How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:37 am

beachplum wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
beachplum wrote:I know my dentist is good based on the fact that I continue to go to him. I was traumatized as a child of the 60s from my dentist experience and went through periods during my adult life when I would go years without seeing one. Now I'm back on track thanks to this young man who doesn't recommend doing anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Sometimes I find drs/dentists based on referrals, sometimes on what I've read and then I go see them and see what I think. I also like to read as much as possible about any procedure/ condition I have and what the latest recommendations/options are so I go in with some knowledge.


I hear what you are saying and I realize that you are comfortable with your decision. But, if you really think you know that your dentist is 'good' you are just rationalizing and fooling yourself.


I have all my teeth, no tooth aches, and I've gone for second opinions when needed. Not sure how that equates to fooling myself/rationalizing.


It doesn't. Read what I wrote about more carefully.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:39 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
beachplum wrote:I know my dentist is good based on the fact that I continue to go to him. I was traumatized as a child of the 60s from my dentist experience and went through periods during my adult life when I would go years without seeing one. Now I'm back on track thanks to this young man who doesn't recommend doing anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Sometimes I find drs/dentists based on referrals, sometimes on what I've read and then I go see them and see what I think. I also like to read as much as possible about any procedure/ condition I have and what the latest recommendations/options are so I go in with some knowledge.


I hear what you are saying and I realize that you are comfortable with your decision. But, if you really think you know that your dentist is 'good' you are just rationalizing and fooling yourself.


So then your patients are rationalizing and fooling themselves when they tell others you are a good dentist, right?


EXACTLY! Now yall are beginning to 'get it'. As I've said many times above, patients can't tell if the dentist is good or not.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:49 am

Saving$ wrote:3. Once I needed a root canal. Regular dentist recommended a root canal dentist down the street. I asked who he would go to if he needed one. He gave me the name of a fellow 30+ miles away, warned me he did not have much of a personality, the only other patient he had sent there had left, but said that is where he went for his own 2 root canals and where he sent his wife and dad.


OMG! Was it me?? ;)

Seriously, some of the best world class dentists I have ever been associated with had the personality of a 'wounded rattlesnake'. :)


At the root canal dentist, the patient before me was talking all sorts of technical stuff with the dentist. I remarked that was certainly a knowledgeable patient, and the assistant said the patient was another dentist, and said about 1/3 of their patients are dentists. It was inaccurate to state the root canal dentist did not have much of a personality He had a TERRIBLE one.


Now I'm not 100% sure if it was me or not, but I guess it's possible.


I actually wondered if he is a bit autistic. On the 2nd root canal appointment, I asked what he thought of my dentist. He said he was not the best.


Ok, that for sure, wasn't me. I never told patients that their dentist was 'not the best'. I'd tell my STAFF that the dentist sucked (after a while, they knew before I knew), I'd tell my international buddies (course they could see it for themselves on the images I would post), but I would never tell the patient.
Sometimes I would try to deflect the question and say....'well, Ms Patient, if you aren't pleased with your dentist's result, you may want to get a 2nd opinion from another GP"

4. Once I was out of town and a tooth cracked. Went to a friends dentist, who remarked that whoever had done my recent fillings (my long time dentist) did "really nice work."
[/quote]

I would point out that kinda stuff to the patient. (if I did, indeed, see it) I'd also point out the 'bad' stuff.
Last edited by Jerilynn on Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:52 am

david99 wrote:Last June I went to a dentist that said that I had a cavity --- and this was without an x ray. She also said that other work had to be done. She set up an appointment to have the tooth fixed and do the other work but I didn't go back. So today I went to a different dentist that took x rays and found nothing wrong --- no cavities and he didn't recommend any other procedures.



Typical.

Either the first dentist was overtreating OR the 2nd dentist didn't know how to properly evaluate radiographs.

I wouldn't go to a dentist that is part of chain or franchise ---- I think that management puts pressure on their dentists to find work.


Of course, they do. It's all about.....wait for it.....KA-CHING......$$$.

But what you say is normally a good general rule even though there are a few docs in chains that are really pretty darn good. Note: i said few.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:53 am

Cyclone wrote:With my dentist I got lucky. He taught at a dental school part time. He was moving out-of-state to work full time at another teaching hospital and he sold his practice to a recent graduate, so I am pretty sure he picked out someone good. By the way the new guy's name is "Doctor Payne", so there is a humor factor as well.


Perhaps. But there is no way for you to tell how 'good' he was or how 'lucky' you were.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:54 am

DouglasDoug wrote:As I have a deep suspicion of Financial Advisors, I have deeper suspicions of doctors. So much at stake and a magnet for scammers to be sure. I hate doctor shopping and think consumers are basically unprotected. Good luck!


Docs, FAs, Lawyers, insurance agents, plumbers, car mechanics, etc, etc. One should have a 'deep suspicion' of them all.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:56 am

VictoriaF wrote:
DouglasDoug wrote:As I have a deep suspicion of Financial Advisors, I have deeper suspicions of doctors. So much at stake and a magnet for scammers to be sure. I hate doctor shopping and think consumers are basically unprotected. Good luck!


You can avoid financial advisers by using mutual funds, particularly, index funds. What would be a medical equivalent? Who would be Jack's counterpart?

Victoria


Shoot me a private email, I know docs from all over the world that practice at a very high level, I can hook you up depending on where you live. [this is another benefit from participating in a *good* on-line international dental discussion group.]
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:00 am

HardKnocker wrote:Bad dentist = Seems to always find something that needs fixing and then wants to fix it. Over-zealous.

Good dentist = Is not over-zealous about finding and fixing.


If it were only that simple. For the most part you are correct, BUT... Sometimes, bad dentist=guy that doesn't know how to look for stuff or know it when he sees it. Undiagnosed periodontal disease is a good example.

Had a dentist once that everytime I went for a checkup had some new gizmo designed to find cavities. And he did. He also seemed to buy a new motorcycle and new car quite often. :greedy


This could be either good or bad. If the gizmo actually helps to improve quality of Dx and Tx, then its good. If it's primarily for practice marketing, then not so much.


My current dentist tells me I have great teeth and hardly ever finds a cavity. :wink:


that tells you nothing. the doc can be a total idjit. (see above)
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:02 am

dm200 wrote:
DouglasDoug wrote:As I have a deep suspicion of Financial Advisors, I have deeper suspicions of doctors. So much at stake and a magnet for scammers to be sure. I hate doctor shopping and think consumers are basically unprotected. Good luck!


Although no organization or system is a 100% guarantee of anything about medical providers, my opinion (based on my experiences) is that my HMO (Kaiser) reduces the probability of my being seen by an incompetent medical provider. Also, I am a strong believer that being a VERY informed patient also increases the probability of good medical treatment and reduces the probability of bad outcomes.


I'm certainly not an expert on medical care, but I'll bet you a pizza that there are PLENTY of crummy docs in EVERY HMO/PPO/ETC.

But, I agree with you that patient education is very important.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:04 am

Polar_Ice wrote:A dentist that has been a dentist in the military is a good sign.


Possibly, but certainly not true all the time.

They get a lot of practice early on in the military over a wide range of issues.


MAYBE. Depends on the person and the place they are stationed.

Stay away from the dentists that focus their practice towards cosmetic dentistry.


Probably a good general rule, but like anything else, there are exceptions.

Find a good family dentist that doesn't sounds like a salesman pushing you into changing your grill out with veneers. Also never use a coupon for dental work or laser eye surgery for that matter.


That's the whole point of this thread, a lay person can't tell if the dentist is 'good' or not.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:06 am

ejvyas wrote:Why in the world did I read this thread :oops: I did not learn how to evaluate a dentist but it sure does make me nervous as I have an appointment coming up :annoyed


Shoot me a private email, if you have questions about the Dx and Tx plan he comes up with.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:09 am

Jerilynn wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
DouglasDoug wrote:As I have a deep suspicion of Financial Advisors, I have deeper suspicions of doctors. So much at stake and a magnet for scammers to be sure. I hate doctor shopping and think consumers are basically unprotected. Good luck!


You can avoid financial advisers by using mutual funds, particularly, index funds. What would be a medical equivalent? Who would be Jack's counterpart?

Victoria


Shoot me a private email, I know docs from all over the world that practice at a very high level, I can hook you up depending on where you live. [this is another benefit from participating in a *good* on-line international dental discussion group.]


Done. Thank you, Jeri!

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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:42 am

momar wrote:Yelp reviews.


All those review sites (angie's list, yelp, etc) are only good for finding out which dentists are BAD, but it can help in the process of elimination.
If one doc consistently gets terrible scores, don't go there. If a doc gets good scores, that's meaningless, it could just be because he is 'popular' with his patients. You want a highly technically competent doc, not a 'popular' one. I'm not saying it's impossible to find one that is BOTH, but there are very few of those guys/gals out there.
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Just my *personal* thoughts, not 'dental advice'.

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:58 am

Disclaimer: Any of the stuff I say is based on my *personal* opinion. None of the things I write should be taken as any kind of legal dental advice. I don't currently have a license, so I can't legally give out any kind of 'dental treatment recommendations' or 'evaluate any dental treatment' or 'comment on any dental images or treatment plans of legally licensed dentists'.

Whew! Glad I took care of that, don't want to get 'in trouble'


Now, when I get my license, re-instated, I won't have to worry about this stuff. But, for now I need this little disclaimer to protect myself.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby pennstater2005 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:27 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
ejvyas wrote:Why in the world did I read this thread :oops: I did not learn how to evaluate a dentist but it sure does make me nervous as I have an appointment coming up :annoyed


Shoot me a private email, if you have questions about the Dx and Tx plan he comes up with.


From your responses thus far why would he/she trust you regarding any diagnosis or treatment plan? Its possible you may not be a very good dentist.
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How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:44 pm

Jerilynn wrote:Disclaimer: Any of the stuff I say is based on my *personal* opinion. None of the things I write should be taken as any kind of legal dental advice. I don't currently have a license, so I can't legally give out any kind of 'dental treatment recommendations' or 'evaluate any dental treatment' or 'comment on any dental images or treatment plans of legally licensed dentists'.

Whew! Glad I took care of that, don't want to get 'in trouble'


Now, when I get my license, re-instated, I won't have to worry about this stuff. But, for now I need this little disclaimer to protect myself.

No disclaimers are needed (nor effective here), as posting in this forum requires members to follow the Forum Policy. No medical advice is permitted, so that's already covered. Additionally, see the disclaimer at the bottom of every forum page.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:00 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:

From your responses thus far why would he/she trust you regarding any diagnosis or treatment plan?


He/she shouldn't. Remember the rule...trust no one.


Its possible you may not be a very good dentist.


EXCELLENT!

*Now* you are thinking like a prudent consumer of dental services should. Congrats!

My effort here has not been in vain! :)

Jeri

p.s. I went to penn state too, but I probably have t-shirts older than you. ;)
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby porcupine » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:24 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:From your responses thus far why would he/she trust you regarding any diagnosis or treatment plan?

He/she shouldn't. Remember the rule...trust no one.
[...]
*Now* you are thinking like a prudent consumer of dental services should. Congrats!

My effort here has not been in vain! :)

Jeri

p.s. I went to penn state too, but I probably have t-shirts older than you. ;)

Wow! You must've gone for real quality T-shirts!!

Let me go one step further - why should folks think that their doctor is excellent just because they got better after treatment? Maybe they would've been fine even without the medication.

- Porcupine (in the process of re-evaluating my normal family doctor)
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby dm200 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:39 pm

While many of these published surveys, evaluations, etc. of doctors, dentists, etc. can be helpful and informative, I would be careful and use them as only one measure. IMO, there is often little correlation of competence and patient popularity. In fact, some of the providers are "popular" with patients because they tell the patients what they want to hear. An example is one physician that I did not judge especially competent 35 years ago, when I left him, is still practicing (into his 80's). I know several folks who still see him. He received one of the very top ratings recently in a local patient survey.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby pennstater2005 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:42 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:

From your responses thus far why would he/she trust you regarding any diagnosis or treatment plan?


He/she shouldn't. Remember the rule...trust no one.


Its possible you may not be a very good dentist.


EXCELLENT!

*Now* you are thinking like a prudent consumer of dental services should. Congrats!

My effort here has not been in vain! :)

Jeri

p.s. I went to penn state too, but I probably have t-shirts older than you. ;)


Definitely not in vain. I think I'm going to try self dentistry. I've come to the conclusion there are no good dentists anyway and even if there were I would never know. This may not go well. Go Penn State!
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby swyck » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Dang. Since I'm in the market for a new dentist, I was hoping to find some guidelines here. Sounds like there is no consensus.

Had a dentist for some years after moving into the area. He was a nice guy, I liked him and liked his work, but I wasn't real happy with being in his chair. He had a habit of tilting me back like I was being waterboarded that I had a hard time handling. My new dentist is kind of grumpy, and I'm not at all that happy with his work. I've needed more visits to finish some stuff than I though were merited.

For me there are two related issues. One is that for me an hour in the dentist chair is simply sheer torture, and I need a dentist that understands that and will help me get through it. For some people I guess it's no big deal, but for me it's sheer misery.

The other issue is the actual quality of the work. Due to the first issue, I don't want to have to spend any more time in that chair than I have to, and I want the work to be done correctly as quickly and efficiently as possible.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby ataloss » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:59 pm

Hygienist friend told us our current dentist is good. Although she may not be able to evaluate as thoroughly as another dentist I am assuming she can tell ok to good from bad. :D
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:16 am

porcupine wrote:Let me go one step further - why should folks think that their doctor is excellent just because they got better after treatment?


They shouldn't. Sometimes humans heal in spite of the doc not because of the doc.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:17 am

dm200 wrote:While many of these published surveys, evaluations, etc. of doctors, dentists, etc. can be helpful and informative, I would be careful and use them as only one measure. IMO, there is often little correlation of competence and patient popularity. In fact, some of the providers are "popular" with patients because they tell the patients what they want to hear. An example is one physician that I did not judge especially competent 35 years ago, when I left him, is still practicing (into his 80's). I know several folks who still see him. He received one of the very top ratings recently in a local patient survey.


Amen, brother/sister.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:25 am

swyck wrote:. One is that for me an hour in the dentist chair is simply sheer torture, and I need a dentist that understands that and will help me get through it. For some people I guess it's no big deal, but for me it's sheer misery.


I had tons of patients like you. I can relate. Almost ALL of them did beautifully well with [medical advice removed by admin LadyGeek]. We used it alot and since it made things easier on both me AND the patient, I didn't charge anything. [actually, I would have paid THEM to use it] ;)

When I first started practice, I thought it was a 'crutch' for docs that sucked at patient management. Boy, was I wrong!

Gotta make sure the doc is qualified/certified to use it and has all the proper monitoring equipment. [medical advice removed by admin LadyGeek]
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby thebogledude » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:40 am

Firewood42 wrote:I may be wrong but I have noticed when a new young dentist takes over a practice, I think they push treatment on you that is unnecessary. Probably because they are in debt with with loans and start up costs. I dropped two dentists that took over from my old dentists because of this.

-Had this happen to me as well. went to get a second opinion and was told otherwise.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:43 am

To reiterate my earlier post, medical advice is off-topic. See: Forum Policy

Medical Issues

Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I'd like to suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes lists of their top recommended sites in the following categories: consumer health, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They also provide a larger, but less frequently updated, list called Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby thebogledude » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:27 am

I was lucky to find my former dentist early in my life (25 years ago) that I never had to look any where else. When my dentist retired, I had to find another dentist and had been through what others here have posted. I also utilize preventative maintenance like flossing, brushing 2X, and fluoride rinse every day which have significantly reduced my time in the hygienists chair and zero time with the dentist.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby thebogledude » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:33 am

Does anyone know what dentists are like in the UK since they have such a bad wrap with bad teeth?
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby dm200 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:05 am

thebogledude wrote:Does anyone know what dentists are like in the UK since they have such a bad wrap with bad teeth?


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_q6NlkbLQWec/S ... entist.jpg
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby ladfamily » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:56 pm

dm200 wrote:My evaluation of my current dentist as positive relates to several issues:

1. He uses a dental hygienist to do cleaning, etc. I concluded that older dentists, as they become somewhat "out of date" and lose patients often do cleanings themselves.

2. He has (from my point of view) modern equipment and (it seems) modern techniques.

3. While often recommending replacement of older fillings when cracked, etc., he sometimes recommends just watching something a bit suspicious unless and until it needs to be fixed.

4. He seems to have an excellent, long time office staff.

I disagree to most postings here about finding good dentists.
Long term staff is indicator of good dentist!!!!!!!! WOW!!!! What's that got to do with his skill?????
What defines a good dentist? Is it some one who "watches" cavities for a while or the cracks in your teeth so you can feel good about going to him? Or someone who proactively fixes your problems before they arise or gets expensive? What is the benefit of watching something, would you go to your cancer doctor if he says lets watch the cancer so it gets bigger so insurance will approve your surgery!!! But it seems when it comes to dentistry most people rely on emotion, feelings, gossip and junk magazines for their information.
Going to dentist is like having a relationship. Pick one, figure what works best with him/her. Most dentists are introverts and nerdy. They actually are poor communicators. Several things are out of control of dentists. Think about this, they remove a chunk of your tooth, put plastic inside and glue it with a light. How many different things can go wrong. But suddenly he becomes a bad guy, because you didn't floss your teeth.
Lets imagine another scenario. You went a dentist for 30 years and he 'watched' everything including gum disease, now new doc comes in and finds you have boat loads of problems some of which are beyond repair. Your instant reaction will be to find another dentist and label him a bad guy all over town. This happens a lot. Most people have no clue about what goes on in their mouth and what it takes to fix the problems. Hope this helps.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby Jerilynn » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:47 pm

thebogledude wrote:Does anyone know what dentists are like in the UK since they have such a bad wrap with bad teeth?


Some great ones some crummy ones, just like everywhere else.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby swyck » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:42 am

ladfamily wrote:
dm200 wrote:My evaluation of my current dentist as positive relates to several issues:

1. He uses a dental hygienist to do cleaning, etc. I concluded that older dentists, as they become somewhat "out of date" and lose patients often do cleanings themselves.

2. He has (from my point of view) modern equipment and (it seems) modern techniques.

3. While often recommending replacement of older fillings when cracked, etc., he sometimes recommends just watching something a bit suspicious unless and until it needs to be fixed.

4. He seems to have an excellent, long time office staff.

I disagree to most postings here about finding good dentists.
Long term staff is indicator of good dentist!!!!!!!! WOW!!!! What's that got to do with his skill?????
What defines a good dentist? Is it some one who "watches" cavities for a while or the cracks in your teeth so you can feel good about going to him? Or someone who proactively fixes your problems before they arise or gets expensive? What is the benefit of watching something, would you go to your cancer doctor if he says lets watch the cancer so it gets bigger so insurance will approve your surgery!!! But it seems when it comes to dentistry most people rely on emotion, feelings, gossip and junk magazines for their information.
Going to dentist is like having a relationship. Pick one, figure what works best with him/her. Most dentists are introverts and nerdy. They actually are poor communicators. Several things are out of control of dentists. Think about this, they remove a chunk of your tooth, put plastic inside and glue it with a light. How many different things can go wrong. But suddenly he becomes a bad guy, because you didn't floss your teeth.
Lets imagine another scenario. You went a dentist for 30 years and he 'watched' everything including gum disease, now new doc comes in and finds you have boat loads of problems some of which are beyond repair. Your instant reaction will be to find another dentist and label him a bad guy all over town. This happens a lot. Most people have no clue about what goes on in their mouth and what it takes to fix the problems. Hope this helps.

Actually no, I found it kind of useless and condescending.
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Re: How Can I Tell If My Dentist is Good One?

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:11 am

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