In the same way we choose our physician, we should also carefully select our dentist. I don’t know about you but like my physician, my dentist has to be someone I feel comfortable with. I mean, he or she will be all up in my mouth scraping, moving, and fixing. It’s very personal, and along with the right qualifications, it is a necessity for me to feel relax. So, in order to have a suitable dentist, get the names of two or three dentists from friends or relatives and have a preliminary visit with each. Once you have chosen a dentist, you can evaluate the dental care you receive on the basis of the following guidelines:
Checkups. A good dentist will suggest that you come in at least once per year for a checkup and will probably recommend twice yearly visits depending on your oral status. These visits give your dentist a chance to discover oral problems early, and in the long run will save your time, money and teeth.
Fillings. Fillings should stay in place for at least twelve years. If they fall out sooner, a new dentist may be warranted. Beware of the temporary filling; they are used occasionally for specific problems. If your dentist always uses them, get a new dentist. Tooth enamel is the second hardest substance in the world – diamonds are first; both are precious. Also, if your dentist tells you your caries are due to soft teeth – like I was told some years ago, find another dentist. He or she is not cognizant of what he or she is doing.
Extractions. If your dentist suggests pulling your teeth, find out why; and like surgery, you should also get a second opinion. Unless it is your wisdom tooth, the missing tooth will have to be replaced by a false tooth to keep other teeth from shifting and loosening. Although an extraction may seem to cost less than extensive dental work, it is cheaper to save your teeth if there is any chance it can be saved. No replacement does the job quite like your own original teeth.
Prosthetics. Over the past few decades, there has been a movement by denture makers to have people come directly to them for fittings. Few dentists make these prostheses, and the ones who do not will send the order out to these specialists. You will however be charged for the office visits for fitting, and also a mark-up price on the denture.
There are so many dental options available to us today – thanks to our technological advancement; and although most are very costly, it is a priceless gift to give ourselves a fresh, clean mouth topped with a beautiful smile.