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Evaluating Your Dental Care: How to Find a Suitable Dentist

by on November 7, 2011 >> 21 Comments
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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.

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21 Responses to Evaluating Your Dental Care: How to Find a Suitable Dentist

  1. Katherine on November 29, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I do not have a phobia per say, but I am still very skeptical about who goes in my mouth. I have not switched dentists in years, and unless something drastic happens, I do not intend on changing her. I feel relax, and most importantly, I trust her. If I have to in the future, I will be very selective. I mean, it’s very up close and personal – just want to be sure.

    • Marie on November 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      As you should be Katherine, it is a very close and personal procedure, and the least we can do is try to be comfortable while it is being done. It also matters that there is someone keeping track of what we need and passing on the information to us as needed. Hats off to all our physicians and dentists!

      Thanks for contributing!
      Marie recently posted..Evaluating Your Medical Care: How to Find a Suitable Physician My Profile

  2. Paul on November 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I am so scared to let the dentist anywhere near my mouth. It’s really, really bad! I have been seeing the same dentist for almost five years and I still get heart palpitation every time I go on my appointments. It is really kinda embarrassing for a man to be like this, but the dentist and his assistant never showed any disgust. I guess they are use to me by now.

    • Marie on November 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      You are who you are Paul, and that is an individual. We all react differently to different situations and things.

      It is awesome that your dentist and his assistant are being professional and understanding about your fears. I have seen a few unprofessional, thoughtless dentists in operation and it is very unfortunate.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Marie recently posted..Evaluating Your Medical Care: How to Find a Suitable Physician My Profile

  3. Cindy on December 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Nice advice here. The relationship between the dentist and the patient is very personal. Just like with the physician, this relationship is based on trust. I won’t let somebody work in my mouth who I don’t trust. That’s why we don’t change our dentists often. There are significant differences in the prices, but the first aspect should be always the trust.
    Cindy recently posted..Toothache home remedies and natural curesMy Profile

  4. Dentist Bradford on December 23, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Great Blog!! That was amazing. Your thought processing is wonderful. The way you recommend finding and establishing a dentist is awesome. If great dental care and service is important, then doing everything to make each experience as pleasant as possible, must be done. You are really a master.

    • Marie on December 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

      Thank you, Dentist Bradford.

      Getting our dental treatments can sometimes be uncomfortable, the least we can do is ensure what we can, which is placing our oral health in the hands of a caring dentist.
      Marie recently posted..Common Sense Tips That Could Save Your LifeMy Profile

  5. Dr Pauley on February 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Very nice overview of how to evaluate your dentist and your dentistry work. There are two things that I suggest you ask or observe about your dental care. First, does your dentist offer any type of guarantee for their work. We guarantee all of our major work for 5 years without any conditions except that it has to have been paid for completely and that in those situations where we recommended a protective night guard that one was obtained. Second, make sure that your dentist is using high quality modern equipment, including intra-oral cameras and digital x-rays. Intra-oral cameras will allow both the dentist and the patient to see problem areas such as cracks on a tooth not visible to naked eye. Lastly, I agree that for any extraction always get a second opinion.
    Dr Pauley recently posted..Bellevue Dentist Discusses Diet CandyMy Profile

    • Marie on March 6, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      Dr. Pauley, those are absolutely two things to consider when evaluating a dentist: the financial and technical-efficiency aspects.

      Thanks for your thought-provoking addition. We are here to inform.
      Marie recently posted..Personal Grooming: How to Care for Your Body CapapieMy Profile

  6. Dylan @ Fort Collins Dental Treatments on February 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I agree with the points you mentioned. Having a trusted dentist is a very personalized thing hence; proper time should be given in choosing the best that suits your need and comfort.

  7. Debby Dental on March 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you but it would be nice if there were ways of evaluating a dentist BEFORE your first visit. Once you go…they suck you in for a second and third visit right away.

    • Marie on March 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Debby, you could check, to a certain extent, on each dentist background and what others are saying about them, but a one on one experience will reveal so much more and should be done eventually.

      It is worth the effort! Don’t allow them to suck you in, they will try because that is their job – to enlist as many clients as they can.
      Marie recently posted..Personal Grooming: How to Care for Your Body CapapieMy Profile

      • Debby Dental on March 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Fair enough… thanks for the reply

  8. Sergiu on March 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    You can also find out if a dentist is good or bad from friends, family, people from work, etc. just keep asking people and in the end you will find a good one.

    • Marie on March 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Like they always say, Sergiu, “word of mouth” is the best recommendation and yields the most returns. It surely would help to ask.

      Thanks for contributing :)
      Marie recently posted..How to Count Calories: The Easy WayMy Profile

  9. Dentist Preston on April 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    A good enough reason for taking the time to find a good dental practice is always having to pay too much for your dental care. The opportunity should be used to evaluate your dentist and decide if you want to remain there, or continue searching for a suitable one.

    • Marie on May 15, 2012 at 10:42 am

      We all enjoy paying less for more, so that is of course a very good reason. We also need to feel at ease with our dentist knowing he/she knows what he/she is doing, and will give us favorable results.

      Thanks for your input.
      Marie recently posted..The Importance of Fiber in Your DietMy Profile

  10. Stephen @ Crest 3D whitestrips on May 14, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Many thanks for sharing such useful tips, I thought of whitening my teeth by my family dentist a few years ago to remove the stains which have been caused due to the usage of tobacco, alas! He refused to whiten my teeth and told me that “until and unless you give up the habit of smoking tobacco I am not going to do anything for your teeth”.

    • Marie on May 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Stephen, I guess it is not all about the money for your dentist. He seems to be concerned about your health, which is a good sign in a dentist. Tobacco does really discolor teeth, and whitening your teeth while using tobacco, may actually cause more damage to your enamel.

      Thanks for sharing.
      Marie recently posted..The Importance of Fiber in Your DietMy Profile

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