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. Find a dentist who is affiliated with a reputable office located conveniently with respect to your home or work. 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 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. Becoming a specialist means the dentist has to take up advanced training and schooling for at least two more years. Among the most common and recognized dental specialties are periodontics or gum treatment; and orthodontics, pedodontics or pediatric dentistry; and endodontics or root canal therapy.
Routine cleanings are generally provided by dental hygienists or assistants. The designation of the hygienist could be 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 you come and see a new dentist, never hesitate to ask questions, such as:
> How long has the practice been around?
> How much training and experience does the dentist have with the procedure you want?
> Which dental associations is does the dentist belong to?
> What types of emergency care does the dentist offer?
Definitely, you should not pick a dentist because of price alone, but you do have to understand the costs prior to getting treatment. If you have insurance, ask the office for help in determining what is covered and what’s not, and what your out-of-pocket expenses will be.
What You Should Expect
Not just the office staff but especially the dentist must be friendly and considerate. They must recommend such things as complete dental exams, routine cleanings, periodontal exams, x-rays and bite evaluations as preventive care that will keep you from needing more extensive repair work in the future. The dentist should explain his findings and recommend an appropriate plan or treatment as necessary.
A lot of dentists don’t want to schedule cleanings 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 instance, if periodontal disease is spotted, patients may require more than a routine mouth cleaning.
Source: Seattle Dentist