Finding the Dentist—and the Clinic—that Meets Your Needs
So you need to see a dentist. Perhaps you’re experiencing a serious tooth ache or another issue, or maybe you’re having a dental emergency and can’t wait. Or maybe, you just haven’t had a cleaning in a while and know you really need it. Whatever the reason, you don’t have a dental clinic that you are a regular patient at, so now you’ve found yourself looking for a clinic to go to. Whether it’s a one-time visit or a long-term commitment, picking the right clinic is a matter of knowing what to look for. Visit their website, and look for the following:
Of course, you want to make sure that a clinic actually offers the services you need in the moment. After all, what you be the point of even trying to make an appointment if you can’t get the service you need? But if you’re looking for a dental clinic that you can become a regular patient at, look beyond your immediate needs and into the future. How wide of a variety does it offer? That includes restorative services such as crowns, veneers, bridges, and dental implants, cosmetic procedures and smile design service, orthodontic treatment, periodontic (gum) treatment, and more. You never know what you, or a member of your family, could need some day in the future, so be prepared.
In an ideal world, you would never have a dental issue so severe that it couldn’t wait until a regularly-scheduled appointment. But you don’t need us to tell you that the world is far from ideal! Bad situations happen, and unfortunately sometimes there is just not getting around it. A broken or lost tooth, for example, is a situation that will only be harder to treat as time goes on. In such an event, a clinic that offers emergency dental services will be able to take you regardless of appointment.
A good practice has more than one dentist—it has a team that specialize in different areas. A clinic with only one dentist is typically a bad sign. Look for clinics that employ two or more, with different specialties, not to mention dental hygienists as well! The more combined experience a team has, the better you can feel about putting your care in their hands.
You don’t want to be treated just anywhere. The ideal clinic doesn’t look like something out of a horror movie, with gently strobing lights that give you a headache and create a sense of anxiety and unease. You need to feel comfortable and safe, and the setting should reflect the professionalism, cleanliness, and friendliness that you would expect from the people staffing it. Don’t settle for just any dental clinic—you should feel good about entrusting your care there.
Visit a Dental Clinic for Temporomandibular Disorder Treatment
Ask any dentist, and they will tell you that the human mouth is a complicated thing. Between the teeth, the gums, and the jawbone, there is so much that could potentially become an issue if not tended to right away—and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is one of them. Your temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your skull, and works like a hinge. A healthy joint means smooth, seamless jaw movements, including eating, chewing, talking, and even yawning. However, TMD can make these movements more difficult, and you may need to seek treatment at a dental clinic.
Symptoms of TMD
Fewer than half of all people suffering TMD actually experience pain in their jaw, making it difficult to recognize that help is needed. If you experience any of the following, call your dentist to make an appointment:
- Your jaw pops, cracks, or clicks when you move it
- Your jaw becomes locked
- You have difficulty opening your mouth wide or chewing
- Unexpected discomfort when biting down
- Difficulty aligning your teeth properly
- Pain in your facial muscles, neck, or shoulders
- Buzzing in your ears
These are all potential signs of temporomandibular disorder, and a diagnosis can help determine the course of treatment.
The first step in treating TMD is a proper diagnosis at a dental clinic, especially since there are other common oral health issues which can cause similar symptoms, and it is important not to administer the wrong treatment, lest more damage be caused. If, after careful examination and potentially X-rays, your dentist has determined that you have TMD, the next stage is determining the severity. Surgical treatments are only required in the most severe cases.
For minor cases, your dentist may recommend that you be fitted for a mouth guard to wear while you sleep, to help avoid bruxism (grinding of the teeth). You may also be prescribed medication, and provided a list of suggestions for behavioural and lifestyle changes that can mitigate the discomfort, such as eating soft foods, improving your posture, and minimizing jaw movement, among others. You may also require restorative dental work such as crowns, implants, and even orthodontics to improve the evenness of your bite.
In severe cases, surgery may be the best course of treatment. Surgeries range from removing damaged or inflamed tissue or debris from the joint, to open-joint surgery.
If you are experiencing or develop any symptoms relating to temporomandibular disorder, please consult a professional immediately. Contact your dental clinic to make an appointment. It is only by way of proper diagnosis that your condition can properly be treated and further damage mitigated.