Whether you’ve just moved or you’re simply tired of your current provider, the choice you make for your dentist can have a very real impact on your life.
We get it. Nobody really likes going to the dentist, but believe it or not – some dental offices near you actually know how to do it right. From treating you like a real person (not just a set of teeth) to maintaining an environment that’s comfortable and professional, one of the biggest factors in loving your dentist is feeling like you’re in good hands. But what else can you look to when it comes to choosing a new dentist in your town.
Qualifications and Specialties
First, you should be aware of your prospective dentist’s qualifications. A qualified dentist is either doctors of dental medicine (DMD) or a doctor of dental surgery (DDS). In the dental world, both degrees are similar and mean that your potential dentist has completed all the necessary schooling a dentist should have, as well as both state and national exams needed to become licensed.
However, qualifications and specialties aren’t quite the same. While every “specialized” dentist is still a dentist, not every dentist is a specialist. Dentists that are also specialists have undergone specific training to offer an even higher level of care and to perform an even wider variety of procedures. Specialties often require at least two or more years of additional schooling and clinical training. They include: pedodontics (pediatric dental care), oral and maxillofacial surgery (wisdom teeth, jaw correct, facial work, etc), endodontics (root canal treatment), restorative dental treatment (bridges, crowns, and dentures), orthodontics (braces), and periodontics (gum treatment).
Many families choose a dentist without considering the specialties they have available and then have to go to an alternate care provider to get the additional services they need. If you’re a family with young children, visiting a dentist experienced with orthodontics and pediatric dentistry can be a major help, while limiting the amount of running around you need to do. On the other end of the spectrum, if you anticipate needing dentures or implants in the near future, it can also help to make sure your future dental team is specialized in that as well.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
Do you get anxiety when it comes to thinking about sitting in the dentist’s chair? Or does the thought of a dentist’s drill send chills up your spine? Don’t feel bad! You’re not alone. For this very reason, sedation dentistry and the techniques behind it have become incredibly popular, and many dentists offer it to ensure that every patient is comfortable and at ease.