Critical Questions for Screening Dentists

Everything You Should Ask Before You Climb In the Chair

If you care about your teeth and having a healthy smile, then choosing a great dentist is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. The truth is, dental school alone does not prepare anyone to be a terrific dentist. To be a great dentist it takes years of practice, hours upon hours of continuing education, and enough sense to listen to and learn from your patients. Below I will discuss some of the most important qualities of a superb dentist so that you can use my advice to judge for yourself which dentist is right for you and your specific needs.

The first thing to consider is how much experience the dentist has. How many patients has he or she successfully helped with a problem similar to yours? What kind of results did he or she achieve? Can you be sure that you’ll get the same positive experience? Many people overlook these questions, and although we were all rookies at one time or another, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable trusting your oral health to a veteran dentist with lots of experience under his belt.

Specialization and expertise are crucial issues to ask your dentist about. No one can claim to be an expert in everything, and you would go crazy seeing one dentist for your braces, one for whitening, another for your gum disease, and yet another for your regular cleanings. Your ideal dentist should be able to provide multi-disciplinary treatment in one location. Ask your dentist upfront what areas he or she specializes in, so that you can be sure you’ll get comprehensive dental care for all of your individual needs.

Your best bet for finding a dentist with real expertise in a number of areas is to look at what kind of continuing education he or she has completed recently. Does the dentist hold any fellowships or special credentials? Are they keeping up with new techniques or participating in modern research? Dentistry is an ever-changing field of medicine, so it’s important to choose a dentist who really knows what’s going on in terms of technological advances.

Finally, if you aren’t comfortable talking to your dentist about your problems, fears, and apprehensions, then you need to see another dentist. Being a great dentist is not just about getting the job done – it’s about making you feel comfortable and respected. Try to find a dentist that doesn’t just see you as another set of teeth, but as a valued patient who deserves gentle, personable care. Simply put, if someone is going to stick sharp objects in your mouth, you probably want to have a pretty comfortable relationship with them.

Now that you’ve received an insider’s perspective on the world of dentistry, you know the most important criteria for choosing a dentist that meets your needs and can get you the dazzling smile you’ve been dreaming of! Just be sure to shop around, don’t settle until you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for – an excellent dentist!

If you do decide that my practice can best serve your dental needs, feel free to schedule an appointment today by clicking here.

Next week we’ll go over what to do in case of a dental emergency (e.g. broken or missing teeth, excessive bleeding, extreme pain, etc.). Many people suffer trauma and do not know that they should see a dentist. Eventually, the damage created by trauma worsens and leads to costly dental problems. Check back in one week for information on what to do if you or a loved one suffers dental trauma.

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