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Questions to Ask a Dentist

1. How long have you been practicing dentistry?
Generally, a dentist's experience level should be commensurate with his/her time in practice.

2. What areas of dentistry does your practice cover?
A well rounded, experienced dentist should be trained in the basic areas of general dentistry, that is restorative, periodontics, endodontics and prosthodontics.

3. How accessible are you in the event of a dental emergency?
A good thing to know. There are many dentists who subscribe to a dental HMO or PPO and prefer not to respond to dental emergencies because of the low reimbursement fee.

4. Is this your practice or does someone else own it?
A dentist who is the proprietor, will show more interest in his/her patients and strive to provide a higher quality of care because it reflects directly upon him/her. To put it succinctly, pride in ownership!

5. Does your dentist wear magnification?
In my opinion, every dentist should wear magnification. You can only fix what you can see. The better you can see the more precise you can be!

6. What is your commitment to continuing education, how many hours have you accumulated, and what type of documentation do you have?
Ask what dental organizations the dentist belongs to and how many hours of continuing education he/she has accumulated. Ask to see certificates of training, etc.

7. Do you have before and after photographs of your work?
Very important!  If a dentist takes before and after photos of his/her work it shows his level of conscientiousness and a commitment to quality. It shows that he is proud of what he does.

8. Do you have any patient testimonials?
While patient testimonials may not be the most important, the lack of testimonials could be a negative indicator. Take the time to read some of them.

9. What are the names of the dental labs with whom you work?
I think that this is a great place to get a relatively unbiased opinion of the dentists work. The lab can tell you the quality of the work they receive from the dentist. If you can get an honest answer, this would be an excellent indicator. Of course, you personally need to feel comfortable with the dentist.

10. Has the dentist had any administrative actions taken against him/her?

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