Your Smile Dental Care blog

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Tips for Choosing the Best Family Dental Centre

Looking for a new dentist?

22-12-2014 12-10-03 PM - CopyWhile there is no shortage of dentists in our part of Ontario, perhaps finding “the one” is proving to be more difficult than you anticipated.

Realistically, most people do not want to be hopping from dentist to dentist. Not many people have the time nor the money to schedule a series of new patient exams with dentist after dentist until they find that one special office that best suits their values, needs and expectations.

Let’s discuss some of the research you can do ahead of time to bring you one step closer to your ideal dental family:

1. Expectations

You probably already have a good idea of the kind of dentist and office you are looking for. Making a list of your expectations and questions will be handy when you begin to make your inquiries. If your community has many dentists, you can narrow down your choices to those who meet your criteria in terms of location, hours of operation, payment policies, services etc. You may be able to accomplish this using the advertisements in the your telephone book or online. Record your information in a table-like format so you can review your information easily.

2. Word of Mouth

SHaring - CopyThe advice of trusted family and friends should not be overlooked as it’s usually one of the most credible forms of recommendations. Not only are they concerned about your well-being, but they put their own reputation on the line when they endorse a dentist. They will be able to answer many of your questions beforehand and relate the experience they have had. Perhaps, they won’t mind coming along with you to visit the office and “meet” the dental team.

3. The 10 Thousand Hour Rule

We have great dental schools in Canada where dental students complete years of intense study including extensive, clinical work on patients. Patients have the right to a standard of care concerning the knowledge, care, skill and judgment of a practitioner. With that being said, many hours go into refining one’s technical and human relation skills with true mastery sometimes taking years to perfect. It is important to understand that, while there are 06-05-2014 9-56-15 AMcertain standards of care that we can and should expect all dentists to possess, their styles of communication and personality will vary as could treatment options.

Knowledge, care, skill and judgment evolves over a professional’s life. If the number of years a dentist has been practicing is an important issue for you, then make that enquiry when you call the office. Some offices have a team of dentists providing care and patients may rotate among those dentists. Aside from emergency care, if you would like to see one particular dentist only, then make this clear to the staff and dentist upfront to avoid any surprises.

4. Communication

29-12-2014 6-30-52 PMOne can never underestimate the power of communication, especially pre-treatment communication. Never be satisfied to be only  handed a dental brochure to detail recommended treatment. You are unique and the information provided to you must contain specific-to-you risks, benefits and alternatives. Over time, we have learned that most patients appreciate when a dentist uses plain language with familiar words and short sentences. The use of good, clear communication should never be an afterthought. Most misunderstandings arise when there is a difference between what the dental team is intending to say and how a patient interprets the information.

Informed Consent

In the province of Ontario, patients should expect that dental treatment be performed only after they have received enough facts to make an informed decision, have had the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers, have had challenging information clarified and then have consented to the recommended procedure.

5. Trust and Compliance

The relationship you establish with your new dentist and team will hopefully be a long and healthy one, so your level of trust and comfort is essential in creating a bond that will help you obtain and maintain good oral health for life. You must feel comfortable to ask questions and trust that the dentist is listening, explaining things well and delivering dental care to the best of their ability.

If there are trust issues between you and your dentist you may end up always questioning the care you receive and be unlikely to follow through with agreed-upon home care directions or any treatment recommendations. This can compromise both your current and future oral health.


The 3 Phase Visitation Process

Your First Visit

laptop-and-cellphone-1269437-mYour first visit should not be an appointment. Instead, visit the office by telephone then follow-up with an in-office inspection. It should always be okay to approach a new dental office with your inquiries. How else are you going to get the answers that you are searching for?

You can begin with a telephone call asking if they are accepting new patients and then ask about their office policies with regard to payments, dental insurance, hours of operation, services provided and transfer of records. What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? Are children welcomed?

How did you feel about this first encounter? Did you feel welcomed or rushed? Were they enthusiastic and informative or reserved and vague. Perhaps they have a website you can visit.

The Second Visit

Prepare some questions and follow-up next with an office visit. A good office will be proud to show off their office and look forward to answering your questions.

How did you feel when you walked inside? Did you have the sense of comfortable surroundings and cleanliness? Were they willing to show you around and were they patient and knowledgable when answering your questions? Was the staff excited to meet you? Consider it a bonus that, if time and schedule permits, you are able to meet one of the dentists. Take home some office brochures, their business card and hopefully, a positive feeling about your overall experience so far. 29-12-2014 6-35-38 PM

If you feel that this may be the dental team you’ve been searching for, you are now ready to make your New Patient appointment. Your new office may have you sign a “Record Release” form so that they can retrieve your dental history and any pertinent x-rays from your former dentist. Records are transferred back and forth between dental offices everyday, so this should be a routine procedure.

Since the new dentist will likely bill for a new patient “complete exam” on your first visit, ensure that you know the limitations of your dental benefits. Some insurance companies will only pay for a complete exam every 3-5 years, so you may want to make sure. Have your insurance information ready when you call to schedule your first appointment in case they ask you for this information ahead of time. As a courtesy, some offices will call your insurer to get an overall summary of what your plan covers so that they will have some idea of your level of dental coverage.

Third Visit

09-02-2015 8-14-23 PMThis is your “New Patient” appointment and is the information gathering visit! Try to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled time just to get any paper work out of the way such as insurance information and the completion of your medical/dental history form. During your first visit,  your medical/dental care history will be reviewed. You may have already discussed some of your current medical/dental health with the staff/dentist already, but you will now have the opportunity to elaborate further. During the clinical exam your mouth and teeth will be inspected and the information gathered will be recorded in your patient chart. X-rays may be necessary in order to examine the parts of your teeth and bone that the eye cannot see.

If any treatment is advised, recommendations will likely be presented to you at this time. Your dentist will educate you on your current oral conditions and treatment options. Establishing open and honest dialogue right from the beginning is mutually beneficial for you and the dental team. If there is something specific that you would like to discuss, express your concerns as clearly and as truthful as possible. Informing the dentist about why you chose to switch offices is equally important so that expectations can also be discussed.

Hopefully, this first appointment has reaffirmed your choice and you are happy to be finally part of your new dental family. There is one last thing we should discuss ~ Commitment!

The Final Commitment
Commitment is a two-way street. In order for a good dentist/patient relationship to work, there has to be mutual respect where both parties accept certain obligations or duties. If you are receiving outstanding service and you value the care that your dentist is providing you can honour this commitment by:

  • Being respectful to staff and other patients
  • Arrive on time for your reserved appointment or give sufficient notice to change an appointment in order that this time can be offered to another patient in need.
  • Provide accurate and complete information about your health, including medications and past or present medical problems and to report any changes in your health status.
  • Inform the office of any changes to your dental insurance.
  • Follow mutually agreed-upon treatment recommendations given by your dental care provider.
  • Let your dentist or team member know when you do not understand information about your care so that they can have an opportunity to explain further.
  • Inform your dentist if you are not satisfied with any aspect of your care.
  • Pay promptly for treatment you have already received.

At Your Smile Dental Care, we encourage our patients to take a partnership approach with us to ensure that their dental experiences are always of mutual respect, trust and commitment. We hope that the relationship you establish with your new dentist and team will be a long and healthy one ~ after all, your teeth are for life!

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Yours In Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team

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Feeling Anxious about your next Dental Visit?

Covering mouthWe get a lot of calls at Your Smile Dental Care from patients that suffer from what we call dental anxiety. Some people describe themselves as being dentalphobes and it is not uncommon for people to tell us that it has taken more than a year just to summon up the courage to make their first telephone call to our office.

Most people tell us that their fears stem from previous traumatic experiences as a child or in the past and this is usually the most common reason for dental fears. However, there are plenty of patients who confess that, although they have never had a bad experience at the dentist, the deep seated fears they harbour were instilled in them from another fearful person.

FACT: Dental Fear is one of the most common fears worldwide

At Your Smile Dental Care, we pride ourselves on making you feel happy that you finally walked through our doors. Putting you at ease and making you feel comfortable throughout your experience is just as important to us as it is to you.

Our dentists and hygienists ensure that you have a complete understanding of your dental health and treatment recommendations. Not only will they take the time to explain things to you, but they will also encourage you to ask all the questions you need to without being made to feel rushed. Our in house treatment coordinator, Tracy, will also go over everything with you so that there’s no confusion nor any apprehension about what kind of treatment you will be receiving.

We’re here to help alleviate any of the fears or anxieties you may have about going to the dentist.

23-11-2015 3-37-08 PMOftentimes, patients just want to have a pleasant distraction available during their appointment. Whether you prefer a movie, music, a soft blanket and pillow, a friend to accompany you into the treatment room or just a caring hand to hold, we’re here to make your experience as comfortable and as relaxing as we can for you. In addition, we offer conscious sedation dentistry (laughing gas) to help calm you during your appointment.

Many Big Journeys begin with Small Steps

25-02-2016 11-19-50 AMDon’t let fear keep you from the health you deserve. Take time for yourself and begin your journey to dental wellness today. Your first step can be a quick phone call, then next maybe an office visit just to meet us. It doesn’t cost a thing to start making inquiries and you need not commit to anything. First steps, baby steps, whatever you want to call it, taking it slowly, carefully and thoughtfully in the beginning is sometimes the best way to get things done eventually.

We understand this. Dental care is our job and our passion!

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Sam and his long term, committed, dental team know and appreciate the extra efforts some people have to make and the patience and understanding they need from us.

We care about you and Your Smile.
Let us help you make those first steps!

Have a Question?  Want to send us a quick message?
Need to make an appointment?

Click on the link below and one of our caring team members will contact you ASAP!

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Yours in Better Dental Health,
The Your Smile Dental Care Team
(905) 576-4537
(416) 783-3533

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You’ve come to right place….

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Golfing, fishing, shopping …. we get it.  Dental offices are not usually the most exciting place to be and we understand that there’s a lot of other things you’d probably rather be doing than coming to the dentist.

As a well established dental office in Oshawa, we work hard to change opinions about dentistry because we spend so many of our own waking hours here. The next time you are preparing yourself for your upcoming dentist visit, it may be helpful to remember that we too are busy thinking about coming to the dental office!

Not only do we spend our days here, we are patients too! And like you, our dental team also wants a pleasant and enjoyable place to come to. Which is exactly why we make sure that our day is filled with laughter and camaraderie.

When you step through our doors, you are not walking into a quiet, sterile-looking office. There’s a real sense of family and community here. Certainly we are busy getting to the many tasks at hand, but we’re also likely sharing stories and photos with our patients, surrounding the TV during an important broadcast such as the Olympics and just generally “catching up.” It’s how we “roll” here and our new patients are pleasantly surprised.

Oh, the connections we make…..

So, it wasn’t surprising last week when a younger patient of ours walked timidly over to one of our elderly patients and struck up a conversation. As it turned out, this boy was busy working on a project about WWII and his new friend was a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust. Last we heard, arrangements were being made for this gentleman to speak at this child’s school.

We are fortunate at Your Smile Dental Care to be able to make connections with our patients and establish relationships that are long-lasting and meaningful. We have a number of patients who have started dental careers of their own and it is a wonderful thing indeed to have the pleasure of caring for families of patients who were once children of our practice themselves.

We all are parents at this office. As the father of 6 children, Dr. Axelrod is committed to providing you and your family with the same level of dental care that he would provide to his own family.

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Thank you

We are very passionate about the dentistry we provide to you, our valued patients.

While our goal is to treat you like family and eliminate the fear and anxiety usually associated with going to the dentist, we want you to know just how much you give to us in return. Your kind words of confidence inspires us to the very best we can be everyday.

If you are looking for a child-friendly dentist in Oshawa that your family can grow with, you’ve come to the right place! Your experience starts as soon as you call our helpful staff to book an appointment:

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Your Smile Dental Care: Your first choice for Family, General and Cosmetic Dentistry

Whether it’s a simple check-up and cleaning or a full reconstruction of your smile, Dr. Axelrod, Dr. Sturm and our team of trained professionals can work with you to achieve your goals.  If you are looking for a new dentist in Oshawa or a dentist in Toronto, Your Smile Dental Care would love to treat you and your family.

We consider it fundamental, that only through knowing you and your individual needs, can we work with you to achieve optimal oral health – whether it is the initial assessment, or planning for long-term maintenance after the treatment phase is completed. The many services we provide, all in our relaxed and friendly environment, will enhance your appearance, confidence and overall health.

With our state-of-the-art technology, diagnosis and treatment is more gentle, compassionate and advanced than ever. You can even see in advance how various procedures will enhance your image. We’re currently accepting new patients (individual and families) at our Toronto and Oshawa dentist offices, so come in and see what Your Smile can do for you today!

Call Us Today at:    (905)576-4537

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