Patients Beware

Patient Beware: Dentists can claim to be “specialists” even without proper training or experience

When you are looking for the best orthodontic care in your city – quality work you can trust, at prices you can afford – you look for certain words in a doctor’s own bio. Words like “orthodontist” and “specialist.”

Unfortunately, just because some dentists say they’re a specialist in a particular field, like dental implants, surgery, or even tooth-whitening, that doesn’t mean they have the special training and experience you’re really looking for. A series of recent court decisions have allowed dentists to use these words even if they aren’t really specialists, and that means patients need to be more careful than ever when it comes to choosing the right caregiver.

Ask the right questions

When you’re choosing a dentist or an orthodontist, ask some specific questions that will help you make the right choice. For instance feel free to ask:

  • How long have you been performing this particular procedure?
  • How many times have you performed the procedure?
  • Where and when were you trained on this procedure?
  • Are you an orthodontist or specialist?
  • Are you board certified?
  • Can you share any case histories, testimonials, or references from satisfied patients who have had this procedure?

Don’t worry: any qualified professional will be happy to answer these questions clearly and directly. They don’t mind at all. And don’t feel like you’re prying or being too picky. Any good dentist or dental specialist knows that this is an important (and often expensive) decision to make, and they’ll be happy to give you the information you’re after. If they’re not … maybe it’s worth looking at some other names on your list before you make your final decision.

Remember: just because they say they’re an expert or a specialist doesn’t mean they are. Patient beware!