Finding a qualified dentist is easy – just let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages or Google dentists in your area. But finding a dentist that you are comfortable with takes a little more work.
Before even starting your search, ask yourself some questions:
Do you prefer a male or female dentist?
Sex matters to many people when they choose a health care professional, and dentists are no exception, probably because of the personal nature of dental care. Sometimes, there is some embarrassment involved when going to see the dentist for the first time in awhile and you might be more self conscious with a man or woman as your practitioner.
Do you want a DDS or DMD?
Believe it or not, this makes no difference at all and should not be a factor in choosing a dentist. Both DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) mean the same thing, that the dentist has a four year undergraduate degree plus three years of dental school. The type of degree is decided by the college or university.
What you may want to look at instead is whether the dentist went to an accredited school, and how much actual experience he has.
Do you require sedation?
Some people have so much anxiety about going to the dentist that they sometimes cannot go through with the smallest procedure. If so, you need a dentist who offers sedation dentistry, and not all offer nitrous oxide or other methods.
Do you need a dentist with a specialty?
Do you have special needs that require a specialist such as a periodontist, orthodontist or pediatric or cosmetic dentist? Are you disabled? These are all important considerations.
Do you feel comfortable with your dentist?
After your first meeting, you should have a sense of whether you liked or disliked your dental professional. How was his chair side manner? Was he welcoming and accommodating or businesslike and hurried? What about the staff, did you find them friendly and helpful?
Posted on behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
Finding the right dentist can be a lot like choosing a mate. If you take your time to find the right one who is really compatible with you, it can result in a long-lasting, even lifelong, relationship. To help you in the selection process, here are five questions to keep in mind:
1. What kind of dentist do you need?
You may notice in your local listings that some dentists names are followed by the initials DDS, which stands for doctor of dental surgery, and some by the initials DMD, which stands for doctor of dental medicine. The truth is, there is no real difference, other than semantics, between the two. It all depends on where they obtained their degree.
Most dentists, however, specialize. There are cosmetic dentists, family dentists, pediatric dentists, periodontists and orthodonists. Make sure when you are shopping for a dentist, you look for one who can accommodate your specific needs.
2. Does the dentist accept your insurance?
If you have some sort of dental or Medicaid that covers dental visits, make sure your dentist accepts the insurance. This can narrow your choices considerably.
3. What kind of credentials does the dentist have?
Just as you would want to know the background of a person you are dating, you want to find out as much as you can about a dentist you might choose. Where did they go to school? How long have they been practicing? Do they referrals you could call?
4. Is the office friendly and professional?
Visit the dentist’s office for a consultation. Is the office clean and neat? Is the staff friendly? Does the dentist do the cleanings or is there a dental hygienist who does them? Do you feel comfortable when you are there?
5. Is the office convenient?
Where is the dentist’s office located and is it convenient to either your home or office? If it is far away or had to get to in a rush hour emergency, you might want to think twice.
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