Everybody’s different, and everybody’s looking for different things. If you’re looking for a new car, you don’t go to the chiropractor, and if your back hurts, you don’t go to your next-door neighbor—that is, unless he’s a chiropractor. If you have dental work that needs to last, look, and feel right, you need to find a prosthodontist who is right for you.
Why not go to my dentist?
Talking to your dentist is a great first step in solving your dental needs, but they might not be the right person to do the procedure you have in mind. Dentists have a great sense of the overall health of your gums and teeth, but you should think of them much like your family doctor. Your family doctor won’t do open heart surgery on you, and they won’t replace your hip.
Prosthodontists have three or four more years of advanced training in the field of dental prosthetics. This means that they’re specialized in creating, placing, and fitting crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, and implants.
Knowing what type of dental work you need done is a big step, and even if you have a plan, you might want to talk to your prosthodontist to make sure that the path you’re taking is the right one for you.
How to find the right prosthodontist
Making important decisions can be stressful, and you can feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of information the internet has about everything. There isn’t an easy fix to this problem. Your answer will most likely not fall from the sky. You’ll need to do your homework.
Decide how wide of an area you’re willing to travel. You aren’t going to want to spend two hours in the car right after a procedure, but don’t go to a bad one just because it’s five minutes away. Create a list of five or ten that get good reviews that fit your parameters.
Now you’re going to have to wade through those reviews. Read a few that give it five stars and read a few that give it two or less. But don’t rule someone out based on one poor review.
Oftentimes you’ll have a sense as to whether or not you’re like the person that’s writing the review. Try to determine if you’re more like the person who wrote the one-star review or the person who wrote the five-star.
How much does it cost?
Every procedure that your prosthodontist offers will have varying costs and timelines, but you need to decide to get the job done right the first time. You’re going to have to live with this decision for the next decade or two, so don’t just run to the cheapest option.
If you buy cheap shoes that last you one year, then you just wore cheap shoes for a year, your feet hurt, and that money is gone. But if you buy nice shoes that fit right, and you wear them for a decade, even if they cost you five times as much, you still saved money. It matters what shoes you buy, but it really matters who does your dental work.
In life you will need to make economic decisions. You can’t eat out every night, and you might not be able to buy whatever car you’d like. But sometimes you need to buy the best, and when it comes to your oral health, you can’t cut corners.
Schedule a complimentary consultation
Whoever you go to should understand what an important decision this is for you, and they should offer a free consultation. There’s a reason why you go on dates before you decide who you’re going to spend your life with. And you hopefully will be spending the rest of your life with the new dental work you’re having done.
Travel to a few prosthodontists and meet them in person. Make sure you’re talking to the person who’s going to be doing the work, and ask them all the questions you have. If you do your homework then you’ll know when it comes time to make the decision. You’ll know the person that’s going to do the work, and you’ll have a good feeling about it. Don’t go anywhere where you can’t meet the person first.
At Dr. Stone’s practice, we offer complimentary consultations to new patients who are on the lookout for a prosthodontist. We believe this helps to make the process of finding a prosthodontist easier by offering you a chance to get to know your dentist before committing to have dental work performed.
About Dr. John C. Stone, DDS
Dr. Stone teaches dental implant therapy to dentists in two different locations: Atlantic Coast Dental Research Clinic at Palm Beach College and Broward Dental Research Clinic at Broward College. He is a specialist in tooth replacement, a Prosthodontist, and has been placing dental implants surgically since 1991.