Dentistry is an investment in the future of your family's smiles. And, like any investment, you'll want to do a little research before making a final decision on dental work. These guidelines can help you choose the practitioner who's right for you.
Do you need general dental care, or do you have needs that would be better met by a dental specialist? Consider what you want and need from your dentist. No matter who you choose, make sure the dentist is licensed through the state dental board.
The best dentists didn't just go to dental school; they also completed extensive post-graduate training programs. In addition, the best dentists regularly attend continuing education classes to stay up-to-date on new procedures and materials.
Going in for a consultation is a great way to learn more about a dentist and dental practice. Consultations are generally inexpensive, and are sometimes even offered for free. Talk to the dentist before you commit to anything. Remember, it's your job to make an educated decision.
It's essential that you be able to talk to your dentist - and that your dentist will listen to you! There's a lot of dialogue that needs to go into an individual long-term treatment plan. If you feel bullied, pressured, or rushed, then that's probably not the right dentist for you.
Take a look at the dentist's portfolio before you make up your mind. Pay specific attention to cases that are similar to yours. Make sure that the photos are of actual work done by the dentist, not just stock photos.
Some dentists charge more by marketing themselves as high-end luxury dentists offering cosmetic smile makeovers. Other dentists try to make up for poor materials and shoddy work by offering low prices. Beware the extremes.
Watch out for doctors who promise more than they can deliver. You want a dentist who will tell you what can and cannot be done for your smile. You need to know how long the process will take, what you'll have to do, and any complications that could occur.
Much like other people, dentists get better at things the more they do them. Ideally, your dentist will have lots of experience with dentistry in general and with cases like yours specifically.
Take a look around. What sort of equipment does the practice use? What is their sterilization process? Is it a comfortable atmosphere? Are the employees happy and helpful? Do they take the time to answer your questions?
Unless you have special dental care needs, a general or family dentist will be able to monitor your overall oral health and hygiene. Should you later require the services of a dental specialist, your dentist will be able to refer you to a qualified specialist.
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