Your first appointment to a new dentist is an opportunity to evaluate many things. While you might be focusing on simple details, such as how convenient the clinic is located to your home or work, and how friendly the staff are, you should also give some thought to the dentist's dental philosophy. Some dentists are quick to go over this topic with new patients, while it may not be as evident with other dentists until you ask. Understanding a dentist's dental philosophy can make you not only feel at ease during your present and future appointments, but also feel as though this clinic is the right fit for you. Here are some specific points that you should understand.
Liberal Vs. Conservative Approach
Some dentists take a liberal approach toward treating patients' dental issues, while other are more conservative in their philosophy. A dentist who adopts the latter mindset may frequently take a wait-and-see approach to certain issues. For example, if he or she is concerned about something in your mouth, he or she may make a note to check its condition during your next appointment, rather than opt to perform a procedure right away. Conversely, a dentist with more of a liberal philosophy may feel that treating any suspected issues quickly is the best solution.
Certain dentists are highly proficient in providing education for their patients. For example, many dentists believe that a patient and a dentist should take a collaborative approach to caring for the patient's teeth. Instead of the patient just showing up for two cleanings a year and having the dentist address anything else that needs work, the dentist will empower the patient to care for his or her dental health in different ways. It can be empowering to find a dentist with this philosophy, as you may feel as though you can play an active role in your health.
Use Of Technology
While all dentists use technology in many ways, some will offer a less-common approach as part of their dental philosophy. For example, your dentist may have a philosophy of "show, don't tell," and use technology to his or her advantage. Instead of telling you about what's going on with your teeth, the dentist may show you by taking photos with a specialized camera that is hooked up to a large computer screen. This will allow you to see your teeth with ease to understand what the dentist is talking about.