Choosing the right dentist isn’t easy, especially when you’re looking for someone to perform a particular treatment. But there are four things you can do to find a practitioner who really knows what they’re doing:
- Check out the dentist’s qualifications
- Review their certifications
- Prepare a list of questions to ask a prospective dentist
- Meet with the dentist
Strategies for Choosing a Dentist
If you’re looking for a general dentist to provide regular checkups and preventative care, it’s often a good idea to ask a friend. After all, it’s someone you know and trust, and they wouldn’t have any reason to give you bad information.
There are also online services that rate businesses. For example, Yelp is a great place to start. They’ll have a list of dentists in your area with reviews from real patients.
You can also consult resources such as WebMd and the American Dental Association that feature customer ratings and other essential information about potential providers.
When you’re looking for someone to perform a particular service such as providing dental implants, you’ll want to dig a lot deeper than this in order to get the best possible care.
There are ten areas of specialization that are officially recognized by the National Commission on Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards:
- Dental Anesthesiology
- Dental Public Health
- Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
- Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
- Orthodontics and Dental Orthopedics
- Pediatric Dentistry
If you’re looking for a dentist with expertise in any of these areas, you can check to see if they have the appropriate training. If a dentist is certified in one of these specialty areas, that means they’ve received an additional two years of specialty training in addition to fulfilling requirements determined by an official certifying agency.
Check Out Your Dentist’s Qualifications
There are a number of services dentists offer such as laser-assisted therapy or sleep apnea care that aren’t officially recognized as dental specialties. Despite not being categorized as specialties, these services certainly require a great degree of expertise to be performed safely and correctly.
Dental implants, for example, call for a skilled and experienced dentist to place them properly. Dental implant surgery is a high-precision procedure that should only be performed by a dentist who knows what they’re doing.
Fortunately, there’s professional training that dentists can engage in to learn the best practices and techniques for placing dental implants. One dentist who’s made the most of these professional resources is Dr. Richard Robinette.
Dr. Robinette is a firm believer in continuing education for dentists. He’s completed over 700 hours of training since 2008, including courses at the prestigious Misch International Implant Institute where they offer comprehensive, literature-based dental implant curricula.
The Importance of Certification
Many dentists are now providing sleep apnea care. This makes sense because dentists have extensive knowledge of the airway. This is the region of the body where the obstruction that causes the patient to stop breathing will occur.
Sleep apnea treatment is not one of the ten specialties officially recognized by the National Commission on Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. But if you’re suffering from this serious medical condition, you’ll definitely want to see a practitioner with the appropriate qualifications.
One way to find out if a dentist has the necessary training to provide effective sleep apnea care is to ask what type of certification they’ve achieved. An example of a well-qualified sleep apnea dentist is Dr. Steven C. Greenman.
Dr. Greenman is certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. This is the highest level of certification the governing body can bestow. In order to be recognized as a Diplomate, Dr. Greenman had to pass a rigorous exam and present documentation on case studies of sleep apnea patients that he’s treated successfully.
Get Your Questions Ready
As soon as you find a dentist with the right qualifications to do the job, you’ll want to meet with them to make sure you’re comfortable having them as a provider. You can also research the service you’re interested in and have some questions ready to ask your dentist. There are several informative websites that can assist you in your investigation such as Colgate Oral Care Center.
Dr. Mark Rangel uses laser-assisted dentistry to treat a wide range of dental issues including cavities and gum disease. He says, “the biggest benefit of laser dentistry” is that “it can reduce pain and minimize the use of anesthetics.”
Dr. Rangel really appreciates it when his patients do their homework in advance of meeting him for a consultation. This helps the process go more smoothly and it really demonstrates that the patient is proactive about finding the best dentist.
Getting the Care That’s Right for You
Effective dental care is crucial for maintaining your oral and overall health. You have every right to utilize all the resources at your disposal to find a dentist you’ll be comfortable with.