Does Your Dentist Have The “Know How?”

Posted on October 30, 2012


When patients call the dentist to schedule an appointment, they generally want two questions answered: “How much is it going to cost,” and “will it hurt”?

Truly the art of rendering care has primarily to do with those two factors; but in certain cases money and pain do not figure in as a primary issue in the delivery of quality care.  Take for example the patient who is able and willing to spend thousands of dollars to achieve the look and feel that comes with a healthy dentition and beautiful smile. Full mouth reconstruction requires numerous interdisciplinary skills and experience.

All too often patients inadequately research the dentist they choose for comprehensive make over. A good measure for patients to take is to do online research and check to see what organizations the dentist is associated with. Patients should not be fooled by marketing terms and trendy slogans, but instead patients should utilize their tools and resources (i.e. National Dental Association) to ask questions about the background of the dentist. Few practitioners have additional certifications (i.e. training and testing) in a variety of categories that qualify them to be competent to perform comprehensive reconstruction.

In today’s field of dentistry patients quite often have to be shuffled between specialists and general dentists to achieve their desired outcome, a balanced bite, and beautiful smile. Today’s concept of “Team Dentistry” has been propagated for the last 20-30 years. This has led to fewer numbers of comprehensive care practitioners in the marketplace; I take exception to this team concept. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for dental specialties; however, patients considering a complete makeover need to have a general dentist (who has spent the time and money on additional training) in charge of managing their condition.Certification in a particular discipline is additional, and signifies that the dentist has academically achieved a certain status within the profession.

In my opinion people should ask around, research, and find out if the dentist they are choosing belongs to organized dentistry.
— Dr. Zeb F. Poindexter III

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