Tips for Finding a Dentist
Picking the right dentist for you and the family is important. You want someone who makes you feel comfortable and is also well-trained trained to give you the dentistry you need. Look for a dentist whose clinic is located close to your home or office. The dentists’ credentials must be available on the Internet.
Qualified dentists may be doctors of dental medicine (DMD) or doctors of dental surgery (DDS). The two degrees are equivalent – they both require no less than two years of pre-dental college work, and then four years of dental school. Dentists should pass national and state exams to get their license.
Dentists could also be board-certified as specialists in specific branches of dentistry. To become a specialist, a dentist has to take two or more years of training and schooling. Some common recognized dental specialties are pedodontics or pediatric dentistry; oral and maxillofacial surgery and pathology; and endodontics or root canal therapy.
A dental hygienist or assistant usually performs routine cleanings. The hygienist have a designation of RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) or RDHEF (Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions). A dental assistant usually assists a dentist in an ongoing procedure, take x-rays, set up anesthesia, and do other general tasks.
Questions to Ask
When you visit a new dentist, don’t shy away from asking questions, like:
> How long has the dental practice been in existence?
> How trained and experienced is the dentist in terms of the type of procedure you need?
> Which dental societies does is the dentist a member of?
> 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 are insured, let the office help you in terms of sorting out what your plan covers and what your out-of-pocket expenses may be.
What You Should Expect
Your dentist and the entire office staff must be kind and considerate. They should be concerned about preventive care, advising you for such things as comprehensive dental exams, routine cleanings, x-rays, periodontal exams, etc., all of which are helpful in keeping you from getting pricey repair procedures later on. The dentist must go over his findings with you, as well as recommend a suitable treatment plan 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 example, should periodontal disease be detected, the patient may require far more than a regular mouth cleaning.
Source: Seattle Dentistry