Safety First

Examine Those Who Examine You

Is Your Dentist the Right Fit?

Seeing a new dentist can be an intimidating experience. You are not familiar with the office, the doctor or the procedures. When it’s time for your initial exam and meeting, just as it’s the dentist’s opportunity to examine you, it’s also your chance to examine them.

Here is what you can expect from a typical first dental examination.

  • Review of your health history
  • Conversation of previous and current dental issues
  • An oral health assessment
  • Head and neck exam
  • Clinical photographs
  • X-rays
  • Possible impressions

Now, the word “dentist” does not always equate to honest, ethical and responsible. These are all qualities that should come with the territory and to much disappointment, that isn’t always the case. When evaluating a new office, trust and understanding are essential, take a look around, be observant. Be discriminating. Don’t assume both you and the dentist have the same ideas or feeling about dental disease. This is your chance to be the examiner; here are some basic suggestions for information you should seek out:

  • How long they have been in practice
  • Where they received their education
  • Is the hygienist or the doctor doing the cleanings
  • How long the staff has been there
  • Are they are affiliated with any dental organizations
  • Apparent health and safety violations
  • The current dental license status
  • Any previous disciplinary action filed with your state dental association or your State Board of Dental Examiners

All these suggestions have relevance when evaluating if this is the place for you. If the staff is constantly changing over, wonder why. If the dentist doesn’t belong to any dental organizations, are they not supporters of organized dentistry. If dental training was received across seas, does the standard of care differ from what you would like? If the dentist is doing the cleanings, can they not afford a dental hygienist?

This type of assessment will help enable you to determine whether the office and doctor is acceptable or unacceptable by your standards. But most importantly, don’t forget to use your intuition! If you don’t feel comfortable, then that’s enough. Remember, you don’t have to know everything about dental disease and treatment; you just have to know enough information about the doctor, what he believes in and the practice to establish security, trust and understanding.

Get a Second Opinion, No Stress

The dental office is always a nerve racking place. We go because we want to stay healthy and keep our teeth. It is less nerve racking when you have a good relationship with your doctor and office staff. But what do you do if that relationship and history hasn’t been established? Do you go forward […]

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What is Your Dental Hygienist Doing?

In the face of growing dental technology it’s important not to get caught up with wow factors, gimmicks, or the latest trends when it comes to cleanings. A good hygienists’ primary goal is to help preserve the health of your mouth despite the neat-o tools available. Not that the latest and greatest isn’t out there, […]

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