Unfortunately, even if all dentists need to meet seemingly similar requirements to pass their board exams, there is still a difference across dental schools and also across generations. Not every dental school has the same curriculum or requirements for graduation, nor even the same emphasis in their education programs. Another aspect that can constitute a big difference is the ethical standpoint of each dentist which may drive decision making throughout every step of a case. Beyond the basic training in order to gain competency it is essential that a dentist get post-doctoral training. For a dentist to become excellent he needs many hundreds of hours of additional education and training and to be the best he needs cross training in every area of dentistry. This is because everything in the mouth is interrelated and anything that effects one structure or one part of the mouth often will cause or set up problems from some other part or aspect of the health the mouth. For an example: if a person has “gum recession”, that person now has less bone support of the teeth affected and parts of the roots of the teeth are exposed to the mouth. Because the roots are softer the person is much more likely to have decay,
erosion, or wear of this exposed part of the tooth. Because there is less support the teeth may shift, which can cause the bite to change, which in turn may cause a TMJ problem. So here we start with “gum recession” and may end up with decay, erosion, or a TMJ problem. This is why it is so important for the best care and the best preventive dentistry to go to a dentist who has extensive training and experience in as many aspects of dental care and health as possible.