By Michael Russell
Most of us dread the thought of going to the dentist for a check up. Sometimes we choose to endure the pain rather than see our dentist. For some of us, even the "smell" of a dental clinic can render unnecessary apprehension. These reactions are probably caused by a prior bad experience or ungrounded fear of dental procedures. Finding a good dentist is important in order to minimize these fears and anxieties but how will you know if your dentist is a good dentist? Most of us usually stay with the dentist our family had for years not even realizing that we have a lot of options if we know how to spot a good dentist from a bad one. Do you know if you are adequately treated? You probably don't since this is not always obvious.
How do you choose your dentist? Dentists should possess the necessary technical skills. You may not be able to judge a dentist's acumen precisely but often you can distinguish between good dentistry from bad. A good dentist pauses occasionally during a lengthy dental procedure like probing or drilling. This will give you some time to relax and rest your jaw. After any dental work done, you should check the following and see if your dentist has done a good job.
Your gums should not bleed and you should feel your bite sliding back to its natural occlusion.
If you had your teeth filled, no fillings should catch your tongue, interfere when you floss or trap food particles and plaque.
A well done silver filling should last at least 10 years depending on the its size and location while crowns and bridges should last even longer. A dentist who performs temporary fillings one after the other rather than directly doing permanent restoration is probably treating more patients than he can actually accommodate. This also means that he doesn't have enough time to focus particularly on your problems or it could also mean the more you come back for a treatment the more income this will generate for him.
Your dentist should discuss options with you. Dentistry presents more alternative treatments compared with medicine. A single affected tooth can be provided with not just one form of dental treatment but with various possible cures. Your dentist should be able to discuss the different options with you. Additionally, your dentist should be concerned about your limits. Different individuals have different tolerance level to pain and he should be able to address that concern properly with adequate anesthetic or sedative if deemed necessary. If you are concerned of how much you are going to spend on the dental work, you should ask your dentist and never hesitate to request from him a written estimate of the proposed dental treatment. This should include the estimated cost and length of time the procedure will take. After the completion of the dental treatment he should be able to furnish you with an itemized bill.
Some dentists can be overzealous to the point of being annoying. Be aware that sometimes these types of practitioners are probably doing suspicious practices. It will be wise to start looking for a new dentist if your dentist does the following:
Persuades you to have all your silver amalgam fillings replaced in order to protect you from the hazards of mercury vapors released by the amalgam fillings when you chew your food. A lot of evidence shows that amalgam fillings are relatively safe to use.
Wants to install crowns on several teeth that are not even necessary. You should seek a second opinion if you doubt about his proposal.
Makes you worry about your appearance so that he can propose to you some cosmetic dental procedures.
Finding a good dentist who can provide you with adequate care and services and one who deserves your trust is easy if you know what to look for.
Your Independent Dental Guide