What You Need to Know about Choosing a Dental Care Provider

Finding a dental clinic to take care of your teeth is a big part of looking out for your health. You obviously want to work with someone qualified, but there's rarely much separation between one dental care practice and another in terms of certifications and educational background. You may be better off looking at these three issues when thinking about where to go for help keeping your smile in top shape.

The Full Staff

As much as the dentist at a practice anchors it, the reality is that you end up dealing with several other people even at the smallest office. One team member who can make the difference is the hygienist, the person responsible for providing teeth cleanings and assessing the state of your overall oral health. You should also be comfortable dealing with office personnel at a dental clinic, as you'll be working with them to handle everything from billing to getting prescriptions sent out.


The ability of a practitioner to explain complex or difficult decisions is critical. If you're trying to determine whether you'd prefer to go with crowns or veneers, it's good to hear the pros and cons of each laid out straight for you. Bear in mind that communication also includes taking the time to hear the concerns of the patient.

Qualifications and Skills

The American Dental Association (ADA) operates a joint board that handles several types of exams certifying both dentists and hygienists, and the ADA is the most widely recognized professional organization in the field. If you're searching for someone who specializes in cosmetic dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry includes members whose practices are focused on aesthetics. You should also take the time to ask about the educational background of both your dentist and hygienist.

Talking with a dentist about potential procedures will also give you an idea of where their skill level is at. For example, some practitioners now utilize medicated fillings as a solution in situations that used to previously call for performing a root canal or extracting a tooth. Not all doctors, however, use the procedure.

It's normal for there to be a lot of specialization in the field. Many dentists do not offer oral surgery at all, and they will refer you to a specialist. Others may handle minor surgeries as part of putting implants or bridges. It's wise to ask how surgical needs will be handled.

If you're ready to start looking for a dentist, talk with local clinics like Pavlakos Vasilios Bill J DDS PC Dentist.