yourself off to others, which can harm both your personal and professional relationships. If you aren’t happy with your smile, people will notice whether you want them to or not.

Learn more about cosmetic dentistry by contacting Carolina Oaks Dental Care. We offer a number of treatments that can help you smile with confidence and project the person you want to be. Call our Anderson, SC dental practice today at 864-261-3132 for a cosmetic dentistry consultation.