How to Find a Good Dentist
It is important to choose the right dentist for you and your family. You want someone you can be comfortable with but is also well trained to give you the kind of dentistry you need. The question is, how do you know if you’ve found the dentist who’s right for you?
Below are the most essential points you have to consider:
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Qualified dentists will be either or doctors of dental medicine (DMD) or doctors of dental surgery (DDS). These degrees are co-equals, which means the dentists both studied at least two years of pre-dental college work, followed by another four years of dental school proper. The two also have to pass state and national exams to have a license.
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Dentists may also become specialists in particular recognized branches of dentistry – for instance, periodontics (gum disease treatment), pedodontics (pediatric dentistry) and endodontics (root canal therapy), among plenty of others – and obtain board certification. This demands a minimum of two years of advanced classroom and training courses.
Routine cleanings are typically handled by dental hygienists or assistants. The designation of the hygienist is either RDHEF (Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions) or RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist). While performing a procedure, a dentist may be assisted by a dental assistant, who also performs other tasks, like taking x-rays and setting up anesthesia.
What You Need to Know
When you visit a new dentist, you should never hesitate to ask questions. Know how long the dentist has been practicing. Ask about the training and experience they had on the specific procedure you need. Find out if they are a member of dental associations or societies and if they are updated on the newest dental technologies and procedures. You also want to know about the type of emergency care they offer, such as after hour, weekend and same-day appointments. It is vital that you totally understand any diagnosed and necessary treatment, so go ahead and ask for clarification and more details before you actually schedule the treatment.
Though you should never select a dentist based strictly on price, you have to understand the fees completely before consenting to treatment. If you have dental insurance but need to be enlightened on what is covered and not, the staff should be able to help you with that. Remember, however, that it’s better to have dental work done right the first time for a slightly higher price, than to receive inferior work that is initially cheap, but will bring discomfort or require replacement in a very short time.
There are usually many different treatment options for the same dental problem. For instance, missing teeth may be replaced by dentures, bridges or implants. You and your dentist will have to decide together which option is the best for you.