Tips for Choosing the Right Dentist

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Choose The Right Dentist

A credentialed, skillful, and experienced dentist can be the difference between a successful dental procedure and a costly oral health disaster. Be it infected gums, missing teeth, or complex oral surgery, a capable dentist specialist will diagnose it properly, choose the right treatment, and successfully carry out the procedure to ensure your long-term dental health and emotional poise: quite possibly, at an affordable cost.

Dental care is not just about cleaning or removing teeth. A well-chosen professional dental clinic can be like a dental home: one that looks after you and your family’s dental well-being by providing the comfort of dependable dental services.

Life can bring on any number of dental issues in the form of a checkup, complicated dental procedure, or a dental emergency. But if you have a ‘dental home,’ you can rest assured that your dentist and dental practice will take care of your dental needs since they know you well as a patient.

Start With The Basics

Optimum dental care demands regular oral health check-ups and maintenance. You should, therefore, choose a dental care practice whose dentist you can trust and who understands your specific treatment and emotional needs.

To make the screening process simpler, get answers to the following questions:

  • How close is the dental clinic to your place of work and home?
  • Is the consultation visiting hours convenient to your schedule?
  • Can you use your dental benefits at this clinic?
  • Communicating dental problems can get stuck in case you and your dentist don’t speak the same language. So check if the clinic offers an interpreter or translator?
  • Is the dental practitioner of your choice a member of the American Dental Association (ADA)?

Begin The Search

Go through online and print advertisements, flyers, and infomercials. Vigilantly look through the patient reviews on online platforms, and social media testimonials of the practice and the dentist.

While conducting your search, remember that your dental health requirements and expectations are uniquely yours. Based on what you want and what’s available, connect with a dentist using the following ways:

  • Locate a dentist using ADA’s Find-A-Dentist tool. Check their name, specialty, and location.
  • Ask your local dental society to provide a list of practicing dentists in your area.
  • Consider the recommendation of a trusted relative or friend.
  • Ask nearby dental schools or the local health department to help you find affordable dental services if you don’t have dental benefits.

You’ll have a shortlist of dentists or dental practices in your hand now. Next, check the websites and social media posts related to these dental practices. Lastly, visit their dental offices to get more information.

Meeting The Dentist: Planning Dental Office Visit

Call the dentist, and visit the dental practitioner’s practice with confidence. Let the first consultation be a ‘meet and greet’ event and evaluate the physical environment and the behavior of the staff. Once satisfied, schedule the first dental appointment. Carry all your dental/medical records to the consultation and interact with the dentist to clarify essential details about the treatment.

Ask questions like:

  • Will the dentist provide preventive care information about the dental problem?
  • Will the dentist and the staff accept emergency cases after office hours?
  • Is your dental benefits plan accepted and understood at the clinic?
  • Are other financing options available to handle treatment costs?
  • Will your dental record get permanently recorded at the clinic?

Reputed dentists always encourage their patients to share their dental concerns, past dental experiences, and emotional issues like anxiety. So, feel free to talk to the dentist and note their response.

Your Dentist Can Be Your Health “Partner”

Always choose a dentist who listens and invests time in developing a healthy patient-dentist relationship. A good dentist is a trusted partner of your healthcare team who can take care of you and your family’s dental woes. Dental health can impact your overall health, so pick a trustworthy health advisor who motivates you to make the right dental care decisions.

Choose A Dental Specialist

A dental specialist has advanced qualifications that are required to carry out complex dental procedures. You may require a specialist alongside your general dentist to deal with a variety of dental diseases. Here’s how you should go about choosing the right specialist:

Choosing A Periodontist For Gum Disease

Periodontists are highly trained in carrying out surgical and non-surgical procedures in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of periodontal (gum) disease, and dental implant placement procedures. They also perform complex surgical treatments like gum graft surgery, laser treatment, dental crown lengthening, and plastic surgery. Plaque removal and root planning are the non-surgical treatments performed by periodontists.

A qualified periodontist has a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from an accredited dental school. The reputed ones also have a three to seven years periodontology training in an American Dental Association (ADA)-approved residency program. If their residency training is successful, they get a national board certification from the American Board of Periodontology. Furthermore, periodontists are required to get recertification once every six years.

Ask your general dentist to recommend and then refer you to a qualified periodontist. Check the experience, recertification history, the latest education courses of the periodontist, and the availability of the latest dental equipment. Also, ask the reasons behind the surgical and non-surgical treatment plan recommendation. Don’t forget to enquire about insurance acceptance and available in-house financing options. Evaluate the mannerisms of the staff at the periodontist’s office. You should avail of the best possible dental care to address your gum disease.

Moreover, your chosen periodontist must have a robust referral network with collaboration with other dental professionals related to your case. The clinic must also take responsibility for your lab-work, either in-house or via reference. See if the clinic offers emergency dental care.

Choosing A Dentist For Getting Fitted With The Appropriate Dental Implants

Dental implant specialists transform the lives and the appearance of their patients who have missing or infected teeth by replacing the affected dentition with natural-looking durable teeth. In fact, the high-precision procedure has a whopping 98% success rate: making it one of the most successful procedures.

However, patients should ask vital questions that will help them to get a detailed picture of what they are getting into and improve their confidence going into treatment.

  • In which field does the dentist specialize? Periodontists and oral surgeons receive training in implant surgery, including some prosthodontists. Implantologists, which isn’t a recognized specialty, do not.
  • What are the details of the dental courses taken by the dentist? Check the type, dates, validity (by professional associations), and duration of the courses chosen.
  • How much core experience does the dentist have? Specifically, ask about the number of dental implants placed; the number should be in thousands.
  • How robust is this dentist’s network? Are they well-connected with other dentists?
  • How good are the patient testimonials? Speak to previous patients and your trusted general dentist.
  • Does the dentist provide satisfactory details of the procedure? Ask specifically about the surgical steps, time taken for surgery and recovery, precautions, risks, before and after photos, and supporting literature.
  • Visit the clinic for physical verification to evaluate the dentist and their attitude towards a patient.

Link Between Qualified Dentists And Low-Cost Dental Implants

A well-trained and experienced dental implants specialist will not unnecessarily recommend costly procedures. Their experience and training enable them to be in a position to offer affordable, low-cost dental implant procedures when required. Skilled dentists diagnose the issue precisely and only then recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

So, screen your dentist based on the qualification-experience-cost criteria. Research your dental service provider to ensure that you receive the best available treatment.

  • Check the skills offered against the procedure cost. It costs more to fix dental mistakes. The more cutting-edge the procedure, the more precision it offers. If you get computer-aided osseointegration done, the health of your tissues, as well as the number of implants simultaneously affects post-implantation success alongside reducing complications and operational costs.
  • Don’t trust dentists who suggest a ‘range’ of treatment costs. Experienced dentists will tell you that no two dental implants are the same as each dentition is unique. If an approximate range of prices is offered without proper examination, find a new dentist.
  • Check your dentist’s credentials. Only accept treatment from an American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) credentialed implant dentist. A credentialed dentist will readily answer all your queries as they have relevant education, skills, training, experience, and competence.
  • Ask questions about the recommended procedure, and you should get a detailed response. If you chose the wrong dentist, they might make an inappropriate choice, which will ultimately exacerbate your oral condition, cause more pain, and cost you more in treatment costs.
  • Ask probing questions to your dentist. Enquire whether the quoted implant costs include bone augmentation, soft tissue treatment, and tooth extraction (if required). Also ask about the abutment, crown, temporary, manufacturing of the crown, and the size of the implant you will receive.
  • Reconsider your choice if the dentist is not up to standard or providing the required outcome. If your treatment plan costs more than other tooth replacement options or the implant’s offer price is too low, reconsider your decision.

Now that you know how to navigate your way through the process of finding the right dentist, you are more likely to select a dentist who will understand your overall dental health needs. A good dentist will be like a partner for life for your dental and general health and as a family friend.



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