Citizens of Iowa, get ready — you may need to wait a while before your next dental appointment. According to officials, smaller towns will be the first hit by Iowa?s aging dentist demographic — more than 50% of dentists in the state are expected to retire soon. Experts point out that when dentists move from rural communities into big cities, it can often encourage a downward health spiral for those areas that have to deal with a dental shortage.
Dentists Aren?t as Interested in Rural Communities
Part of the issue, according to a local dental office manager Lois Kern, is that dentistry itself is changing — many dentists are going into corporate dentistry, in part due to the high costs of opening practices in small communities. As the price of education continues to rise, many dentists newly out of school simply don?t have the option of taking a salary cut for several years in order to build their practice.
There is some hope for Iowa, however. Many communities are being proactive about getting dentists back into their areas, and even corporations like Delta Dental are helping out by providing grants to dentists who agree to work in more rural areas.
If you?re interested in bringing your family to a general dentist, chances are you?ll have multiple options available to you (so long as you?re not in rural Iowa, at least!). In which case it?s not about simply finding a dentist, it?s about finding the best family dentistry for your family?s needs.
What to Look for in a Family Dentistry Clinic
What should you look for in a dentist? If you have children, you?re going to want to opt for a dentist with experience working with children — and ideally, a child-friendly office with games or books to keep kids occupied as they wait. Establishing good dental health practices is important early on in life, and for this reason you?re going to want their experience to go as smoothly as possible.
Not surprisingly, you may have your own concerns for your teeth. About 32% of people agree they?re concerned with how their teeth currently look — whether it?s an issue of whiteness, staining, crookedness, etc. If this describes your current situation, then you?re going to want to look for a dentist that offers cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. This will allow you to get the teeth you?ve always wanted — while getting a checkup at the same time!
If Nothing Else, Do it For Your Health
Did you know that numerous studies have indicated that poor dental health is linked to everything from a higher risk of having a stroke, to heart disease? Take control of your dental health today and visit a family dentistry clinic. Take a lesson from Iowa: having a great dentist on call is not something you should take for granted!