How to Find the Right 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. Look for a dentist whose clinic is located close to your home or office. 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 have to pass national and state exams before they are licensed.
As well, dentists can be board-certified as specialists in particular areas 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.
Routine cleanings are generally provided by dental hygienists or assistants. The hygienist may have a designation as an 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 practice been around?
> How trained and experienced is the dentist in terms of the type of procedure you need?
> What dental societies does the dentist belong to?
> What types of emergency care are offered by the dentist?
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
The dentist as well as the office staff should be friendly and patient-centered. 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 discuss his findings with you and provide recommendations as needed.
Most dentists would not want to schedule cleanings simultaneously with a new patient comprehensive exam. That’s because x-rays and a thorough exam are needed to tell what type of cleaning is most clinically appropriate for your specific needs. For example, should periodontal disease be detected, the patient may require far more than a regular mouth cleaning.
Resource: What I Can Teach You About Professionals