Here at The Addison Dentist, we think it’s important for patients in the Dallas area to know the right way to choose a dentist, whether you’re choosing a cosmetic dentist or a family dentist. Although it may seem easy to just pick a name out of the phone book, Dr. Rao has some recommendations that can make the selection process more effective for you. Since you and your dentist will become long term partners in the quest for a beautiful smile and excellent oral health, it’s best you know a thing or two about this dental professional.
Dr. Rao suggests calling an office and asking these questions:
1. What continuing education has the dentist taken in the last 12 months? Your dentist of choice should be keeping up with all of the newest developments in technology, diagnosis, and treatment.
2. How long will it take to perform my initial examination? A thorough dentist will set aside at least an hour or more to do a complete exam and consultation.
3. What is included in my initial exam? You should want a thorough, effective exam that will protect you and your long-term health. These things include:
a. A check of all your teeth for decay including the current condition of any existing restorations.
b. A full series of X-rays rather that just four “bite-wings” if the total condition of your dental health is being evaluated thoroughly.
c. A complete and thorough check of the health of your gums with a periodontal probe.
d. A check of your bite should be made to determine how your teeth come together.
e. There should be an oral cancer exam to check for any signs of oral cancer.
4. Ask when the dental team went through Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance training. OSHA has very clear guidelines for dental offices to follow in order to maintain the highest standard of sterilization and infection control.
Other things Dr. Rao recommends making a mental note of:
1. Is the reception area tidy, organized, neat, and clean?
2. Are you seen on time? It may not be realistic to expect the dental practice to be right on schedule all the time, but it is realistic to expect to be told within 10 minutes of your arrival if there will be a time delay.
3. Is the restroom near the reception area neat and clean?
4. Are the doctor and the members of the dental team good examples of proper dental health and hygiene? Do they have attractive smiles?
The above suggestions are just some of the things you can ask and observe in order to make the right choice of a dentist who will serve you and your needs the best. Take the time to ask the right questions so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you are in the best hands for what you want for the long-term health of your mouth and your smile.