How to Find the Right Dentist
Picking the right dentist for you and the family is important. You’d like it to be someone you are comfortable with and also properly trained to offer you the type of dentistry you require. Find a dentist who works in an office that is convenient to your work or home. 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 are equivalent: they both require at least two years of pre-dental college work plus by four years of dental proper. 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. To become a specialist, a dentist has to take two or more years of training and schooling. 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.
Routine cleanings are generally provided by dental hygienists or assistants. The hygienist may have a designation as an 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 you come and see a new dentist, never hesitate to ask questions, such as:
> How long has the dental practice been in existence?
> How trained and experienced is the dentist in terms of the type of procedure you need?
> Which dental associations is does the dentist belong to?
> What types of emergency care does the dentist offer?
Though you must not choose a dentist based solely on price, you have to understand the fees before consenting to 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 Can Expect
The dentist as well as the office staff should be friendly and patient-centered. They should be concerned about preventive care, advising you for such things as comprehensive dental exams, routine cleanings, x-rays, periodontal exams, etc., all of which are helpful in keeping you from getting pricey repair procedures later on. The dentist should explain his findings and recommend an appropriate plan or treatment as necessary.
Most dentists would not want to schedule cleanings simultaneously with a new patient comprehensive 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. If periodontal disease is detected, for example, a patient may need not just a routine mouth cleaning.
Source: Dentist Downtown Seattle