How to Find the Right Type of Dentist for You

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How to Find the Right Type of Dentist for You

Written by Dr. Jesse Hofer, DMD     October 5, 2023 18:34

We've all been there. You lost a filling or chipped a tooth, and it's been a while since your last dental office visit. You know you need to see a dentist soon, but which one? Should you see an emergency dentist or opt for a general dentist practice? 

You’ve come to the right place. Precision Dentistry in Oyster Bay offers complete family and cosmetic dentistry services as well as emergency dentist services. If you're in pain, don’t delay! Contact our office now for an appointment. 

 When to See an Emergency Dentist

Emergency dentists are dental professionals who provide urgent dental care outside of regular business hours, such as on weekends or during holidays. They are trained to treat a wide range of dental emergencies, such as severe toothaches, broken or knocked-out teeth, loose or broken braces, and abscesses.

Some common situations that may require emergency dental care include:

  • Severe toothache: A toothache that is accompanied by swelling, fever, or difficulty breathing may require urgent attention from an emergency dentist.
  • Broken or knocked-out tooth: If a tooth is broken or knocked out due to injury or trauma, it is important to seek emergency dental care as soon as possible. In some cases, a broken or knocked-out tooth can be saved if treated promptly.
  • Loose or broken braces: If a bracket or wire on braces becomes loose or broken, it can cause discomfort or even injury to the mouth. An emergency dentist can help to repair or replace damaged braces to prevent further complications.
  • Abscessed tooth: An abscessed tooth is a serious dental infection that can cause swelling, fever, and other symptoms. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems. 

In general, if you are experiencing severe dental pain, bleeding, or any other dental emergency, it is important to seek immediate attention from an emergency dentist to prevent further damage or complications.

When To Look For Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to the various dental procedures that are performed to enhance the appearance of a person's teeth, gums, and smile. Unlike traditional dentistry, which is primarily concerned with preventing, diagnosing, and treating oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry is focused on improving the aesthetics of the mouth and teeth.

Some common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:

  • Teeth whitening: A cosmetic dentistry procedure that involves removing stains and discoloration from the teeth, usually through the use of bleaching agents.
  • Dental veneers: A thin layer of porcelain or composite material that is bonded to the front of the tooth to improve its appearance. Veneers can be used to correct a variety of dental imperfections, including chips, cracks, and gaps.
  • Dental bonding: A tooth-colored resin material is applied to the tooth's surface and hardened with a special light, repairing minor cosmetic flaws such as chips and gaps.
  • Orthodontic treatments: The use of braces, aligners, or other devices to straighten misaligned teeth or correct bite issues, improving both the appearance and functionality of the teeth.
  • Dental implants: The replacement of missing teeth with artificial tooth roots made of titanium or other materials, topped with a prosthetic tooth or crown.
  • Gum contouring: A cosmetic dental surgery that reshapes the gum line, which may be done to correct a "gummy" smile or improve the symmetry of the gums.

Cosmetic dentistry is often sought out by people who are looking to improve their self-confidence and feel more comfortable with their smile. It is important to note that while cosmetic dental procedures can enhance the appearance of a person's teeth, they do not necessarily improve the function or health of the teeth or gums. For overall oral health, it is best to see a general or family dentist, or even a dentist that offers a full spectrum of services.


What Is Family Dentistry?


Family Dentistry is a type of practice that provides dental care for patients of all ages. These practitioners are trained to provide all sorts of dental services, including routine checkups and cleanings, fillings, crowns, root canals, and even cosmetic dentistry. The main difference between General and Family Dentistry is that Family Dentists are also trained to take care of children’s oral health. Children’s dentistry is also known as pediatric dentistry.

Pediatric dentists receive specialized training in the unique dental needs of children, including:

  • Childhood Dental Development: These dentists are trained to understand and monitor the development of a child's teeth, jaw, and mouth. They can identify potential issues early on and provide timely treatment to prevent or minimize problems.
  • Preventive Dentistry: Educating children and their parents on proper dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing is essential to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Dentists can also provide preventive treatments like dental sealants and fluoride treatments.
  • Behavioral Management: Children can be anxious or scared during dental visits. Pediatric dentists are trained to manage behavior and help children feel more comfortable and relaxed during their appointments. They may use techniques such as distraction, positive reinforcement, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to ease anxiety.
  • Special Needs Dentistry: Your oral health provider may treat children with special needs, such as autism or Down syndrome. They should have experience working with children who have physical, emotional, or developmental challenges to offer care in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Restorative Dentistry: Family dentists perform restorative procedures, such as fillings, crowns, and extractions, to treat cavities and other dental problems. They use techniques that are gentle and appropriate for children.
  • Orthodontics: It’s possible to require early orthodontic treatment to correct bite problems and alignment issues before they become more severe. If your Family Dentist doesn’t have the appropriate training, they can refer children to orthodontists for more complex treatments like braces or Invisalign.

If you’re looking for dentistry for children, a Family Dentist is a great option, since these professionals are able to treat not only your child, but you as well, saving you time and energy. Always look for a dentist who is board-certified in pediatric dentistry and has the appropriate licenses and certifications.

What Is Implant Dentistry?

This is a type of Restorative Dentistry that uses dental implants to replace missing teeth. An implant consists of a small titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone and serves as a replacement for the tooth root. A dental crown is then placed on top of the implant to create a natural-looking, functional replacement tooth. Implant Dentistry is often used when:

  • One or more teeth are missing: Implant dentistry is an ideal solution when one or more teeth are missing due to injury, decay or other reasons. Dental implants can replace one or more missing teeth, and they can also be used to support dental bridges or dentures.
  • Jawbone is healthy enough to support an implant: Implants require a healthy jawbone for support. If the jawbone has deteriorated or is not strong enough to support an implant, a bone graft may be necessary before the implant can be placed.
  • The patient is in good health: Implant dentistry requires patients to be in good health and free of any medical conditions that could affect the success of the implant. This includes conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, immune disorders, and certain cancers.
  • The patient is committed to oral hygiene: Patients must be committed to maintaining good oral hygiene to ensure the long-term success of the implant. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
  • The patient has realistic expectations: Implant dentistry can provide a natural-looking and functional replacement for missing teeth, but it is important for patients to have realistic expectations. While implants are a highly successful and predictable treatment option, they are not without risks, and there is always a chance of complications.

Precision Dentistry in Oyster Bay offers a variety of custom dental services, including general care, cosmetic, orthodontic, laser/periodontic, endodontic, implants, and emergency services. We tailor our services to each individual's unique needs and go over all options with you so that you can make an informed decision about your dental health. We can also walk you through your options regarding cosmetic dentistry cost and insurance options, and answer any questions you have. With our state-of-the-art technology and thirty years of combined experience, one thing is certain: You're going to love your smile!