23 South Main Street
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

7 Foremost Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dentist

7 Foremost Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dentist

Are you looking for a Travelers Rest SC general dentist?

Whether you’re having a dental problem or simply looking for a new provider, all patients should be comfortable with their dentist on a professional and personal level. A good patient/provider relation is founded on mutual trust and openness. You want to find someone who inspires professional confidence, but is also easy to talk to. A great dentist will also be enthusiastic about promoting good oral hygiene and radiate a positive attitude.

When you interview a dentist, these questions may help you get a sense of his or her qualifications, principles, and chair-side manner. Beware any provider who does not welcome questions from prospective patients; there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Do you need a Travelers Rest SC general dentist? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care at 864-836-8416 to meet Dr. Hamrick and our staff. We would love to hear from you!

1. What are your specialty areas?

This question will help you learn about a dentist’s professional qualifications and interests. If he or she doesn’t mention prior education, training, certifications, and state license—ask, as all these details will help you understand his or her qualifications. Also ask if he or she belongs to any professional organizations and how he/she stays current on advances in the dental field. The answers you get will reveal not only whether he or she is a legitimate, licensed professional, but the underlying attitudes and philosophies that drive patient interactions.

2. How do you maintain patient satisfaction?

It’s never to a dentist’s advantage to have unhappy or dissatisfied customers. A good dentist will have a system in place to make sure all patients walk away from their treatments happy: perhaps a survey sent by email or follow-up phone call for more involved treatments. In today’s connected world, a good dentist will go the extra mile to keep patients satisfied, since negative reviews online can harm their business.

3. Do you offer consultations without charge?

Routine preventive and restorative care aside, a good dentist should always be willing to schedule free consultations for more involved treatments (such dental implants) and cosmetic dentistry. Many general practices offer advanced restorations and cosmetic options today, so as to be able to treat their patients’ every potential need. Cosmetic treatments, especially, should come with free initial consultations so patients can learn about their options and details regarding specific treatments. If you are looking for a dentist for cosmetic work, expect a potential dentist to give not only a recommendation for treatment, but a full account of what the treatment entails, a timeline, potential risks, how long results will last, and precise financial expenses.

4. Do you offer extended payment plans?

Many Americans go without medical insurance, and even the well insured often lack quality dental plans. A compassionate dentist who is truly devoted to promoting good oral health will have a system in place to assist those without the means to pay for treatments up front. Even if you have insurance, find out what the office will do to help you if you should one day require a service not covered by your plan.

5. What is your approach to diagnosing oral health problems?

Even the most experienced dentists should keep an open mind when you come to them with a mysterious problem. Diagnosing problems with routine care and fillings may be straightforward, but it’s always good to have a dentist you know will take a methodical, scientific approach to your problem. Be it an unusual toothache, TMJ pain, a gum infection, or something worse—you want a dentist who makes full use of the diagnostic tools and body of medical research available in the industry. Any dentist who treats all problems with one-size-fits-all solutions is not sensitive to the complexity of the human mouth!

6. If I have a problem, will I see a treatment plan?

An oral health professional should never keep your diagnosis or treatment plan a secret from you. An attitude of “let us handle the details” may be a red flag indicating a dentist who will not keep you informed or educated about the facts of your condition or treatment options.

When a problem is detected (gum disease, infection, impacted teeth, etc.) your dentist should provide you with a written diagnosis and itemized treatment plan. A good dentist recognizes that sharing these details is vital to the patient/provider relationship. Beware any dentist who treats problems without a methodical, documented, plan.

7. What enhanced technology do you use?

True professionals know that scientific innovations can enhance their ability to diagnose and treat dental problems. A good dentist will stay abreast of the technological innovations in their field and apply them to their practice. You don’t need a checklist of specific technology every dentist should have, but expect your potential dentist to tell you about an innovation they have adopted and the positive effects it has engendered. A dentist who isn’t excited about digital x-rays and laser dentistry, for example, is missing out on critical advances in patient care.

Bonus Question: What is the connection between dental health and whole body wellness?

With an established body of medical studies documenting the link between oral health and medical health, you want a provider who doesn’t keep his head in the sand. A thorough dentist will mention the many common medical conditions that can affect your teeth (acid reflux, diabetes, pregnancy, etc.) as well as the serious medical illnesses that are linked to the bacteria found in gum disease.

Trust Your Gut!

Overall, the questions you ask are not as important the fact that you do ask. Engaging a potential provider in conversation is the best way to get a sense of whether you’ll be able to develop a trusting and comfortable bond with this person. If something rubs you the wrong way, keep looking!

Are you looking for a Travelers Rest SC general dentist? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care at 864-836-8416 to meet Dr. Hamrick and our staff. We would love to hear from you!

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are uncomfortable with the way your teeth appear and avoid smiling for pictures and laughing freely when out with friends – you are not alone. It is estimated that around one-third of American adults are unhappy with their smile due to a number of imperfections, such as crooked, stained, misshaped, or chipped teeth.

What if there was a way for you to enrich your social life, improve your professional success, and boost your self-esteem just by enhancing your smile? Cosmetic dentistry provides just that opportunity. Below are some of the many ways you can dramatically transform your smile with a routine visit to your local dentist.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth that have lost their sheen or are stained, yellowy, or gray can age you and inhibit the attractiveness of your overall appearance. Because enamel is porous, over time, your teeth are naturally affected by what you consume. Certain dark-colored beverages and foods, such as chocolate, coffee, dark sodas, black tea, and dark berries can all stain your teeth. Other factors include smoking and the natural age progression.

With the advancement in professional teeth whitening protocols – you can achieve a whiter smile in under a week – and in some cases – just one day! Many dental offices today offer both in-office and take-home whitening services to make treatment as convenient as possible for their patients. In-office treatments are ideal for patients that need instant results for a special event, such as a wedding or class reunion to help them look their best. If time is not a concern, teeth whitening trays can be custom-made and provided to you along with professional strength gel so you can whiten your smile in the comfort of your home. Patients typically see results in one to two weeks.

Porcelain Veneers

These ultra-thin porcelain shells are designed to cover the front surface of teeth to conceal a variety of cosmetic blemishes, such as chipped, crooked, worn, or severely stained teeth. Patients with multiple concerns find this treatment extremely beneficial as a means for positively altering their smile, rather than choosing three to four individual treatments. Since veneers are made with durable materials, patients can enjoy lasting results for 15 to 20 years.

In addition, veneers are made from realistic porcelain, custom-made to fit seamlessly over the affected tooth. Each veneer will be carefully fabricated in such a way to match the natural shape and size of your teeth, yet lightened just enough to restore the sparkle back to your smile.


With the introduction of clear aligner trays into the dental industry, patients today can discreetly straighten their smile without unsightly and uncomfortable metal brackets. These virtually invisible trays are made from safe, BPA-free materials, custom-made to fit smoothly over your teeth. At the beginning of treatment, you will be given a series of trays that will need to be worn consecutively for two weeks at a time, rotating to the next one in the series until treatment is completed. To be the most effective – it’s imperative that you wear your aligners for at least 20 hours a day.

The primary benefit clear aligners provide is their subtlety and comfort. However, another significant benefit includes their ability to be removed so you can enjoy all your favorite foods without the fear of damaging a bracket or wire. Straighter teeth are easier to keep clean – so in addition to improving your appearance and self-confidence, you can maintain a healthier smile and prevent costly restorative treatments in the future.

Contact Carolina Oaks Travelers Rest

There are many benefits to choosing cosmetic dentistry as a means for achieving the smile of your dreams. Our team of trustworthy and highly-trained dentists at Carolina Oaks Dental Care Travelers Rest offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments to fit your needs. To learn more about the treatments we provide and how they can benefit you personally – contact our Travelers Rest, SC office online or by calling (864) 836-8416.