Does Experience/Training Matter?

Every dentist out there carries with them a certain amount of pride and confidence in their ability as a dentist. It is the result of years of schooling and trying to be the best you can be. In the end we have our doctorate in dental surgery (DDS or DMD it’s the same degree). We are doctors of teeth and as a consequence the default “expert” of all things teeth.

Every patient wants to believe that his or her dentist knows all and is able to do everything they need dentally. Can a general dentist do everything that dentistry has to offer? The answer to this in general is on average most dentists are able to provide most things dentistry has to offer to a certain level.

The real question that should be asked is does training/specialization matter for you as the patient.  My answer to this as an educator and practitioner is yes it does. Think about this for a moment. Do you think your general/family dentist can operate at the same level of expertise as a dental specialist? The answer to that is no. You don’t have to believe me just look at the dental specialists out there that you do see. Oral surgeons, orthodontists and pedodontists (children’s dentist) and yes prosthodontists.

Just the existence of specialists should be a clue to their needed existence and use by the general dentists to help their patients. Where would most dentists go if they had their choice? A specialist of course! I know this because I have treated some of these dentists. So, your choice of a dental specialist can be and in general is the best choice for your dental treatment.

The next common question to overcome is that it must cost more to go to a dental specialist. In fact, most specialists are right in line with what general dentists charge for the same procedure. So why would you not go to a specialist? Only you can answer that! If the cost is more for certain procedures its due to the training and expertise. Why suffer with something when a dental specialist could get you through most dental difficulties.

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