Can you trust your dentist?

I get a lot of patients who come to my office for 2nd opinions wanting to know if their previous dentist messed up, misdiagnosed, or was just plain incompetent.

A lot of issues between patients and doctors are due to miscommunication. The doctor is not listening to the patient, and the patient does not understand the treatment he is receiving. Another issue is when the patient is not happy with the results and feels the doctor has delivered substandard care. This is usually due to unrealistic expectations by the patient, and the doctor not communicating the limitations of the treatment to be rendered.

Like any other profession, dentistry has all types of practitioners. Most are excellent technicians. Some are superlative. Others seem to have limited skills.

How do you find an excellent dentist? Ask a lot of questions about any treatment you will be receiving. Also, ask the doctor if he has been taking continuing education on a consistent basis. Many superior dentists do indeed continue to learn and grow through continuing education. Dentistry is constantly changing with technology improving yearly. Make sure your dentist is up to date. Does he use digital x-rays? Is he fluent in the new procedures you’re interested in?

As far as trusting your dentist, let me say this: I would say the great majority are extremely trustworthy. Dentists do not need to “make up” work. There are too many downside risks. Make sure you communicate with your dentist before starting treatment to eliminate results that may not meet your expectations. If your dentist does not communicate well, find a new dentist.

Archer Katz

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