Second opinion for your dental health: is it time?
Few dental patients ever request a second opinion about their oral/dental health from another dentist when they seemingly have no dental emergencies or are unaware of any existing dental problems. But how do they know that their dental care is what it should be? Gum disease is chronic and silent. It creeps up on us without any advanced warning. And while our fillings may look good, do they fit properly?
Here are some guidelines for evaluating your present dentist and your dental care:
1. Are medical histories are updated?
2. Are cancer/cavity (caries or dental decay) checks are performed?
3. Are digital x-rays are used (less radiation than traditional film)?
4. Are bite wing X-rays taken for dental decay are taken periodically/is a lead apron used when X-rays taken/are full mouth sets of X-rays taken every few years?
5. Does your dentist/hygienist perform a periodontal exam with a millimeter probe to measure "pockets" on a routine basis?
6. Are oral hygiene techniques are reviewed and modified as needed/diet and nutrition discussed as they apply to caries and oral health?
7. If you have periodontal pockets and bleeding, are you told this is okay? Not to worry?
8. Do you know about the systemic links between gum disease and cardiovascular, stroke, pulmonary, etc.?
9. Are disposable products apparent in the treatment room? Are they used frequently?
10. Are OSHA protocols followed such as covering all surfaces with disposable plastic products?
11. Do you have frequent emergencies and have restorations that need replacing "too" often?
12. Are you emergency visits accommodated in a timely way?
13. Does the staff function smoothly with the doctor? Themselves?
14. Are treatment options always presented when dental care is required; are procedures explained and are you asked to give informed consent (this can take different forms)?
15. Does your family dentist utilizes dental specialists for advanced problems?
16. Does the office looks clean and orderly?
17. Are new technologies introduced to the office as they are proven beneficial? Examples: implants, bleaching teeth
18. 3D CT imaging for most dental implant cases
When to question your dentist:
1. When they don't follow most of the above guidelines
2. When fillings continuously break
3. When crowns continuously fall out
4. When a patient goes to the dentist on a regular basis and is told one day (out of the blue) that their periodontal disease is advanced, surgery is needed, and teeth many need to be removed after never having been made aware of a problem beforehand. Periodontal disease takes years to form; it does not occur overnight
5. When gums bleed all the time and patient is told that this is "normal"
6. When a patient is told that it's normal to "lose" teeth.
7. When treatment options are not discussed
8. When a family does not use specialist for advanced problems
9. When a patient experiences frequent emergencies without resolution or suitable consultations
10. When dental implants are not discussed as an option to replace a missing tooth or an existing bridge that has to be remade
11. When a dentist is unaware or does not use 3D CT technology for dental implant insertion
Tags: 3D cone imaging, sinus grafts, periodontics, dental implants, laser gum surgery, dentist, dental practice, gum treatment. LANAP, bleeding gums, periodontal disease
Central Park Periodontics
40 Central Park South, Suite 2E
(Enter Bldg at 41 West 58th ST)
New York, NY 10019