Selecting the Right Dentist Selecting the right dentist for you and your family is an important decision. You need someone you can be comfortable around and who is properly trained for the procedure you require too. The question is, how do you know if you’ve found the dentist who’s right for you? Consider the following key points: Qualifications
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Doctors of dental medicine (DMD) and doctors of dental surgery (DDS) are both qualified dentists. These degrees are equivalents of each other, meaning the dentists both finished at least two years of pre-dental college work, and another four years of dental school. To earn their license, the two must pass national and state exams too.
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Specializations Dentists can also be board-certified as specialists in particular recognized fields of dentistry, such as oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics (jaw and tooth alignment issues) and endodontics (root canal therapy), among several others. This requires at least two additional years of advanced schooling and training. Hygienists Routine cleanings are typically handled by dental hygienists or assistants. The hygienist will either have an RDH (Registered Dental Hygienist) or RDHEF (Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions) designation. A dentist may perform a procedure with the help of a dental assistant, who also does other tasks like setting up anesthesia, taking x-rays and other things related. What You Should Know When you come to visit a new dentist, don’t be shy and ask questions. Know how many years the office has been in operation. Inquire about their training and experience with the particular type of procedure you want. Find out if they belong to any professional dental societies or associations and whether or not they are updated on the most recent dental procedures and technological developments. You should also find out about the type of emergency care they provide, like weekend, same-day and evening appointments. It is essential that you have a good grasp of any diagnosed and required treatment, so do ask for more information and don’t schedule treatment until you have understood everything. Costs While you should not pick your dentist based solely on price, it’s a must that you know the fees before you agree to treatment. If you have dental insurance but are unsure about what it covers and what you have to pay out-of-pocket, the staff should be happy to provide clarification. Remember, however, that it’s better to have dental work done right the first time for a slightly higher price, than to receive inferior work that is initially cheap, but will bring discomfort or require replacement in a very short time. There are usually many different treatment options for the same dental problem. Missing teeth, for instance, may be replaced bridges, implants or dentures. Which option is right for you should be a joint decision between you and your dentist.