It can be a bit intimidating to ask any questions. After all, unless you’re a dentist yourself, you’re not the one who went through years of dental school and training. Still, it’s important to be aware of what is going on and to ensure that both you and the dentist are on the same page.
Also, despite all their training and knowledge, these are also human beings and are not omnipotent. They can make mistakes and knowing yourself can help possibly prevent additional work having to be done.
Do You Discuss Nutrition?
Dentists should do more than just talk about brushing and flossing. They should also take an interest in what patients put into their mouths, since there are a lot of foods out there that can damage teeth – and some of them might even be labeled in the “healthy” category! Candy alone isn’t the sole culprit when it comes to cavities. So, that is a discussion worth having.
What Do You Use For Fillings?
If your dentist wants to use mercury-based fillings, leave. These fillings can constantly leak and are dangerous to your overall health. Your dentist should want to use ceramic fillings, instead. There are always new options on the horizon.
My Insurance Is Restrictive – How Can I Get Safer Material for Fillings?
This is a situation where one’s wallet may collide with their dental insurance. All is not lost. The best place to see new dental technology and the best material for fillings is to have work done at a dental school. It’s not like you’re going to be in a room with a neophyte – a trained dentist will be there too overlooking the work. It’s often a lot cheaper – but be sure to leave extra time on the agenda since the dental student will be doing it at a slower pace. It’s still a great way of fixing a dental problem and getting great results, too.
Can You Do This The Least Invasive Way?
As mentioned before, dentists are human beings, also. People tend to like to do things the way that is easiest for them. You should ask your dentist to list all the possible ways that a procedure can be done – and stand up for yourself. You may find that the initial way is the best or a possible change in action may happen. Either way, you need to have a dialogue so that you can have the smoothest experience.
What Are the Risks?
This tends to be a trend for patients in the medical field – being afraid to ask what might happen. It’s always a good thing to know all the possible outcomes, since nothing is completely risk-free. This allows you to make the most informed decision about the procedure that you are about to have done on you. You can then have a clear mind beforehand.
Can You Remineralize My Teeth?
Dentists often prefer to fill cavities, but it also depends on how deep the cavity is and if the dentin has been broken can leave the option of remineralizing open. If it does prove that it’s reversible, then you have to really double down on all your oral hygiene patterns. It’s worth asking, though.
Can You Describe What You Are Seeing?
This is your mouth and while you may be comfortable with your dentist, that doesn’t mean that you have to adhere to blind loyalty to whatever they diagnose. If it seems excessive, you can ask them this… and as professionals, they should answer. There are warning signs to look out for in terms of whether your dentist views your as a patient or a potential piggy bank – are they vague about X-rays or in a rush to fill several cavities immediately despite your just learning about them?
It may be difficult, especially since many people do not like dental visits in the first place, and it may be tempting to just go along with whatever you’re told, but you need to realize that you’re the one in control. The vast majority of dentists will realize that and work with you to make sure your experience goes well. You just need to be on the lookout for the minority that doesn’t have your best interests at heart and act accordingly.
The staff at JFK-LGA Dentist always looking out for their patients. They want to make sure that everything is done in a safe way and that any recovery is an easy one. They are more than happy to talk things over, so you can call them at (718) 656-4747.
Dr. Robert M. Trager
Building 14 West Wing,
Jamaica, NY 11430