Are all dentists the same because we went to the same schools?
Not so much. We are not only speaking skill level.
Dentists have a choice in how they deliver their services, and it directly impacts the experience of the patient. I will review a few of these.
Some dentists love gadgetry and figuring out problems in creative ways. My father-in-law thought that since I was a dentist, I could fix anything. Patients who choose this dentist will be happy in a tooth by tooth, emergency-based operation, getting cleanings and repairing what is broken. There is nothing wrong with this approach, as long as the patients realize that in the long run there may be issues that don't get addressed proactively.
Some dentists are more big picture focused. They look at the patient more holistically and view the mouth as a system that can provide clues of longer term problems which are addressed prior to breakdown. This allows the patient to look at their treatment more comprehensively and plan to restore their mouth to health rather than wait for little things to become problematic and gradually affect overall health. Again, there is nothing wrong with this as long as the patient realizes that they are possibly having dentistry done in advance of obvious breakdown. This is an act of faith and trust.
Some dentists specialize. The preference here is to limit your scope and focus energy on fewer skills. This creates a different relationship than a patient has with their general dentist. When referring out to specialists, we try to match personalities. Sometimes the highest skilled provider is not a match personally. If the patient wants the perfect specialist, they might not exist, or the patient may need to travel.
These are just a few of the variables. The key is to create an alliance with the provider who you feel aligned with. Hopefully, this dentist can listen carefully and can be the dentist that you want and deserve. We try very hard to be that person and provide either of the above experiences, whether you want a short-term focus or long-term. We still need to be true to our practice and staff; if the demands don't fit, we will discuss that. Also, insurance networks do not value the interpersonal nature of dentistry. We are very selective in choosing networks, as we need to be able to provide options and care which our patients deserve and demand. Please feel free to contact us with any thoughts or concerns. We are here for you.