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 must be available on the Internet.
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 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. 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.
Routine cleanings are generally provided by dental hygienists or assistants. The designation of the hygienist could be RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) or RDHEF (Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions). A dental assistant usually provides assistance while a dentist is performing a procedure, sets up anesthesia, takes x-rays and does all other general tasks in the office.
Questions to Ask
When you come and see a new dentist, never hesitate to ask questions, such as:
> 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 associations is does the dentist belong to?
> What types of emergency care does the dentist offer?
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 have dental insurance, ask the office to explain what will be covered or not, and what out-of-pocket expenses might 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 discuss his findings with you and provide recommendations as needed.
Most dentists would not want to schedule cleanings simultaneously with a new patient comprehensive 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.
Source: Dentists Seattle