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.
A qualified dentists is either a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or a doctor of dental medicine (DMD). 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 need to pass national and state exams prior to being licensed.
Dentists can also be board-certified as specialists in particular focused branches of dentistry. Dentists, to become specialists, have to take up advanced training and schoolwork for two additional years. Some common recognized dental specialties are pedodontics or pediatric dentistry; oral and maxillofacial surgery and pathology; 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 dentist been in practice?
> How much training and experience does the dentist have with the procedure you want?
> Which dental societies does is the dentist a member of?
> Does the dentist offer emergency care?
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 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 Can Expect
The dentist as well as the office staff should be friendly and patient-centered. They should be concerned about preventive care, requiring such things as thorough dental exams, routine cleanings, periodontal exams, x-rays and the like, all of which help you avoid costly repair work later on. The dentist must go over his findings with you, as well as recommend a suitable treatment plan as needed.
Several dentists would rather not schedule cleanings at the same time as a new patient complete 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. If periodontal disease is detected, for example, a patient may need not just a routine mouth cleaning.