When picking a dentist, you have numerous factors to consider. This is because your teeth need proper care and attention to stay healthy. Therefore, you need a dental expert willing to put in the effort and time to help you keep your teeth healthy. But how do you choose the right dentist?
According to the American Dental Association, in 2022, more than 200,000 dentists were professionally practicing in the US. Narrowing these stats further, if you live In the Southeastern region of the US, in the state of Georgia, in the cozy city of Savannah, you have more than hundreds of dentists to pick from; so where do you start?
On top of your head, you may consider factors like technique, method, and experience, but these alone are not enough. Hence, for your understanding, here’s a comprehensive list of factors you must consider.
1. Location and Cost
You should always go to a dentist located in your area, even if it means paying a little more. Dental procedures can quickly become expensive, especially if you need extensive work done. Most of the time, the prices of dental procedures do not vary that much within a city, so you are not likely to save much money by traveling to a different dentist. Additionally, it is more convenient to go to a dentist who is close to home.
For instance, if you live in Savannah, Georgia, and you’re going for a costly treatment like getting your teeth replaced, the entire procedure, along with additional work to prepare your jaw, can cost about $4 ,800 per implant. And most of the Savannah dental care services would be working on this price or close to it. So, instead of traveling far to get your teeth looked at, work with dental experts close to you.
2. Work Timings
Getting an appointment is not easy. Dentists, unlike doctors, work fixed hours throughout the week. If you’re working a traditional nine-to-five job, you may find it difficult to attend your appointments. Not to mention, even if you do get time to get off from work, there’s a high chance you may get stuck in traffic, which can eventually cost your appointment. Traffic in Savannah is heaviest from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.
Given your busy schedule, you may want to look for dentists who are willing to sit after five p.m. or work the weekends, allowing you ample space to attend.
3. Education and Training
When choosing a dentist, it is important to consider their education and training.
- Ensure your dentist has a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree from an accredited dental school.
- They should also have passed the necessary exams to become licensed to practice dentistry.
- If you have any specific dental needs, such as braces or implants, you may want to find a dentist specializing in that area.
- Moreover, some dentists are board-certified in a particular area of dentistry, such as orthodontics or oral and maxillofacial surgery. Board certification indicates that the dentist has met certain education and training standards.
4. Excellent at Explaining Each Treatment
Not everyone is a fan of visiting the dentist. It also doesn’t help that some dental treatments can be painful, and you may feel anxious about getting them. But, a certified professional won’t jump into treating you without explaining what you should expect. Knowing what you’re in for, from the pain you may experience to what the dentist is doing to your teeth, can put your mind at ease.
Likewise, your dentist should give you an overall overview of what procedures your teeth require and guide you through them.
5. Length of Experience
When choosing a dentist, it is important to consider their experience. A dentist with more experience is likely to be more proficient at their job and may be able to handle more complex procedures. However, a new graduate may also be able to provide you with quality care, especially for simple procedures.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a dentist based on experience:
- The type of care you need: If you need complex dental procedures, such as root canals or crowns, you may want to choose a dentist with more experience.
- Your comfort level: Some people feel more comfortable with a dentist who has been practicing for many years. Others are comfortable with a new graduate.
- The cost: New graduates may charge less than experienced dentists.
6. Know the Types of Technology Used
Disruptive technology has entered every sector, including dentistry. These technical advancements have made practicing dentistry much more easy. Therefore, choose a professional familiar with the latest dental technology when picking a dental expert. Old-school methods are not only redundant but also time-consuming. For example, there was a time when dentists had to use molds to get an impression of your mouth. Mold impressions are incredibly uncomfortable and can make you gag heavily.
Furthermore, they can also give a faulty impression and are prone to severe errors, making them a flawed tool in dentistry. For this reason, intraoral scanners have replaced these molds. So, instead of fitting a mold in your mouth, all dentists need to do is scan your oral cavity, and they get the perfect image of your mouth within seconds.
Other technical devices include laser detection, digital radiography, and tele dentistry. Even if your dentist doesn’t have all the advanced tools, they should have most of them.
Getting your teeth inspected and examined can be expensive and stressful. When choosing a dentist, pick an expert who can seamlessly cater to your needs without adding to your anxiety. Therefore, as you curate a list of qualities your dentist should have, pick a professional with substantial credentials, expertise, and training necessary for your cases.
Additionally, go for a professional located close to you for your convenience. These are some of the factors that should help you pick the right dentist.