Dentists in Athens GA
Researching and Finding a Dentist in Athens
It’s far better to research and find a dentist before you need one. If you’re new to the area or if you are changing dentists for whatever reasons, you should put a good amount of effort into finding one the is competent, trustworthy and that you are comfortable with.
A great place to start your research is to ask around. Ask your friends and family who they see, and why. If you need a pediatric dentist, or any other specialty it makes sense to seeek out friends or family with similar circumstances and get their input.
There are a few designations to look for and they are important.
Medically qualified dentists have two designations:
- DDS – Doctor of Dental Surgery
- DMD – Doctor of Dental Medicine
The staff will often consist of dental hygienists and dental assistants. Under federal law, both of these must work under the supervision of a qualified dentists. The designations you’ll see for dental hygienists may include:
- RDH – Registered Dental Hygienist
- RDHEF – Registered Dental Hygienist with Extended Functions
Give the above, be sure to verify that the dental practices you are considering have qualified staff. It’s highly unlikely you’ll come across unqualified dentists with an open practice, but just the same, it’s always better to be safe. Most of the dentists you find will be competent and profession – we have a lot of great dental practices around Athens. Still though, it doesn’t hurt to have a series of questions to ask so you can establish a sort of baseline and evaluate each dentist objectively.
Along with the above information, there’s a short list of 11 questions to ask your Dentist – it’s important to give strong consideration to the answers of these questions.
Questions to ask your Athens dentist:
- How long has the dentist been practicing and how long as this practice been in existence?
- What specific training and clinical experience does the dentist have for the specific procedure you are considering?
- Does the dentist perform all procedures you require? If not, ask about the referral process and make sure you understand it fully.
- What other options will bring me the same results? Are there non-surgical or other options I should consider? What are the pros and cons of each?
- What professional organizations does your dentist belong to and actively participate in?
- What type of emergency care to you provide? Are you open on weekends? Are you open after normal working hours?
- What should I expect with respect to pain mitigation during my procedure? Nitros oxide? Local anesthetic?
- Do you use any dental laser tools in place of scaples or drills?
- Can you show me pictures of past patients that have had the same procedure performed?
- What will the total cost be, including fees for the procedure itself, anesthetic fees, facility fees, etc.
- How many offices do you work out of and what is your schedule? What do I do if I have a problem and you’re in a different office?
Another key consideration is how comfortable you are with the dentist, the dental facility and the staff. If you aren’t comfortable in the surroundings, nothing else really works. Visiting the dentist is stressful enough – it’s best to find one you are comfortable with.