No matter what you may think, dentists are not all the same. Each dentist, the same as each human being, focuses on something they want to be good at. Some dentists like to do their own extractions and surgery, others love doing their own root canals, and then there are those that believe they rock at cosmetic dentistry. But no matter what anyone thinks, we can only be good at a few things. We can’t be “jack of all trades”. So it becomes important to find out what your dentist’s dental specialties are… and what they aren’t.

I know there are some things I need to refer out. So I do. Wisdom teeth extractions, for example. I work with a wonder Oral Surgeon, who I refer my patients to, and he ends up removing their wisdom teeth, or any other teeth they may need to be extracted. And he also places implants so we work really well together to accomplish a common goal.

I also refer out dentures, as I don’t feel I can deliver what the denturist down the street can do and so I humbly send my patients who require those services to him.

But then there are a couple of things I am really, really, really good at. TMJ pain, for example. Or migraines. Or cosmetic dentistry. There are some things I am really skilled at and able to take a patient, one who has been suffering in pain for the last 25 years and help them, fix them, and deliver a pain-free existence.

So when it comes to continuing education and thinking all dentists are the same, you could not be more wrong. Find out what dental specialties your dentist has focused their continuing education training on. And if you suffer with something they don’t really understand, consider looking elsewhere, at least for a second opinion. You never know. In the end, what’s the worst thing that could happen? You might actually find a solution to your long-standing problem.

This post is another in a series about quality vs. price in dentistry. Read more blogs by Dr. Agatha Bis and follow her on Facebook

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