If you’ve recently moved to Beaverton City, your family dentist has retired, or you’re not entirely happy with the present level of dental healthcare you’re getting, you’re probably thinking of finding a new dentist. 

While most dental health care providers are ethical, there could be some who recommend unnecessary treatments, get paid to promote certain products, and/or don’t display enough care and compassion.

These are probably the reasons why so many people, including children, dislike visiting their dentist. Just a single bad experience can put you off visiting unless it’s a real emergency. 

That’s why it’s essential to make the right decision and choose the right Beaverton dentist

Who’s A Dentist?

While we use the term “dentist” in a very general sense, there are several different specialties in the field, and professionals who have been educated/trained/licensed in this career may be schooled in one or more of them. Dentists must have a degree (DDS: Doctor of Dental Surgery or DMD: Doctor of Dental Medicine). 

The American Dental Association authorizes examinations by a special board to certify these professionals, and the exams must be conducted only by those who have been recognized by this board. 

There are eight different recognized specialties:

  • Dental Health (Public): to promote public dental health care
  • Endodontics: specialization in root canal therapy
  • Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics: Corrective procedures for facial and tooth-related deformities
  • Periodontics: Gum related treatments
  • Prosthodontics: Licensed to treat oral malfunction through the use of prosthetic devices
  • Pediatric Dentistry: Dental care of children/infants
  • Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery: Surgical procedures conducted on the face, jaw, mouth for the treatment of dental disease/trauma/injury/defects
  • Oral/Maxillofacial Pathology: Related to diagnosis only of tumors, injury, and diseases of the face, head, jaw, neck

Currently, these are the only eight procedures that dentists can be licensed in. 

Looking For A Good Dentist

The best time to look for a dentist is when you don’t need one! That may sound odd, but it gives you the time and flexibility to do your research. It also means that you don’t have to go to the first one you can find when you’re in a crisis or dental emergency. 

1. Get Recommendations: You can check with family, friends, and co-workers about their positive and negative experiences with dentists. Personal feedback from patients is the best way to evaluate a dentist. You can cross-check this information with online and peer reviews. Your GP can also give you useful tips on choosing a dentist.

2. Qualifications: Medical professionals are required to display their qualifications prominently. When you visit a dental clinic, pay attention to these displays, as they can also tell you about the dentist’s areas of specialization. Today, certain fields like cosmetic dentistry are not recognized by the American Dental Association. Still, several dentists do conduct such procedures if they have qualifications in Orthodontics, Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics, etc.

3. Make a Visit: Before you go for a treatment, try and make a personal visit after making an appointment. During the consultation, you can check the dentist’s qualifications, experience, areas of expertise, whether they belong to professional associations, the kind of insurance they accept, etc. This helps you gauge the premises, evaluate them for hygiene and services, and get an idea of the dentist’s knowledge, demeanor, and personality.

4. Accessibility: Choose a dental clinic that’s close to your home or place of work. This is important if you have a hectic work/domestic schedule and small children. It saves you a long commute and helps you to make convenient appointments. Often, people put off visiting their dentist for minor issues because the clinic is just too far away. This can be risky because dental conditions can deteriorate very swiftly, and you could face an emergency if you delay too long. A dental clinic that’s nearby also ensures continuity of care over a longer period. Your children could grow up being cared for by the same dentist who knows your family’s dental history and provides the same level of service every time.

5. Facilities: The field of dentistry has advanced enormously over the years. Currently, there is a huge body of research, intensive use of technology, new products, and modern materials along with several innovations in treatment. Your dentist should stay updated about these new ideas, attend refresher courses and seminars, and stay abreast of these developments. This ensures that you’re receiving state-of-the-art treatment. A visit to the clinic can help you to understand whether staying in sync with current developments is a priority for the team or not. While you’re there, get a feel of the hygiene, cleanliness, and comfort too.

6. How You Feel: Phobias, anxiety, and fears of visiting dentists are products of traumatic experiences at some time in your life. They could go back to stressful experiences at a dentist’s clinic in childhood. The dentist’s personality has a great deal to do with how the experience is perceived. It’s important that you feel comfortable and safe with your dentist and confident that the procedures they recommend are the right ones for your problem. 

Are they qualified to treat your particular problem?

Are they caring, compassionate, friendly, and approachable? 

Do you trust them to do the right thing? 

Are you sure they won’t conduct unnecessary procedures or promote products because they’re being paid to do so? 

Do they show empathy when you’re in pain? 

Do they do enough to reassure you, and do they provide detailed information about the procedures that they recommend? 

Do they respect your views and your need to get a second opinion for serious treatments? 

Do they pressurize you to agree to certain treatments?

Do they discuss fees/charges transparently?

7. Fees: Though you have insurance, not all procedures would be covered in your plan. Talk to your dentist and understand these aspects clearly before you undertake any treatment. Ensure that your dentist’s fees are affordable and that they don’t pad the bill with unnecessary items.  Finding the right dentist could be one of the most important decisions you make because choosing the wrong one can not only endanger your health and appearance; it can set you back financially too. It’s wise to shortlist a few likely candidates and thoroughly convince yourself about their credentials, charges, demeanor, and attention to safety and hygiene. 

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