Choosing a Good Dentist
It is important to choose the right dentist for you and your family. You want someone who makes you feel comfortable and is also well-trained trained to give you the dentistry you need. Find a dentist who works in an office that is convenient to your work or home. The dentists’ credentials should be available on the web.
A qualified dentists is either a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or a doctor of dental medicine (DMD). These two are equivalent in that they are both completed within a minimum of two years of preparatory dental college work, followed by four years of dental proper. Dentists need to pass national and state exams prior to being licensed.
Dentists can also be board-certified as specialists in particular focused branches of dentistry. To become a specialist, a dentist has to take two or more years of training and schooling. Some of the more common recognized dental specialties include oral and maxillofacial surgery and pathology; prosthodontics or restorative treatments such as crowns, bridges and dentures; and pedodontics or pediatric dentistry.
A dental hygienist or assistant usually performs routine cleanings. The hygienist may have a designation as an RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) or RDHEF (Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions). A dental assistant usually provides assistance while a dentist is performing a procedure, sets up anesthesia, takes x-rays and does all other general tasks in the office.
Questions to Ask
When visiting a dentist for the first time, don’t think twice about asking few questions, like:
> How long has the dental practice been in existence?
> How much training and experience does the dentist have with the procedure you want?
> Which dental associations is does the dentist belong to?
> Does the dentist offer emergency care?
While you should never pick a dentist based on price alone, you have to make sure you understand the fees before you decide to proceed with treatment. If you have dental insurance, ask the office to explain what will be covered or not, and what out-of-pocket expenses might be.
What You Can Expect
Your dentist and the entire office staff must be kind and considerate. They should be concerned about preventive care, requiring such things as thorough dental exams, routine cleanings, periodontal exams, x-rays and the like, all of which help you avoid costly repair work later on. The dentist must discuss his findings with you and provide recommendations as needed.
A lot of dentists don’t want to schedule cleanings with a new patient comprehensive exam. This is due to the fact that x-rays and a complete exam are needed for determining what type of cleaning is most clinically advisable for your particular needs. For instance, if periodontal disease is spotted, patients may require more than a routine mouth cleaning.