If you have an emergency or you need to get in for an appointment, your Dentist should be available to help you. Many Dental Emergencies need immediate attention and it is important that you are an established patient of record with a Dentist that is available when you need him even if it is after office hours or on a weekend. You also want your Dentist to make arrangements for another Dentist to cover his emergencies when he is unavailable.
You should not have to wait a long time for an appointment. You want your Dentist to be able to see his established patients for routine care within a reasonable length of time.
Your Dentist cannot be an expert in every area of Dental Care and should make referrals to appropriate Dental Specialists when it is in your best interest. If you need the care of a Dental Specialist you want your Dentist to be your advocate and communicate your needs to the specialist and assist you in getting a timely appointment.
Some early, incipient cavities between teeth can actually repair themselves. If interproximal (between teeth) dental caries (decay) is discovered in its early stages on a dental radiograph (x-ray) it can often be arrested if the cause (e.g., chronic sugar consumption) is removed and the patient exercises good oral hygiene. The use of prescription strength topical fluoride and other remineralizing agents can also help facilitate repair and prevention of future cavities. Most dentists agree that these early lesions should not be restored to avoid unnecessary expense, discomfort and damage to teeth. When a carious tooth is restored, the tooth will become weakened and more susceptible to future fracture. It is important that the patient not miss his regular cleanings and examinations so these areas and his overall dental health can be monitored. If it is discovered later that one of these early cavities have decayed beyond the degree that they can remineralize then they can usually be restored with no additional loss in tooth structure compared to restoration when they were first noted. The decision to restore a tooth with decay is made by your Dentist based on your particular circumstances. Some Dentists are more aggressive and elect to restore these lesions so if you are concerned about this you may want to consider a second opinion.