How do I Choose the Best Dentist?
- A. Vandiveer Strait, BA, DDS, FAGD
By BEST I assume you mean a dentist who is dedicated to providing the best care possible, the most effective preventive care, a dentist who will help you to stay healthy and improves or maintains your smile, and the dentist that in the long run which will actually cost you less because the care he provides lasts indefinitely and prevents new problems.
HERE ARE 8 THINGS YOU CAN NOTICE BY THE TIME YOU HAVE 1 OR 2 APPOINTMENTS THAT ARE INDICATORS OF A GOOD DENTIST:
- Your initial appointment is for about an hour to an hour and a half and does NOT include a “cleaning” (Exception is when your first appointment is a new patient special which may include a cleaning)
- You notice the reception area is comfortable and attractive and does not have room for a lot of patients (otherwise it is a waiting room).
- The history and examination are in depth and very thorough and include at a minimum: a. Your past medical and dental history and overall experience., b. a clinical examination that includes your teeth, your bite, your gums, all your soft tissues including your tongue, tonsillar area and throat, your neck including the thyroid and lymph glands, the TMJ/ temperomandibular joint, and the muscles and ligaments involved in chewing., c. a cosmetic evaluation, d. a periodontal charting of the crevice depths around your teeth., e. a oral cancer screening., f. a complete set of x-rays (normally 16 to 18)., g. photos of your mouth and teeth., and h. models of your teeth if your are missing any teeth or if there are bite or TMJ issues.
- You have a separate consultation appointment which should be at least 30 minutes and this may be coupled with your first oral hygiene visit/ cleaning or some preventive procedure or instruction.
- At the consultation the dentist explains to you what he has found and emphasizes what can be done to prevent future dental disease and problems as well as what can be done (with alternatives) to correct any problem or concern you have.
- All treatment recommendations are explained to you in detail and this along with fees are put in writing and given to you.
- On your first oral hygiene/ cleaning visit the dental hygienist spends over an hour with you (normally one hour and 20 minutes on average).
- Nothing the dentist does or the hygienist does is painful.
For more information about your dental health and about what has been covered in this article please read more of my articles; see our YouTube channel directly or via our website; or call our office - Wilton Dental Associates 203-761-0223