With so many dentists around, how do you know you made the right choice? To begin with, a good dentist should be focused on what needs to be done so that the patient leaves him healthy and satisfied.
How to select a dentist before you meet him
A good way is to ask for advice from close people whose opinion you trust – friends, relatives, acquaintances, and colleagues. Your family doctor or pharmacist can be a good source of information. Ask them how long they have been seen by their dentist and whether their doctor belongs to the category of family dentists or specialists. It is important to find a family dentist whom you feel comfortable with.
Also, you may call your local dental association and get a list of recommended doctors in your area. Another way to find dentists is an online search. More and more dentists have websites with articles about their treatment methods and principles.
What to pay attention to at the reception
If you made an appointment with a dentist and want to check whether he is a good and experienced specialist, then pay attention to the following qualities:
- Listens actively. A good doctor is in no hurry to listen to the concerns of patients. Also, your dentist takes time to ask you the right questions to prescribe a treatment that will help.
- Teaches the patient. Your dentist will explain to you oral hygiene, medical issues, good habits, and treatment options that you are not aware of. He will also involve you in a conversation to increase your confidence and make you smile.
- Respects the patient’s time and resources. An experienced specialist will never leave the patient in the waiting room for a long time. He will schedule an appointment at the time which is suitable for both. Also, he will not prescribe expensive procedures that his patient cannot afford.
- Keeps the doctor’s office clean. At the same time, he and his uniform are always clean, tidy, and neat.
- Does not sell your goods and procedures that you absolutely do not need.
- Recognizes you. When your dentist spends time getting to know you, he or she can provide you with the best care options that match your medical history.
- He wants a long-term relationship. An experienced dentist is interested in making you a regular patient. It means that he should be interested in making an appointment, planning regular appointments so that you feel comfortable. If your dentist considers your treatment as a one-time job, you’d better look for someone else.
- Caring for the staff. It is worth seeing how your dentist interacts with colleagues. This will give you an idea of the management style and the mood of the staff.
- Continues to be interested. A good dentist will contact you after a long or difficult procedure, just to make sure that you are well and that there are no complications that prevent your recovery.
An experienced doctor is interested in the life of his patients and wants to become a family dentist.
What type of dentist do you need?
A family dentist provides many types of treatment. If you suffer from severe or unusual forms of the disease, your dentist can send you to a specialist.
- Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children and adolescents.
- A dentist specializing in endodontics is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of pulp and root canal diseases (many general dentists also treat root canals).
- A prosthetic dentist specializes in the installation of crowns, bridges, and dentures.
- Dental pathologists diagnose oral diseases with laboratory tests. This doctor can act as a forensic expert.
- The maxillofacial surgeon performs surgical procedures, for example, removal of a cyst, tumor, or tooth. He can perform surgical correction of fractures or other diseases, for example, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). He also uses techniques used in plastic surgery to cosmetically treat jaw and face abnormalities.
- An orthodontist corrects malocclusion using braces and other orthodontic constructions to align and move the teeth to the correct position.
- A periodontist specializes in the treatment of periodontal disease.
How to become a practicing dentist
In the USA dentists have indicators after their names D.D.S (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine). The type of indicators depends on the medical institute that a particular doctor graduated from. The requirements for each of these degrees are identical. These are four years of postgraduate studies for general dentistry, and also two additional years of study for specialization. Upon graduation, the graduate doctor must pass a licensing exam at the place of residence. The successful completion of this exam gives an opportunity to practice dentistry.