While a few can literally cause a pain in the patient’s mouth, there are also many incredible dentists who would make the sufferer feel nothing at all and yet do their job perfectly!
One should certainly do some good research and invest a little time in choosing their dentist.
Here are six things a patient should consider before visiting a dentist.
What reputation does the dentist enjoy? The patient must look up the social media pages of the dentist or other online portals to check customer reviews, and see if the negative comments outweigh the positive.
- Certification & Training:
What is the clinical experience that the dentist has? Do they have proper training in dealing with specialty procedures? Is the dentist certified? The patient must make sure they verify these details before selecting a dentist.
- Services offered:
Not every dentist would offer all types of services. They may not be specialising in say, a root canal treatment, or teeth whitening. The patient should confirm in advance that the prospective dentist offers the service that they are looking for!
The patient can get help from their family, friends and other contacts and ask them who their dentist is and how good the dentist is at his job. Referrals often work the best as such dentists are tried and tested by the people the patients already know.
- Technology used:
Is the prospective dentist equipped with all the latest technology? Are they using high-end machines and tools or are they compromising on quality? The dentistry field is updating regularly and the patient must make sure that the dentist they choose, is aware of it all, and uses the same in their dental surgeries and procedures.
The dentist should be knowledgeable and advanced enough to detect any kind of dental problems early.
- Cost involved:
Surely paying good money for good services is worth it, but some dental services can cost the patient a bomb too. The patient must find out in advance if their budget can accommodate the fees of the dentist and only then choose them!
A dentist can specialise in many different fields of dentistry. They can be a good orthodontist, a prosthodontist, or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. They may also be a good general dentist as well.
Let us understand what these different types of dentists do.
- General dentist:
Also called the ‘family dentist’, the general dentist is the one that patients visit on a regular basis for preventive oral care. The services include dental X-rays, dental cleanings, artificial fillings, teeth whitening, and so on. He/she can help the patient with false teeth/braces/mouth guards too.
A general dentist can treat issues caused due to gum and root problems as well. No doubt, general dentists are competent to solve most oral problems; they themselves sometimes refer their patients to other kinds of dental specialists depending on the intensity of the problem.
If the patient needs to get a root canal treatment done; he/she should visit an endodontist. An endodontist specializes in the treatment of injuries and diseases that develop in the teeth’s inner workings. Endodontists are concerned with the pulp and nerves of their patients’ teeth.
They undergo training in the branch of dentistry that covers the physiology, pathology and morphology of the dental pulp and the periradicular tissues.
When the patient needs to install braces, an orthodontist is the one he/she should consult. Not only that, orthodontists correct gaps, crooked and misaligned teeth, jawbones, and other supporting facial structures for either cosmetic or functional reasons or both.
In simple terms, it means they improve the way their patients bite on food by designing oral tools like mouth guards, braces, retainers and so on.
Specialising in the cure of periodontitis and other advanced gum diseases, a periodontist is the one who is a pro at preventing and treating any kind of gum related disease, and also excels at dental implants, and guided bone regeneration.
Prosthodontists are responsible for what we know as ‘smile correction’ or ‘smile makeovers’ of their patients by providing oral prostheses which replaces their decayed, damaged or missing tooth/teeth. Oral prostheses are artificial or false teeth tools that include bridges, crowns, tooth implants, veneers, and dentures.
- Oral and maxillofacial surgeon:
These surgeons are concerned with injuries and diseases that occur in the mouth or its surrounding area. They perform complex surgeries on their patients, which include removal of wisdom tooth, or placement of dental implants, and they even care for patients who suffer from oral cancer by conducting necessary surgeries on the ones who have facial injuries.
Dental problems are things that no person could escape. Toothache can range between causing the patient a mild pain to them facing severe trauma.
Let us see what the most common dental problems that patients suffer from are:
- Tooth decay:
When the bacteria in plaque is exposed to sugars present in food and sweets, it forms acids that work to make the sufferer’s enamel softer thereby giving way to holes. Tooth decay is popularly referred to as ‘cavities’.
- Bad breath:
‘Halitosis’ or bad breath can be very embarrassing for the patient. An infected tongue, gum diseases, oral cancer, irregular brushing, and cavities are some of the factors that cause bad breath.
- Oral cancer:
The most serious of them all, oral cancer is caused mainly because of smoking or because the patient chews too much tobacco. It generally begins with a small pinkish lump or growth inside your mouth that can eventually lead to a patient’s death as well.
- Gum disease:
Periodontal or gum disease is nothing but an infection that affects the gums that surround the teeth. Smoking, dry mouth and diabetes are factors that can cause this in people.
- Mouth sores:
They can be painful, annoying and can really bother the patient. One should not worry about mouth sores unless it lasts for more than 2 weeks.
- Tooth erosion:
In this condition, the bacteria literally eats away the enamel of the tooth. It can lead to teeth sensitivity as well as cracking of teeth in some cases.
This is when the patient has supernumerary teeth. In simpler terms, it means the sufferer has more number of teeth than what a human being normally has.
- Stained teeth:
There are a number of adults who suffer have stained teeth problems. To state simply, they have yellow teeth. The main causes behind this condition are irregular brushing of teeth, excessive smoking, or drinking too much coffee.
- Tooth sensitivity:
The most common amongst many is tooth sensitivity. The patient feels a lot of discomfort coupled with pain when he/she eats sweets/ice creams, or drinks something hot or cold. Some people also experience pain while they brush or floss. Sensitivity could also occur because of a cracked tooth.
Dental radiographs, or most commonly known as dental x-rays, have driven great advantages to the field of dentistry. This new tool has brought about significant changes to how dental issues are treated. Dental x-rays refer to pictures of the teeth, and soft tissues surrounding the teeth. It functions as a guiding tool for dentists because it helps them investigate dental issues such as cavities, decay, and bone loss.
Dental x-rays have improved the dental process in terms of accessibility and faster processing of dental testing results. This process is highly done with new technology; therefore, results from this process are immediately presented and the process is made easier. Due to the rise of dental x-ray utilization, more patients are being treated and accommodated in a short period of time.
Dental x-rays have helped improve the dental process because it serves as a preventative solution to possible dental issues such as tooth decay, damage to the bones supporting the teeth, and dental injuries. Dental x-rays are important because they allow dentists to accurately analyze how they will be handling or treating a specific dental disease. It is a useful diagnostic tool to help specialists detect damages that may not be visible in physical dental and oral exams.
Dental x-rays have led the popularity of technological devices used in the dentistry field. These dental x-rays are safe to use and are professionally accredited by the Canadian Dental Association. Dental x-rays have significantly contributed to the field because it allows dentists to monitor a patient’s dental health and history.