Patients have innumerable choices of which dental provider to see. Our site alone gives patients access to hundreds of providers from all over the country. These providers accept our low income dental plans and are experts in many different fields of dentistry. However, because patients have so many choices, it is essential for dentists to be ambassadors for the profession. Patients who feel that they are being neglected can easily change providers and can form a negative opinion of the profession in general. Here are some tips for improving customer service for your practice and for retaining patients.
- Listen to your patients: Listening to your patients’ concerns and addressing their questions is a way to demonstrate that your practice values them as individuals. Moreover, many patients endeavor to be a part of their treatment.
- Increase Community Presence: Put your practice’s best foot forward by participating in local events.
- Be patient: Stay calm and reassuring at all times when dealing with patients even those who are impatient or out of control. Many times people act in anger when they are afraid. Remaining patient will bring home the message to your patient that you value their business.
- Keep your appointments: Effective time management goes a long way in solving one of the biggest complaints that patients have – they were kept waiting too long.
- Be especially welcoming of new patients: There is an old saying that goes “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Be sure to prepare your entire staff for the arrival of new patients.
- Be honest: Make sure that your patients have realistic expectations concerning the course of their treatment.
In the end, improved customer service is good for business, makes your work easier and lets the patient know that he/she is valued. Ameriplan provides patients with a network of providers who understand and value patients and who understand that poor service reflects on the profession in general.
A detailed list of the industrial and commercial uses for lasers today would fill volumes. Lasers are used in applications as varied as barcode readers, guidance systems, printers, holography, welding and of course medicine. However, one of the most promising applications for lasers is in the field of dentistry. Many dental organizations are recognizing the advantages of lasers and many dentists are now using lasers in their practice. Patients too, despite some popular misconceptions about the effectiveness of dental lasers, are now showing a clear preference for this kind of dentistry in any number of dental procedures. At Family Dental Health, we believe in staying abreast of the latest dental technologies which includes the use of CO2 laser for any number of procedures. Some of the benefits of laser dentistry include:
- Lasers often reduce trauma to teeth: Because lasers are more precise than high speed drills, they are less prone to cause hairline cracks and fractures in the teeth. This kind of damage can often lead to future dental problems.
- Less bleeding and swelling: Because lasers can be used more conservatively and more accurately than traditional surgical instruments, they produce little swelling or bleeding.
- Lasers reduce the pain of drilling: Few things are more terrifying to dental patients than the drill and the pain that it can produce. Laser dentistry eliminates the need for drilling thus eliminating the psychological trauma that it can cause. Moreover, some laser treatments do not require anesthesia.
- Appointments are shorter: We know that no one enjoys sitting in the dentist chair for hours while the dentist does his/her work. Our CO2 lasers often shorten the amount of time patients spend with us per session.
Lasers can be used in a number of dental procedures including but not limited to:
- Viewing Tooth and Gum Tissues
- Benign Tumor removal
- Cold sore treatment
- Nerve Regeneration
- Teeth Whitening
- Temporomandibular Joint Treatment
In short, we feel it is our obligation to educate patients on how lasers can benefit them. They are safe, effective and can be used in a variety of dental and periodontal procedures. Moreover, lasers have been used in dentistry since the 1960s. For this reason dental lasers are also affordable. Check out Ameriplan and find cheap dental insurance on our site that will help you gain access to this highly effective dental technology.
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Just as is the case with the rest of your body, the foods you eat have a great effect on your dental health. For example, we know that sweets can lead to cavities, etc. but healthy food can help maintain good tooth and gum health. Healthy foods that contain antioxidants and other nutrients help by strengthening the body’s defenses against bacteria and inflammation. This aids the teeth and gums as well. So in addition to brushing, flossing and taking regular trips to a dentist using one of our affordable dental plans, following the recommendations on this list may help you to have healthier teeth and gums.
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- Fiber-Rich Fruits and Vegetables: High fiber foods such as apples, carrots, and celery help sustain good dental health in two ways. The first way is that the high water content contained in these foods helps clean and loosen plaque from the teeth. The second way they help is that they contain calcium and phosphates that help wash away bacteria.
- Cheese and other dairy products: Not only are dairy products high in calcium, which is known to be good for bone and tooth health, they also contain the protein casein. Casein has been shown to decrease dental erosion in several studies.
- Leafy Greens: Extra saliva is produced by your mouth when you eat leafy greens. Saliva is the mouth’s natural acid neutralizer. Examples of leafy greens include spinach, kale and lettuce.
- Water: Good old h2o helps the body in countless ways not the least of which is that it washes away tooth-damaging bacteria and sugars left behind after eating.
- Foods containing probiotics: There is some preliminary evidence which suggests that foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and miso may help to decrease harmful bacteria around your teeth and gums.
- Seafood: Fish, especially fatty ones such as wild salmon and tuna, is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D helps teeth by aiding them in the absorption of calcium and phosphate.
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin which is a strong antimicrobial. It helps fight against tooth decay and periodontal disease.
- Sugarless Gum: Chewing sugarless gum after a meal – especially when a toothbrush and paste are not available – helps force the mouth to produce more sugar neutralizing saliva. Gum containing sugar is a no-no.
Finally, a well thought out dental health program includes trips to the dentists, flossing and brushing and consuming the above foods. You can begin your program by picking one of our affordable dentist plans and by choosing a provider from within our database of professionals.
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According to The Journal of Dentistry for Children, about 38% of toddlers grind or clench their teeth at night. Although this fact is alarming to some, it does not surprise many parents who’ve heard strange, grinding noises coming from their toddler’s bedroom at night. This habit is known as bruxism, or teeth grinding, and although it usually stops at around six years of age for most children, it can sometimes continue unabated by time. The problem is that bruxism – when it continues as the child matures – can have a deleterious effect on his/her dental health. According to Mount Sinai Hospital, tooth grinding can wear down, chip, flatten and even fracture enamel. The long-term effect of tooth grinding can include tooth loss, headaches, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
What Causes Bruxism in Children?
There is no established cause for tooth grinding but dentists have reached the consensus that these factors may play a role:
- Pain from an illness such as ear infection.
- Improper alignment of the top and bottom teeth (Malocclusions)
- Anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension
- Medications such as anti-depressants
- Disorders such as sleep apnea
Prevention and Treatment
Any long term treatment for bruxism should only occur after a dentist has been consulted. However, some health professionals recommend the following to help control your child’s teeth grinding.
- Having them avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas and chocolate.
- Not letting them chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
- Training them not to clench or grind their teeth by having them position their tongue between their teeth.
- Teaching them to relax their jaw muscles at night by having them hold a warm washcloth against their cheek in front of their earlobe.
Finally, if you suspect that you or your child is suffering from bruxism you should consult your dentist in order to receive a complete diagnosis and treatment plan. Our low-income dental plans can put you in contact with a dental professional who will help you overcome this problem which can lead to more serious complications if untreated. Ameriplan providers are as convenient as a search on our website. One of them may recommend a night guard to be worn at night in order to treat bruxism.
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Choosing a dentist is more complicated than simply choosing a health care provider at random. After all, you are entering into a long term relationship with someone who will play a significant role in you and your family’s dental health and well being. That is why even though we at Family Dental Health Plans can easily give you access to an extensive network of dental care providers through our website, it is up to you to choose the right specialist for your individual needs and circumstances. So how do you choose the right dental care provider for you and your family? Here are some considerations you may find useful in making this very important decision.
- Make sure they are convenient: Does he/she have convenient office hours? Is the office easy to get to from work or home? Does the dentist participate in your health plan? Is he/she flexible in the way he/she handles missed appointments and emergencies. Knowing these details can save you a lot of time and inconvenience.
- Consider your unique needs: Each person’s dental needs are unique. Choose a professional whose specialty suits your situation. For example, a person suffering from gum disease or who needs dental implants or adult orthodontia should seek out specialists who practice in those fields.
- Make sure they are American Dental Association (ADA) members: Members of the ADA abide by a code of ethics and professional conduct that is designed to ensure patient care and privacy.
- Take a look around the office: After you’ve decided on a professional to use take a look around his/her office. Ask yourself if the office is comfortable. Check to see if the dentist and staff are neat and orderly. By making sure that the dentist and his staff are friendly and welcoming, you will ensure that your visits will be pleasant as well as productive.
- Read online dentist reviews: Use the Internet to check out information about the practice’s staff, reviews, qualifications, etc.
In short, our low income dental plans come with providers that you can choose by location, specialty, etc., but the decision on which provider to use can be trickier than it seems. Just remember that this relationship that you are entering into is an important one and that simply because you are using one of our affordable dental plans does not mean that you have to settle for less.