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Selecting a Dental Surgeon

If you require a dental procedure beyond what is typical – regular exams, root canals, braces – you will find yourself on the hunt for the best dental surgeon in your area. And many times, people need to make their selection in a timely fashion because the needed procedure or dental correction must take place quickly. As is the case when picking any healthcare professional, it is important to do your research and ask the right questions.

First, figure out what your priorities are. Do you want a surgeon that specializes explicitly in the procedure or procedures you need, or will a surgeon with a broad range of services be better? Do you want someone near your home, or will you travel to a surgeon that has a history of high patient satisfaction and a strong reputation? Narrowing your search slightly will help you focus on a smaller pool of dental surgeons from which to choose.

Ask your dental surgeon about his or her certification. He or she should have doctor of dental surgery certification or doctor of dental medicine certification, as well as OMS certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Ask about experience – experience in key. How long has the surgeon been treating patients? What are some of the problems he or she has encountered performing the procedure you are in need of? What sets him or her apart from other surgeons you may be considering? And when you speak with your potential dental surgeon, do so in person. Take your time getting a feel for him or her and the clinic space. Ask for a tour of the office and operating area, and simply let the surgeon know that you are interested in ensuring that you will be comfortable and at ease when it comes time to have the operation performed.

Having any operation on the books can cause people anxiety, but being familiar and comfortable with your surgeon and his or her work space will help ease the worry going in.

Inquire about your surgeon’s professional organization associations and see if he or she has been given awards or accolades from these organizations. To keep any particular skill set sharp and current with modern technological advances, continuing education and training is required. Ask your dental surgeon what types of courses or outside training he or she has completed recently.

Dental operations can be quite costly, depending on what you require specifically. Speak with your surgeon or the staff member in charge of handling insurance paperwork. Do they offer financing options, or do you have to pay in full the day the services are rendered? Are there people willing to handle all the insurance details for you, or do you have to take care of it on your own? And what does your insurance cover? It is not a bad idea to speak directly with your dental insurance provider when budgeting for your surgery.

Lastly, if there is going to be a network of professionals working together to treat you, be sure they are all as reputable, experienced and trustworthy as your dental surgeon. Be open, frank and inquisitive to guarantee you pick the right dental surgeon for your needs.

Dr. Robert Hunt is a board-certified Rome oral surgeon. Visit his website to find out more about Dr. Hunt’s oral surgery practice.