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
Sedation dentistry is a relatively recent development in dentistry that offers painless, anxiety free dental care for patients who cannot tolerate traditional dental techniques. However, many misconceptions exist about sedation dentistry that may be unnecessarily keeping some patients from getting the dental care they need.
For example, not all sedation dentistry is the same. There are many different levels of sedation from very mild oral sedatives and nitrous oxide to full, unconscious sedation under general anesthesia and everything in between. Most dentists only offer conscious sedation which may or may not include intravenous sedation.
Dentistry under general anesthesia is a highly specialized area of dentistry practiced by relatively few dentists. Fortunately, most patients can have comfortable dental care with conscious sedation.
One effect of most sedatives is that the patient has little or no memory of the procedure after the sedative wears off. This leads patients to believe that they were unconscious during sedation but except for dentistry under general anesthesia, the patient is always conscious and able to respond to commands and answer questions. Sometimes the patient is so relaxed that they will nod off, but they can be awoken at any time while under sedation.
Some patients avoid sedation dentistry due to the initial increased cost. In the long run, sedation dentistry may actually save money. With sedation dentistry, patients are less inclined to put off necessary dental care. This saves money since the sooner the procedure is completed, the less damage there will have been to the tooth and the less expensive the treatment will be. Putting off dental care will result in more extensive and more expensive dental care in the future.
In addition, sedation dentistry can save money by allowing several procedures to be completed in a single visit. By completing treatments in a single visit that would have taken two or three visits, the cost of sedation dentistry may even be less than traditional dentistry.
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