Dentistry: How do I recognize a good dentist?

Dentistry: How do I recognize a good dentist?

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Service, advice and treatment are not always equally good
Hardly anyone likes going to the dentist, but for regular oral health, a regular visit is unavoidable. As with other specialists, there are obviously large quality differences in the practices. But how can you tell whether a dentist is good or not? In an interview with the "dpa" news agency, experts provide tips on what patients should pay attention to.

Differences in quality often only become visible after years
Whether toothache, periodontitis, regular check-ups or professional cleaning: there are numerous reasons for a visit to the dentist and this is often associated with fear and discomfort. It is therefore particularly important that patients feel safe with their doctor and that they receive the best possible medical care. But like in other areas, there are many good, mediocre and even bad doctors - which is often difficult to see at first glance.
But a closer look often reveals clear differences. "It often takes several years to determine whether a dentist is really good," Kai Fortelka, spokesman for the National Dental Association (KZBV), told the dpa.

Thorough medical history and close examination are important
Accordingly, online research is recommended in advance. According to the expert, there are also other crucial points that will make the quality standard clear when visiting the practice.

Accordingly, the dentist's office should appear clean and well-kept, whereby the therapy room, including the equipment and the dentist's cutlery, should be examined in particular. It is also important that the doctor and the helpers wear clean work clothes, sterile disposable gloves and a face mask during the treatment. However, expensive high-tech devices would not automatically indicate good practice. If the equipment is obviously outdated, this is not a positive sign. Because this could only result in limited diagnostics and therapy.

Before an intervention, there is the right to an understandable consultation
At the beginning of treatment, according to Kai Fortelka, a detailed survey (anamnesis) about current complaints, underlying diseases, etc. is important so that the doctor can get an overview of the patient's state of health. In addition, a thorough examination should take place, in which teeth and gums as well as all other parts of the chewing system are examined.

According to the Würzburg dentist Dominic Mayer from the German Society for Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (DGZMK), special instruments would have to be used in some cases. "Since not everything can be seen with the naked eye, it may make sense to use magnifying glasses and X-rays to discover hidden damage such as tooth root and interdental caries." If an operation was imminent, the patients would also have the right to a consultation, in which there is an understandable explanation of the problem and the necessary treatment steps. It is important that the doctor shows the advantages, disadvantages and costs of all available treatment options, Dominic Mayer explains.

Good doctors place great value on prophylactic measures
Afterwards, the patient had to be given sufficient time to think, but the urge to make a decision was taboo. In general, "a good dentist [.] Would act according to the motto 'prevention is better than cure'", says Mayer. Accordingly, prophylaxis would e.g. in the form of professional tooth cleaning (PZR) and the mediation of effective dental care play an important role. In addition, a good doctor always tries to keep healthy teeth as possible. "This means early action and gentle, minimally invasive therapy methods."

Are the individual needs of the patients taken into account?
Service should also not be neglected at a good dentist. For example, patients should not have to wait too long or be informed early if there are delays. In addition, it is important to consider the individual needs of the patient, e.g. fearful people are given a lot of understanding. In this case, according to Thea Lingohr, even special treatment methods are sometimes possible: "We offer anxiety patients sedation with nitrous oxide, which in combination with local anesthetic offers a gentle option for pain-relieving and anxiety-free treatment," explains the Cologne dentist and member of the German Society for Aesthetic Dentistry (DGÄZ).

At least one inspection visit per year
"And how often should I go to the dentist?" Experts recommend visiting a practice at least once a year for a check-up, because this is the only way to identify and treat dental diseases at an early stage. Children and adolescents between 6 and 17 years should have their teeth checked every six months. The doctor can record the examinations in the so-called “Bonus Booklet for Dental Health Examinations”, which is available in every dental practice. If you go to the preventive check-up regularly, you can save a lot of money. This is e.g. noticeable when a crown or removable prosthesis is required. (No)

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