By Dr. Zev Mickler, DMD
Dentistry has advanced by leaps and bounds in recent years, but not all dentists have consistently updated their practice to match these advancements. In this article, we will list a few things you might want to take note of at your next visit to determine whether your dentist has been staying up to date.
You may want to ask yourself the following questions:
How well can your dentist see your mouth?
Given that the mouth is a relatively small and dark space and the teeth are quite small, proper care requires professional optical equipment, including magnifiers (at least 4x) and a bright light. Without proper optical equipment, a dentist won’t be able to see well enough to carry out the very precise procedures needed to give good care. Precision is key in every profession and especially in dentistry; it has a direct impact on the quality and durability of the work being done. Additionally, optical and magnifying equipment are essential when diagnosing and locating problems, which cannot be identified without these tools.
Is your dentist using up-to-date X-ray technology?
If your dentist takes an X-ray and you notice that he’s still developing film the old-fashioned way—that would be an excellent time to say thank you and run for your life! In our times, there is no justification for using these outdating imaging technologies, when there are far superior methods available on the market. A dentist should recognize the importance of technological advancement in his field.
Does the dentist use the latest techniques for pain management?
If the idea of walking around for several hours with numb lips doesn’t appeal to you, you should know that these days, dentists have access to methods for precision anesthesia that safely and painlessly numbs only the area of the tooth he’s working on. If you find yourself face-to-face with a giant syringe when going in for a filling or—even worse—a root canal, you may want to reconsider whether this is the right clinic for you.
How does the office smell?
Some people feel nauseous just thinking about walking into the dentist’s office. Up-to-date medications and chemicals, however, should spare you that “dentist-office” bouquet. A strong smell is a warning sign that the treatment you’re about to receive is not going to be of the highest quality.
Where is your dentist sitting?
In order to access your teeth and perform the delicate movements required to treat them, your dentist needs to be sitting above your head, while you lie completely horizontally on the dental chair—unless special circumstances prevent you from lying flat on your back. This position gives the dentist a good view of all areas of your mouth and is most comfortable for both of you.
Your mouth is an important organ and it deserves the best! Make sure it’s receiving the most professional and advanced care available.
Dr. Zev Mickler is a dentist with over 10 years of experience. His clinic in Jerusalem offers a range of professional, friendly and pain-free dental care utilizing the latest technology, as well as 24-hour availability to treat emergencies. For more information or to book an appointment, call 02-624-8177.