The mouth is where the body’s inner workings meet the outside world more closely than anywhere else. Not only is it the portal for our nourishment, but for most of us it is also our primary instrument for communicating with one another.

The teeth, the gums and the tender tissue around them team up to make an essential system for health.

It is a complex system, however, and the chances for invasion and infection are part of its working environment. So, finding a dentist who can help you build a better understanding of your mouth is important, because peace of mind is one of the best outcomes of good dentistry.

It begins with finding a dentist who can be your most effective source of information.

What you know and who you trust

Today’s dental office has replaced old-fashioned X-rays with digital imaging and other techniques that show you and the dentist exactly what’s what faster, easier and more accurately than we even imagined in times past.

But better imaging and other tests are only the tools of today’s patient education.

The careful consultation you receive is the foundation of moving forward effectively. It empowers you to proceed with confidence and understanding.

Because you’re the boss. It is your understanding of the choices available that puts you in the driver’s seat.

Trusting the dentist who advises you is essential.

Your initial consultation is a great indicator of whether this is a professional relationship that suits you.

A practice that consults with compassion, with understanding of you as a person, is in a far better position to present you with options for treatment that make sense to you.

And a practice that knows you by name when you arrive, that personalizes each visit by knowing the things that make you feel comfortable – that practice can perform the skills of dentistry in a way that assures you of poise and confidence.

Stephen W. Durham, DMD, MAGD practices at Durham Dental at Town Center in Beaufort.