If you do not have a family dentist and are seeking one, it is possible that you have just Googled “dentist office near me” and selected the first result that pops up. However, this is not how you should find a good dentist in your area. Choosing a dentist requires careful consideration of various factors that can impact your dental health.
So let’s find out what to look for in a dentist’s office.
DMD vs. DDS
One of the common questions we hear from patients is, “What is a DMD vs. DDS?” Even though these two terms may seem confusing, they are both the names of the same degree. For example, a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgeon) is the same as a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). The difference in the terms is due to the universities’ preference for what degree is awarded, but both have the same curriculum.
Experience and Training
Do you know that your dental health is an indication of your overall health? That’s why you must get your dental treatments from an experienced and trained dentist. When choosing a dentist, find out how many years they have been practicing and what their clients say about them. Also, find out the extent of training your prospective dentist has when it comes to specialty procedures.
Understanding Your Needs
A good dentist knows that a patient is not able to fully and correctly diagnose their oral health. Therefore, it is their responsibility to thoroughly evaluate their patient’s teeth and oral health and inform them of all issues. So even if you have come for a routine cleaning, a good dentist should tell you if one of your teeth requires a filling.
The field of dentistry is vast, and many dentists specialize in sub-fields. Not all dentists are trained to perform the full array of restorative, cosmetic, and orthodontic procedures. If you are looking for a specific treatment, particularly a specialized one, you should determine whether your prospective dentist offers that treatment option. For example, if you want to get a dental implant, it is essential that you visit a dental surgeon who has expertise in that area rather than, say, an orthodontist.
Dental technologies provide a more efficient, pain-free, and convenient experience for patients. So it would be best if you chose a dentist who is up-to-date on the latest dental technologies. Some dentists do not want to invest in state-of-the-art digital radiographs, laser equipment, or CAD/CAM software. These technologies can impact various aspects of treatment and can determine the precision, comfort, and speed of the treatment.
Your dentist must know about your medical history, any chronic conditions, and what sort of medication and treatment you use for them. Doing so can help the dentist understand what approach to take, whether a particular treatment would be in a patient’s best interest, and prevent complications during dental treatment. That is why you should always look for a dentist that focuses on your medical history to provide you with appropriate treatment.
Dental emergencies can happen at any time. For example, a broken tooth or damaged restoration can cause a lot of discomfort and complication in a patient if not treated right away. Find out if the dentist you are considering offers emergency care. Some offices offer flexible hours, are open during weekends, and take special appointments on off days. Find out how much flexibility your dentist provides.
Research whether your dentist is affiliated with a Medicaid program and accepts state-funded insurance. Children’s dentistry is a standard service covered by Medicaid; however, specific orthodontic and cosmetic procedures may not be covered under it. Just visit the Medicaid website and find out which dentists accept Medicaid near you.
Many people are naturally anxious when they go to the dentist. This anxiety is further exacerbated if the dentist does not have fantastic chair-side manners and does not make you feel comfortable. Therefore, many dentists make it their priority to provide their patients with the most comfort. Sedation like nitrous oxide and oral tablets are standard options for patients prone to dental chair anxiety. Some dentists also offer headphones and massages to put the patient at ease.
Choosing a family dentist is not something that should be done on a whim. You are selecting a dental care provider not only for yourself but for your children as well. That is why you must consider your options wisely.