Tips for Finding a Dentist
Selecting the right dentist for you and the family is a very important task. You’ll need somebody you can be comfortable with, and one who can provide to provide the type of dentistry you require. 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 surgery (DDS) or doctors 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 should pass national and state exams to get their license.
As well, dentists can be board-certified as specialists in particular areas of dentistry. Dentists, to become specialists, have to take up advanced training and schoolwork for two additional years. 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.
Dental hygienists or assistants are often the ones who perform routine cleanings. The hygienist have a designation of RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) or RDHEF (Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions). A dental assistant’s tasks could include assisting a dentist during a procedure, taking x-rays, setting up anesthesia and doing other general tasks.
Questions to Ask
When visiting a dentist for the first time, don’t think twice about asking few questions, like:
> How long has the dentist been in practice?
> How much and what type of training and experience does the dentist have with the exact 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
Your dentist and the entire office staff must be kind 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 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. 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.