How to Find the Right Dentist
Selecting the right dentist for you and the family is a very important task. 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 should be available on the web.
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. 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.
Dental hygienists or assistants are often the ones who perform routine cleanings. The designation of the hygienist could be 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 much and what type of training and experience does the dentist have with the exact procedure you need?
> Which dental societies does is the dentist a member of?
> 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 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
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 should explain his findings and recommend an appropriate plan or treatment as necessary.
Several dentists would rather not schedule cleanings at the same time as a new patient complete exam. That’s because x-rays and a thorough exam will be needed to tell what kind of cleaning is most clinically suitable for your specific oral care needs. For example, should periodontal disease be detected, the patient may require far more than a regular mouth cleaning.
Source: Seattle Dentist