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Active Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
A Healthy Balance
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Active Kids, Healthy Kids
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Live Actively
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Prehistoric Workout
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Full Listing with story descriptions
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Ask the Doctor
Bone Density Testing
My Doctor Says I Need a Test
Childbirth
Full Listing with story descriptions
Advice from the Maternity Clinic
Advice from the Maternity Clinic (Part 2)
Alcohol in Pregnancy
Building a Better Baby
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Bleeding in Pregnancy
Breastfeeding Benefits
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Care for the New Mother
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Blue after Baby or Postpartum Depression
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Folic Acid in Pregnancy
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Getting a latch on breastfeeding
Group B Streptococcus
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Low Birth Weight Babies
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Prenatal Classes
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Postpartum Repetitive Strain Injuries
RH Disease
Rupture of Membranes Before Labour
Sex During Pregnancy
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Smoking and Pregnancy
Support During Labour
Travelling While Pregnant
Ultrasound for Fun & Photos
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Pregnancy Weight Gain
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When Baby Comes Home
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Not Just Baby Fat
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When to go to the Doctor
Whooping Cough
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Yeast Infections in Children
Chronic Pain
Full Listing with story descriptions
Introduction
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
Moving Forward
Nutrition
Opioids
Pacing
Pain Medications
Prevention
Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
Dental Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
Antibiotics and Dental Surgery
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Teeth
Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Children's Dental Injuries
Choosing a Dentist
Cosmetic Dentistry
Mouth Guards
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Dental Care Offshore
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Fluoride
Fluoride Findings
First Dental Visit
Headaches
A Healthy Mouth
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
Jaw Joint and Muscle Problems
Keeping it Clean
Laser Use in Dentistry
Mouth Protection Equipment
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Healthcare
Oral health and long term care
Oral Health Care Products
Orthodontics
Orthodontist First Visit
Painless Dentistry
Periodontal Disease
Removable Dentures
Root Canal
Seniors Oral Care
Sensitive Teeth
The Smile You Want
Sore Mouth, Aching Jaw
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Smiling through the Senior Years
Teeth for Life
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
Tongue Piercing
Tooth Whitening
Travel Dentistry
Water Fluoridation
Wisdom Teeth
Your Healthy Smile
DIABETES
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10,000 Steps
A1C Test
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Alchohol and Diabetes
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
ASA Therapy
Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Glucose Testing Tips
Blood Sugar Lows
Blood Glucose Monitors
C-Peptide Testing
Canada Food Guide Revisited
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Celebrating Health
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Constipation
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Dangers of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Debunking Diabetes Myths
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Celiac
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Diet
Diabetes Distress
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
Diabetes and Your Mouth
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes Management ABCs
Diabetes Meter Technicians
Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out
Drinking and Diabetes
The Discovery of Insulin
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eating Well During Shift Work
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fats
Fibre
Fill Your Day with Energy
Financial Support for Diabetes
Food Temptation
Foot Care
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gastroparesis
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glucose Meters
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Grocery Shopping Tips
Guidelines for Diabetes Management
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Health Information on the 'Net
Healthy Happy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
Home Alone and Sick
Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization & Diabetes
Incretins-a Hormone Treatment
Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin
Insulin Handling
Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pen Needles
Insulin Pump Infusion Sets
Insulin Pump Therapy
Immunization and Diabetes
Internet Health Sites
Islet Cell Transplantation
Insurance
Ketones
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
Managing Blood Glucose
Metformin
Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
Microalbuminuria
New Diabetes Technologies
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Over-the-Counter Medications
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Pedicure Precautions
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Sensible Snacking
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Sodium
Social Media & Diabetes
Solving the Insurance Puzzle
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supplements
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sweeteners
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Travelling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Understanding Ketones
Used Sharps
Urinary Incontinence
Vacationing with Diabetes
Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
Vitamin D
Walking
Wise Choices About Natural Medicines
Wonderful Water
Natural Medicines & Diabetes
World Diabetes Day
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
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ADHD in Children
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Antibiotic Use
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Aspirin Every Day?
Asthma
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Back Pain Myths
Back Pain - Lower
Birth Control
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Check-Up
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Doctor Visit
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Family Doctor
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5 Ways to Stay Healthy
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Get Active!
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Stroke
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Win by Losing
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Full Listing with story descriptions
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Get Active!
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Have Health, Will Travel
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Skin Over 50
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Travel Tips for Snowbirds
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Aging and Memory
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Canada's New Blood System
Caring for a Loved One Dying at Home
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Diabetes Epidemic
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Mom Time
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Outdoor Workers and Sun Safety
Patient Safety in the Hospital
Pets and Health Benefits
Pet Therapy
Physiotherapy Visit
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Schizophrenia
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Soy
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Stress Leave
Swim to Survive
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Nutrition
Full Listing with story descriptions
5 Tips to Manage Weight
10 Ways to Cut Down on Fat
Battle the Bulge
Boost Your Bone Strength
Body Image
Breakfast is Important
Bowel Health
Building Your Bones
Celiac Disease
Challenging the Milk Myth
Diet Reality Check
Drink Up!
Eating Smarter & Cheaper
Energy Drinks
Food Allergies
Food for Active Kids
Fast Food
Food Labels
Giving Up Gluten
Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
Fad Diets
Fruits & Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fats
Fat Phobias
Fats & Cholesterol
Feeding Your Kids
Fibre
Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
Getting Kids to MOVE
Healthy Eating for Teens
Healthy Habits
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
New Ingredients for Your Shopping Cart
Iron
Kid's Food
Liquid Candy
Meal Planning with Planned Overs
Mercury Levels in Fish
Night Snacking
Night Shift Eating
Nutrition on the Net
Nutrition Myths Busted
Nutrition Questions Top 5
Nutrition for Menopause
Essential Omega-3
Preventing Cancer Through Nutrition
Picky Eaters
Power of Fruits & Veggies
Portion Control
Power Lunch
PMS and Nutrition
Preparing for Surgery
Probiotics
Reducing High Blood Pressure
Replacement Meals
Sensible Snacking
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Sodium and Blood Pressure
Sports-Minded Nutrition
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Survive and Thrive
Teen Nutrition
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Understanding Food Biotechnology
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Weight Wise Tips
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After a Heart Attack
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New Anticoagulant Medications
Inhaled Asthma medications
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Blood Thinners
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Changing Role of the Pharmacist
Children's Cold Remedies
Child's Fever
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Constipation and Haemorrhoids
Diuretics and Potassium Supplements
Drug Recalls and Withdrawals
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Expanding Role of Pharmacies
Eye Protection - Sunglasses
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Generic or Name Brand?
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Heart Health
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Kids and Cold Medications
Medication Questions?
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Over-the-Counter Drugs and Pregnancy
OTC Pain Relief
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Pharmaceutical Studies
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Your Best Shot
Your Medicine Cupboard
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Full Listing with story descriptions
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Antibiotic Resistance
Backpack Pain
Bacteria Fight Back
Bedbugs
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Caffeine
Cell Phones and Driving
Childhood Obesity
Cancer Prevention Tips
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Cold and Flu Season
Disaster Planning
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Distracted Driving
E-cigarettes
Farm Safety for City Kids
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
The Flu and You
Heading Home for a Visit
Health Tips for Snowbirds
Hearing Loss and Music Players
H1N1 Virus - Plan Ahead
Household Mould
Infection Control
Injury Prevention
Live Actively!
Insect Repellant
Keys to Preventing Cancer
Kids' Mental Health
Live Actively!
Low Birth Weight
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Are Pesticides Safe?
Preventing Burns and Scalds
Preventing Cancer through Nutrition
Quit Smoking 101
Respiratory Infections
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Should You Immunize?
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Teens, Drugs and Driving
Travel Health Considerations
Travel Medicine 101
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15 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
Anemia
Approaching Menopause
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Breast Cancer - Genetic Risks
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Changes
Breast Health
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Estrogen's Effect on the Brain
Fear of Fracture
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Hirsutism - Unwanted Hair
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The IUD
Menopause - What Men Should Know
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Menopause
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Third Generation Birth Control Pills
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Family Health Online / Pharmacy at Safeway
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Family Health Magazine - DENTAL HEALTH

My Dentist is Terrific!
Choosing a quality dental care team

Dental services range from simple tooth whitening to complex and sophisticated surgeries needed to correct facial deformities. As consumers of health care, we generally want to know if our dentist and dental hygienist deliver good care for a reasonable fee. About 70 per cent of all Canadians have some type of dental health care insurance. Even so, we want to be sure our money is well-invested.

Quality
Dental Care Tips

  • Quality dental care begins with a complete dental examination.
    This includes a review of general health, current medications, past dental work and medical interventions. You should be informed
    of your diagnosis. If complex care is necessary, an appropriate treatment plan should be
    discussed with you.
  • Complete dental care is generally accompanied by a written estimate. This should include your financial commitment and the time needed to deliver the required care.
  • Delivery of quality dental care requires thorough follow-up care to ensure long term success.
  • The best dentists are very proud of their education and skills, and will not be dismayed by questions.
  • Quality dental care demands a sanitary environment. Ask about the sterilization and infection control techniques used in your dentist’s office.
  • There is no magic in quality dental care delivery. Good care is usually achieved by a long-term trusting partnership between you, your dentist and the dental staff.
  • Quality oral heath care providers are interested in your total health, not just in delivering the latest in a dazzling smile. Delivering quality dental health care is not just a cosmetic concern, although that is one aspect. By ensuring good basic oral health, dentistry health care providers protect your overall health.

Certainly, investing in one’s own dental health has many obvious benefits. Good basic dental health is a key part of good overall health. As well, dentistry can prevent or relieve pain while restoring function. Don’t forget the desire for a great smile!

With modern methods of controlling and relieving pain, dentistry does not need to cause serious discomfort. Unfortunately, some think feeling no pain is the primary indicator of good care. On the other hand, if we experience pain with dental work, we may assume we have received substandard dental care.
As with many other complex value judgments, the reality is not that simple. Avoiding pain is part of good dental care, but is not the gold standard. Ideally, everyone deserves a dental experience as pain-free as possible, and today’s dental care providers can usually deliver.

Other measures of quality dental care

Prevention and care

First, a good dentist will want to work with you to prevent as many future problems as possible. That is why the dentistry profession promotes fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. (Various forms of fluoride include toothpaste, oral supplements, and fluoride applied to the teeth in the dental office.) Good dentists also work with you to prevent or manage periodontal (gum) disease. To do this, they encourage brushing teeth, flossing, and perhaps using special mouth rinses.

Regular visits are a basic part of good dental care. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all for a recall schedule. Your dentist and dental hygienist will customize your return visit schedule. They base this on the amount of disease you have experienced, the state of repair of your teeth, and the sophistication of the restorative procedures in your mouth. (A restoration is a tooth filling, inlay, crown, denture or other dental device that recreates lost tooth structure, teeth, or mouth tissue.) Some patients need to be seen every two or three months. Others can do nicely with visits spaced six, nine or 12 months apart.

Your dental office should also be a place where everyone knows your name, and something about you and your family. They should certainly know about your general health and well-being.

Often the dentist is the first person to diagnose a chronic or acute disease. The dentist may find clues that are a tip-off to more serious general health problems. Advise the dentist and hygienist about your medical conditions, and any medications you are taking. If you have invasive surgery, they will measure your blood pressure routinely and check your other vital signs.

As part of your quality dental care, your dentist and dental hygienist look for oral cancer during every check-up. If an area looks suspicious, a small part (biopsy) can be removed that day for examination. An oral smear may also be done, checking cells under a microscope to rule out cancer. Alternatively, you may be immediately sent to a specialist for a biopsy and follow-up care.

For your safety and protection

The dental office should be clean and tidy. A recent newspaper article advised restaurant patrons to check the cleanliness of the restroom facilities as a good indication of the cleanliness of the kitchen. The staff of most quality practices will be proud and happy to show you the ’kitchen’ of the dental practice, where dental instruments are cleaned and properly sterilized.

The dental chair and unit should be properly cleaned between patients. It is often draped in disposable plastic to help keep it clean.

Staff and the dental professionals should wear masks and proper eye protection. They should insist that you too are protected by appropriate drapes and eyewear. The dentist and all staff should wash their hands between patients and don fresh gloves. Sometimes they may even change gloves during a lengthy procedure.

One mask is not used all day. Quality dentistry means disposing of masks, usually between patients. They should not be worn around the neck like some kind of precious necklace. Some opeating rooms in hospitals require that gloves and masks be changed every hour or so. This helps maintain a sanitary barrier between patient and the health care team.

Your relationship

You should trust your dentist, hygienist and their staff. Delivering quality dental care means caring about each patient, and understanding the differences of each individual. Are you treated like a number in a large ’game’ of musical chairs during a dental visit? This may be a warning that quantity rather than quality is the focus of that particular practice.

Listening is very important. The way that staff listen should help you in deciding if a particular practice is right for you. Dental staff, especially the doctor and hygienist, should take the time to hear your concerns. Treatment should be planned to accommodate your immediate needs. If this isn’t possible, an explanation should be given of when and why a certain procedure needs to be done.

A written treatment plan and a second opinion

Your dentist and dental hygienist should develop a problem list or statement of your dental concerns that reflects the state of your dental health. You should be given a written list of your diagnosis, and the proposed treatment plan. Each problem should be addressed in the plan, or noted that it can be checked at a specific time. This plan should note what the cost and time commitment will be to complete treatment.

If you are faced with a large treatment plan, get a second opinion from another dentist or dental specialist. For instance, imagine going to your doctor’s office for a routine check-up and having your doctor suggest your appendix be removed, just in case? You would be wise to seek other advice before agreeing. In dentistry, replacing restorations without a specifc reason should raise similar concern on your part. Think of the cost of the second opinion as insurance that the suggested treatment is appropriate for you.

Most ethical dental professionals will not be dismayed by your request to think over the choices quietly and without pressure. There are few problems in dental restorative situations that cannot wait for a week or two before treatment begins.

Ask questions and do research

Be cautious and ask questions. Your dentist and his or her staff should be willing to answer you, perhaps even showing you pictures from similar situations. If the names and telephone numbers of successfully treated patients are available, give those people a call and ask questions.

If you or someone in your family can use the Internet, check out the type of treatment suggested. Look at the sites that are associated with the Canadian Dental Association or the American Dental Association. Some dental sub-specialties also have helpful and accurate websites that are just a few clicks away.

Be wary of anyone who advertises that they are better than others. That type of promotion is discouraged by most dental organizations.

Be alert to treatments guaranteed to last for life. Very little is in this life is guaranteed, except for winter coming to the prairies and taxes owing to Ottawa. The environment in the mouth can break down even the very best dental work. Nothing is forever in terms of dental restorations, and dentists should explain that fact. It is the reason why dentists insist on routine recall visits once you have acquired your new smile. Appropriate recall visits should provide an opportunity to spot possible troubles early. This way, your oral health care can be maintained at the high level that you deserve.

New devices

Some wonderful new devices are rapidly changing the way certain dental care is delivered. Lasers, dental implants, and cad-cam devices that can create porcelain restorations for immediate use are just a few. Before agreeing to dental care using a new device, ask your dentist about the training for the particular skill or device. What special education was done? The Internet can be of some value here as well, so do your homework.

Partnership and your role at home

Just as important as recall visits is your willingness to do the home care tasks assigned to you by your dentist and hygienist. These may involve brushing, flossing, and changes to your diet. Following the instructions for care at home can mean the difference between long-term success or failure in dental treatment. Long-term success usually depends upon a trusting partnership. Each partner must do his part of the health care bargain.

In spite of the best of intentions, quality care delivery, and your commitment to dental home care, failures do occur in sophisticated dental treatment plans. Still, these cases are rare. Level with your dentist about your expectations before treatment, and know what to expect in return, just in case.

Fees

Sometimes patients wonder if dental fees are reasonable and proper. One way of thinking about dental fees is to consider that you are purchasing a new vehicle to transport you on a long-awaited holiday. The trip can be made safely in an economy model vehicle, or in a luxury car, or a truck. The patient can choose the ‘vehicle’ once a basic level of good dental health is achieved. It’s always appropriate to discuss fees and various treatment options with your dentist, especially for procedures not covered by an insurance plan.

If your dentist and hygienist sound like they are selling something by repeating some of what you have just read, they probably are. They are selling the concept of good dental health as a sound investment. Good general health cannot be achieved without good basic oral health.

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FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of
Alberta College of Family Physicians
FAMILY HEALTH is written
with the assistance of
The College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
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