If the thought of going to the dentist makes you anxious, you are in good company. But your dentist is your partner in oral health. Routine dental checkups and treatment by a dentist can help keep your teeth, mouth and gums healthy and prevent dental disease. And poor oral health can contribute to other health risks including cardiovascular disease. How do you find the best dentist who is right for you? Here are some important factors to keep in mind.
A Personal Decision https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fe4%2F3a%2F67c2391148aeb634a5ab579f27fb%2Fimage-two-women-brushing-their-teeth-and-looking-in-the-mirror.jpg
Get started by creating a list of potential dentists. To do this, ask family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. Take the time to research the dentists’ credentials and experience on Healthgrades.com. As you narrow down your list, call each dentist’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the dentist.
1. Get Referrals https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fab%2F42%2F5044592d4baa83bf17440f49cede%2Fimage-business-woman-talking-on-phone-taking-notes.jpg
Board certification is one of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a dentist. It tells you that the dentist has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide healthcare in general dentistry. Also confirm that the dentist has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can find the dentist’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on Healthgrades.com and state websites.
2. Research the Dentist’s Credentials https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2Fa8%2Ff1%2Fb91cd098432f9cbb368a05c66d2a%2Fimage-man-sitting-on-floor-using-computer-tablet.jpg
When facing an oral health condition, experience matters. The more experience a dentist has with a condition or procedure, the better your results are likely to be. Additional training is essential for dental specialties like orthodontics and endodontics. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the dentist has treated. If you suffer from dental anxiety, ask the dentist about successful approaches he or she has used with other anxious patients. If you know you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the dentist has performed and find out about complication rates—complications the dentist has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.
3. Consider the Dentist’s Experience https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/crop/997x667%2B2%2B0/resize/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F2f%2Ff6%2F55a7048543f99dc57334835ff15b%2Fimage-dentist-examining-patients-teeth.jpg
It’s important to feel comfortable with your dentist’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information. When it comes to certain types of dental care, your own gender is also an important consideration. And dentists are becoming more skilled in caring for women and men differently. Ask the dentist about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender.
Most people don’t typically think of dentists as practicing in a hospital. However, many dentists can treat patients who need complex dental procedures in a hospital setting. So it’s important to consider the quality of care at the hospital where the dentist can treat patients. Hospital quality matters because patients at top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival rates. Additionally, think about whether the hospital’s location is important to you. Should you need to go the hospital for tests or treatment, you want the location to encourage, rather than discourage timely care.
5. Research Hospital Quality https://d33ljpvc0tflz5.cloudfront.net/dims3/MMH/thumbnail/580x388/quality/75/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fd26ua9paks4zq.cloudfront.net%2F65%2F15%2Fe19e137e43bb84e45c37e0db083