Suggestions for Identifying a Top Dentist
What should you look for when you are trying to locate a top dentist who really stands out from the rest? Here are clues that may aid you in your search. You can generally find the following types of information on a dentist’s website, on review sites or by calling the dentist’s office:
Top Dentists Have the Latest Technology
Dental technology has come a very long way in the last 50 years. Top dentists usually have modern technology like digital x-ray equipment, which exposes patients to lower doses of radiation than traditional x-ray machines. Advanced imaging technology also allows dentists to more clearly visualize and customize your treatment plan. This applies to everything from braces to restorative and cosmetic dentistry. It’s more than just what the teeth look like. A top dentist will be able to use the latest software to accurately compute bite forces and direction to assess how your teeth and jaw will function after correction. This means treatment in one area of your mouth is less likely end up causing other problems in other areas.
Top Dentists Are Serious About Continuing Education
Each state has its own standards and for continuing education. For example, dental professionals in Georgia must take 40 hours of CE every 2 years. That’s a few weekend seminars. Look for a dentist who makes a point of blowing this standard out of the water by putting in way more hours per year than required. These are the dentists who are serious about continually improving the quality of their services. They know the newest techniques that have the best outcomes for patients.
Top Dentists Have a Specialization
If you need anything beyond a cleaning, a small filling or a simple extraction, it often pays to choose a specialist. For example, having a periodontist treat your gum disease or trusting a prosthodontist to fit you with a crown may yield better results than going to a general dentist. Of course, even a dentist who isn’t technically a specialist (as defined by the ADA) may have a niche. For example, a “family dentist” may be one with staff members who are well trained to make all patients comfortable – regardless of age.
Top Dentists Have Good Staff Reviews
When you start looking for a top dentist, it’s generally easy to find reviews online. Taking a close look at these can reveal more than just how patients feel about the dentist. Reviews that give glowing reports about the various staff members from dental hygienists to the office manager are a very good sign. In the end, all of these team members play a role in the quality of your dental care. A dentist who is careful to hire professional, experienced, friendly employees is also likely to treat patients well.
Top Dentists Play a Role in the Dental Community
Dental medicine is always evolving. This doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Instead, many dentists who run their own practice often spend their spare time:
- Pioneering new techniques
- Helping develop improved equipment
- Volunteering their services to resolve particularly complex dental cases
- Writing educational articles that are published in dental journals
- Teaching advanced courses at dental universities
- Participating in various research projects
When you find a dentist who is well respected by his or her peers, this is an indication that you have found one of the top dentists in the country.