How To Find A New Dentist

If you’re new to the area, you’ve probably got a lot to sort out while you get acquainted to your new home. Whether you’re starting a new job or school, or simply trying to figure out where the nearest grocery store is, settling into a new area can take some time. Once you’ve got the daily and weekly necessities figured out, it’s time to start thinking about some of the other things you’ll want to be familiar with, like where’s the closest urgent care, or picking out a new dentist.

That’s where we come in. We want to be your source for dental care in the Bloomington and greater Twin Cities area. So when picking out a new dentist, don’t just head to google and search “dentists near me,” do some research and look for a few important qualities that suggest that team would be a good fit for your family. We share what you should look for in a dentist, and why we think we check all of those boxes in today’s blog.

What To Look For In A New Dentist

So what important qualities should you look for when choosing a new dentist for your family? Well for starters, be sure that they are accepting new patients (like we are). From there, take a look at their experience. As you can tell from our Meet The Team page, our team at Smiles For Life Dentistry has nearly 100 years of experience treating and protecting teeth! That type of experience cannot be understated.

Another thing you’ll want to look at is their breadth of experience. Are they providing basic dental services, or can they go above and beyond to give you the best experience possible. For example, Dr. Brooks has extensive experience not just with teeth cleaning and decay prevention, but also with creating invisible braces, porcelain veneers and custom bridges and crowns using CEREC 3D technology.

Another area you’ll want to check out before moving forward with a new dentist is to check their reviews. We have a bunch of great reviews here on our website, but since most dental offices control the content of their website, you’re probably not going to see any criticism by just reading reviews on their personal site. You’ll also want to check out their Facebook page and their Google page, because these reviews can’t be manipulated or hidden. These pages really help to show what people are saying about your new dentist!

Finally, you’ll also want to make sure that your insurance is accepted. We accept most major dental insurance plans, but due to always changing regulations, we don’t have a comprehensive list on our website. Instead, you can give us a call and we’ll try to confirm if we accept your insurance, or you can give the number on the back of your insurance card a call to see if we are covered under your plan. If you want to reach out to our office, give us a call at (952) 888-3000 and we’ll try to provide you with answers.

If you are planning to use insurance, you should check to see if we are in network. However, many of our patients choose to come to us out of network and pay a slightly higher fee.

So whether you’re just looking for a new place to get regular cleanings, or you want assistance with more hands-on issues like root canals or addressing sleep issues, Dr. Brooks and his team can do it all. For more information or to see what we can do for you, contact our office today.

DDS Definition

What’s The Difference Between DDS and DMD?

You may have noticed when you’re inside a dentist’s office that their degree is hanging on the wall. If you look closely, you may see that they’ve received their degree in either “Doctor of Dental Surgery” or “Doctor of Dental Medicine.” Are those two degrees different, and if so, which type of dentist should you see for your mouth? We answer those questions in today’s blog.

Difference Between DDS and DMD

As we noted above, DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. DMD actually stands for a Latin phrase “Dentariae Medicinae Doctoris,” which translates tor Doctor of Dental Medicine. So while they are two different degrees, is one degree more coveted than the other?

According to the American Dental Association, the answer to that question is no. There is no difference between a degree in DDS or DMD. Dentists with either degree have graduated from an accredited dental school and have passed all necessary tests. Both a DDS degree and DMD degree offer the same type of dental training and both fulfill the curriculum requirements set forth by the American Dental Association. Whether they offer a DDS or DMD program is determined by the dental school.

Why The Confusion?

To understand why we have two essentially identical degrees in the US, we have to take a short history lesson. Back in the day, the only dental degree offered in the US was a DDS. That all changed back in 1867 when Harvard decided to add a dental school. In keeping with tradition, Harvard wanted to offer a degree named after a latin phrase. The phrase Doctor of Dental Surgery translates to “Chirurgae Dentium Doctoris,” which means the degree they would have offered would have been a CDD.

However, Harvard didn’t really feel that Chirurgae Dentium Doctoris rolled off the tongue or that it gave off an impressive tone, so after some deliberation, they settled on the abbreviation DMD, which stands for “Dentariae Medicinae Doctoris” in latin. Nowadays, it’s the school’s preference whether they offer the DMD or the DDS program.

So no, it doesn’t matter whether your doctor received his DDS degree or his DMD. They are both the same, and you can trust that if they have either hanging on the wall in the office that you are in good hands. To set up an appointment with Dr. Brooks, contact his office today.

Dental Appointment

4 Reasons to Make an Appointment with Your Dentist

For many patients, it can be difficult to determine when it’s important to make a dental appointment. In this article, we are going to talk about several reasons why you should make an appointment with your dentist.

Jaw Pain

If you have pain in your jaw when opening and closing, or if your jaw makes a popping sound, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist. Jaw pain can indicate a variety of potential conditions, including gum disease, toothaches, arthritis, or issues with the jaw joint.

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can make even the most mundane act of eating or drinking painful. Don’t “just deal with” your tooth sensitivity and pain. Make an appointment with your dentist and get to the bottom of your tooth sensitivity so you can determine how to best treat it.

Eating Difficulties

If pain or a functional issue is making it difficult to eat, set up a dental appointment to determine the root cause.

You Haven’t Been in a While

Remember, most people should visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. If you’re past due for a regular appointment, contact your dentist and get something on the calendar.

Twin Cities Dentists

For years, Dr. Tim Brooks has been providing cosmetic and family dental care to patients throughout the Twin Cities area. Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life are well equipped to tackle your dental health needs – whatever they may be. Reach out to us today to set up your appointment at one of our Smiles for Life dental clinic – located in Bloomington. Whether you need a dental implant or just a routine cleaning, we’ve got the skills and expertise needed to keep your smile shining bright!

How to Find the Right Dentist

Whether you’ve just moved to a new area, or you’re unhappy with your current dentist, finding the right dentist for your situation is essential. But with so many options, it can be challenging to make the best decision. Use these tips to make finding the right dentist an easier task.

Figure Out What You Need

Before you start looking for a dentist, it’s important to determine what kind of dental care you need. Are you looking to set up a routine appointment for a cleaning? Or do you need to have a more complex procedure (like a root canal) done? Different dentists provide different dental health services, so it’s crucial to figure out what you need before you start looking.

Do Your Online Research

The first place many people go when they’re searching for a new dentist (or anything for that matter) is the Internet. Doing a Google search for dentists in your area is a great place to start. Once you’ve found a few clinics, take a look at their websites and patient reviews to more information.

Ask for a Referral

If you have family or friends who live in your area, they can be an excellent resource for finding a reputable dentist near you.

Bloomington Dental Clinics

Dr. Tim Brooks has been treating patients throughout the Twin Cities area for many years. The team at Smiles for Life makes it a point to provide unparalleled dental care to every patient that walks through our doors.

Reach out today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Brooks and the rest of the team at Smiles for Life.

Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon

Dentist vs. Oral Surgeon – What’s the Difference?

Many people don’t think that dentists and oral surgeons are one in the same. And while both are trained dental health professionals, the services provided by each are quite different. In this article, we are going to explain the differences between dentists and oral surgeons, take a look at the care that each can provide, and talk about when to see which one.


A dentist earns a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree from a qualified medical school and performs most of the care and procedures people imagine when they think of going to the dentist. In general, dentists can provide the following services:

  • Routine dental health exams and cleanings
  • Cavity fillings
  • Cosmetic procedures like bonding
  • Crowns & bridges
  • Gum care
  • Sealants
  • Root canals
  • Implant restoration

Oral Surgeons

An oral surgeon spends about 4-8 more years in dental school than a dentist. As a result, they are more specialized and typically focus on more complex procedures. If you need to see an oral surgeon, your dentist will likely refer you to one. Here are a few services commonly provided by oral surgeons:

  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Impacted or complex tooth removal
  • Tumor extraction
  • Implant post placement
  • Removal of soft tissue

Dental Healthcare in Bloomington, MN

Dr. Tim Brooks and the team at Smiles for Life dental clinics make it a point to provide compassionate, unparalleled patient care to each and every person who walks through our doors. With years of experience, Dr. Brooks has the skills needed to handle all of your family or cosmetic dental health needs. Whether you need a crown, or you just want to make an appointment for a cleaning, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Give us a call today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks at our Bloomington dental clinic.

Find a Dentist

Tips for Finding the Right Dentist / Dental Clinic

It’s important to find a skilled dentist that you can trust. But with so many options, finding the right dentist can be difficult. In this article, we are going to talk about a few things to look for when you’re searching for a quality dentist or dental clinic.

Credentials & Specialties

First and foremost, do some brief research on the dentist in question. Check out their website and see how long they’ve been practicing, where they went to school, and what type of dentistry they practice.


Location is another important factor to consider when searching for a dental clinic. Find out where your dentist practices and if he has one or multiple clinic locations.


It’s also important to find a dentist with a good reputation. The simplest way to investigate this is to do a simple Google search for your dentist or clinic. Check out their website and see what services they offer and what their patients have to say. You can also find patient reviews on the clinic’s Google business listing, and other third-party sites. Asking friends and family for their recommendations can be another great way of finding a reputable clinic.

MN Dental Health Clinic

Smiles for Life treats patients with dental issues in Bloomington and Farmington. With years of experience, Dr. Tim Brooks has the skills necessary to provide you top-notch dental care. When you walk through our clinic doors, we provide you with quality, compassionate dental care, every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the Smiles for Life team at our Bloomington or Farmington dental clinics.

Dentist Second Opinion

Dental Health – When to Get a 2nd Opinion

Second opinions are somewhat common among people who are considering a specific surgical procedure. What many people do not realize is that second opinions can be helpful when it comes to dental care as well. In this article, we are going to talk about the benefits of getting a second opinion when it comes to your dental health.

Getting a 2nd Opinion

Getting a second opinion is a great way to better understand the full breadth of your treatment options. Dental care is a part science, part art, and different dentists can approach treatment from different angles. One dentist might recommend one course of treatment, while another dentist might recommend something else entirely. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to seek a second opinion before you make a decision about your treatment.

Here are some of the situations in which you might want to get a second opinion:

  • Dental crowns & implants
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dentures
  • Braces

Many patients are also hesitant about getting a second opinion because they fear that their primary dentist will take offense. This is not something to worry about. Second opinions are commonplace in the dental industry.

Bloomington Dental Offices

If you are looking for a dentist in the Bloomington area, look no further than Smiles for Life! Dr. Tim Brooks works with a team of skilled dental hygienists to provide top notch dental care to patients throughout Minnesota. With decades of experience, Dr. Brooks is well equipped to help you with all of your dental care needs – whether you need a cavity filled, invisible braces fitted, or something else. We offer free initial dental consultations and second opinions. Contact us today at our Smiles for Life dental office (located in Bloomington) to set up your appointment!