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Houston Dentist - Dr. Kirk Speck D.D.S.

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Finding a Good Houston dentist

Looking for a good Houston dentist may not be easy as it sounds. At times, it can be as hard as finding a needle in a haystack! Compounding the problem is the presence of quacks and other illegal practitioners who may do more harm than good to your teeth.

To avoid trouble, don't be ashamed to ask around. Your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers may come in handy with their recommendations. Other good sources of information are your family physician or local dental organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA).

Of course, it helps if you "shop" around until you find the Houston dentist of your choice. This will ensure that you get the best possible care from the right person. If you decide to look around, here are some practical tips to consider:

Is your Houston dentist a Houston dentist? That may sound silly but many illegal practitioners abound and they're responsible for a lot of horror stories you hear about Houston dentistry! Check your Houston dentist's credentials carefully. Is his or her diploma and/or license prominently displayed in the office? What school did he or she graduate from? Is that person an ADA member or other professional organizations? When in doubt, don't be ashamed to ask or you might regret things later.

Is the Houston dentist easy to reach? Is he or she available when you need help? If you live far away from your Houston dentist, you're in trouble. It makes no sense going to that person if you have to cross four states or four rivers. By the time you get there, you may loose all of your teeth! Choose one that works right next to you if possible. That way, you save time, energy and money.

Does the Houston dentist explain everything to you and take time to answer all your questions? Since you're a paying customer, you have the right to know the kind of treatment you're getting. A good Houston dentist will patiently tell you in plain English what's wrong with your teeth and what can be done about it.

Treatment options must be clear since this will help you decide the right course of action. If your Houston dentist sounds Greek to you, go someplace else. A little misunderstanding can prove disastrous later, especially when it comes to oral health.

Is the Houston dentist's office clean, neat and orderly? You can't expect good service from a Houston dentist who wears dirty clothes or one who works in a meat locker. Professional Houston dentists follow strict guidelines and universal safety procedures to prevent the transmission of the AIDS virus and other diseases. That's why cleanliness is important because your health is on the line.

Part of these safety measures means your Houston dentist and his or her staff must wear protective gear, gloves, and masks during treatment. Instruments must be sterilized before they are placed in the patient's mouth. When a new patient comes in, the gloves should be discarded and the Houston dentist must wash hands before putting on a new pair of gloves.

"Dental instruments are cleaned and sterilized at very high temperatures after each time they are used on a patient. Recommended sterilization methods include: an autoclave (steam under pressure), a dry heat oven, or chemical vapor (commonly called a chemiclave). The sterilization equipment usually is not in the treatment room, but if you'd like to see how and where it's done, ask the dental staff to show you," the ADA explained.

These simple measures will make your visit to the Houston dentist a trouble-free experience. If you like your Houston dentist, chances are you'll visit that person more often and get the most out of his or her services. This will give you healthy teeth and more reasons to smile.

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Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine