How Do I Choose the Best Dentist?

Is there a way to find the best dentist before spending money and realizing you don’t like the dentist?

Alicia L. – Rhode Island

Alicia,

This is tricky. There aren’t any guarantees, but there are some things you can do to give yourself a leg up on finding the best dentist for your situation.

  1. Decide what you want as your services. Are you only interested in general dental services, such as basic check-ups and cleanings, along  with any requisite treatments needed for fillings and such? Or, are you also interested in cosmetic services?
  2. If you want a general dentist, then decide if you want a mercury-free dentist (meaning doesn’t place silver, amalgam fillings). If you want a mercury-free dentist, they’ll generally advertise as such on their website. Doing a Google search for that term specifically should yield a lot of options for you.
  3. If you want a dentist who also does cosmetic procedures, such as porcelain veneers, then I would search for a dentist accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Be aware that accreditation is different than membership. Any dentist can become a member of the AACD. Accreditation requires passing stringent exams as well as demonstration of actual cases so they can gauge your artistic ability. Only the top dentists in the world reach accreditation level. But, if you want a smile makeover, you want to make sure it will be stunning.
  4. After you’ve decided what type of services you want and find a list of dentists from a Google search that meet your criteria, it would be prudent to check their reviews. There are plenty of sites, such as Google, Yelp, etc., which allow patients to document their experiences with service professionals. If everybody is complaining that he are she was rude or doesn’t spend much time with the patient you know not to waste your time.

Other than those things, it’s just a matter of trying the dentist out and seeing how you feel about their work.

Best of luck to you!

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.

Dentist Told Me Dentures Would Be Ugly

I’m having to remove my teeth after years of trying to save them and thousands of dollars spent. I don’t have any money left. I can barely afford the dentures I’m going to have to wear.  Now my dentist tells me that I shouldn’t expect dentures to look good. He said dentures tend to be ugly. If I want a natural smile I need to get dental implants.  I honestly can’t afford the implants, but the idea of looking like I have wooden teeth. I’m in tears.

Sara M. – California

Sara,

I hate when I hear the type of tactics your dentist is using. If your dentures end up ugly it’s not because you got dentures. It’s because your dentist isn’t a competent cosmetic dentist.

The (very good) reasons for getting dental implants have more to do with their function along with how they preserve your jawbone, than with appearance.

A good cosmetic dentist will make either dentures or dental implants look gorgeous. I wouldn’t let this dentist touch your dentures until you saw some before and after pictures of his denture work.  Make sure they’re his work too, not stock photos.

My suggestion would be to find an excellent cosmetic dentist to do your work.  Even the dentures will be a smile you can be proud to flash.

I realize that dental implants are out of your budget right now.  Talk to the dentist you decide to use about snap on dentures.  Then, maybe you can save up and get pairs of implants as you’re able to.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.