Choosing a Good 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.
A qualified dentists is either a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or a doctor 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. To become a specialist, a dentist has to take two or more years of training and schooling. Some common recognized dental specialties are pedodontics or pediatric dentistry; oral and maxillofacial surgery and pathology; and endodontics or root canal therapy.
A dental hygienist or assistant usually performs routine cleanings. The hygienist may have a designation as an 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 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?
Though you must not choose a dentist based solely on price, you have to understand the fees before consenting to 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 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. 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: Downtown Seattle Dentist