Choosing A Dentist

It is of up most importance for you to have a dentist who takes a sincere interest in your general health, as well as, your oral health. For successful dental care, it makes sense to select and become acquainted with a dentist before a dental emergency arises.

Dentists in general practice are fully qualified to provide all aspects of dental care. They will, however, refer certain cases to specialists, if necessary.

Before selecting a dentist in general practice, you may want to consider several. Just because Dentists have dental degrees doesn't mean they all Practice Alike. Here are some ways you can locate a qualified dentist: ask your parents, friends, neighbors, or co-workers to recommend a dentist or speak to your family physician or local pharmacist or contact a local dental specialist, such as an oral surgeon, for a referral.

The Pankey Institute patient referral service

I hope that you will choose our practice to provide your dental care. My goal is to offer the highest
quality restorative and preventive dental care available anywhere. I look forward to serving you

now and in the years to come.

The purpose of my web site is to provide  information about our dental facilities, philosophy of practice,
services and policies. We encourage you to visit often. Feel free to share it with friends or
family members who may be seeking similar care.

If you have any questions, please contact us. Your comments are always welcome.



                        1. Receptionist should be friendly on the phone and at the front desk
                         2. Be prompt and do not keep patients waiting

                         3. Do not let dental assistants do very much without first explaining things to the patient

                         4. Be willing to work out more flexible financial plans

                         5. Give patients personal attention and don't make them feel rushed like a number

                         6. Tell patients what is being done before charging them

                         7. Call and remind patients of their dental appointment

                         8. The office must look, feel and smell clean

                         9. Be more helpful in processing dental insurance

                         10. Explain sterilization standards practiced in the office


Keep the following questions in mind:
  • Is the dentist prevention oriented?
  • Does the dentist provide oral health instruction and education?
  • Does the dentist seem genuinely interested in your general health situation?
  • How available is the dentist?
  • What arrangements does the dentist have for handling emergencies that occur outside of office hours?
  • After considering the recommendations, call a dentist for an appointment. At your first visit, you should be able to learn a lot about whether he or she is the right dentist for you.
Try to Evaluate the following:
  • Is the general appearance of the office appealing?
  • Is the dentist and the dentist's staff courteous?
  • Is the appointment schedule convenient for you?

Be open and frank when consulting your dentist. Do not try to establish your own diagnosis. Let your dentist evaluate your particular health situation and give him all the information he needs. Then discuss the possible treatment plans suggested for your particular case.

Don't be embarrassed to ask the dentist about fees. Your dentist should be willing to discuss fees and payment plans in advance of treatment.

    No dentist will begin treatment without your consent or approval. Your first appointment may be limited to a simple diagnostic consultation. If your oral health situation is particularly complex, it may be reassuring to consult another dentist for a second opinion.

    By spending the small amount of time necessary to make an intelligent choice of a dentist, you will help create a harmonious relationship founded on mutual trust and respect.

    It's a fact of life: State licensing boards attempt to establish minimum standards of practice in the community. Unfortunately, most of us choose to demand more than that from those with whom we place our trust and our family's health.

    Consumers not only want to know how to spend their money wisely, they want assurances about the quality of dental care they receive. Because dental care is a highly personalized health service that varies from patient to patient, it is difficult to provide hard-and-fast rules about what is "good" dentistry. The following offers some broad but useful guidelines for the consumer.

    You can have a good experience with dentistry by making the right choice of a family dentist and by practicing good oral health care at home between dental visits. Be certain the practice stresses preventive care and that 24 hour emergency treatment is available. Expect the staff to be friendly and treat you as an individual, not "another mouth." The office should be comfortable, clean, and well organized. Don't be embarrassed to ask the dentist about fees. The dentist and his/her staff should be willing to discuss fees and/or financial arrangements in advance of treatment.

    Reducing your Dental Bills

    Select a dentist that is interested in Prevention. The key to reducing dental costs is prevention. There is a lot that you can do to avoid serious dental problems.

    Regular dental checkups are an essential part of any prevention program. If you see your dentist regularly, any dental problems you have can be treated in their early stages. If you see a dentist only in an emergency, when you already have a serious problem, treatment may be much more costly. In the long run, nothing is more economical than the regular dental checkup.

    Periodically, your dentist may ask you to have an X-ray examination. X-rays help your dentist find hidden conditions that can threaten your oral or general health. Treating these conditions at an early stage often prevents more serious damage and the need for more expensive treatment later.

    The ADA recommends that dentists take X-rays only after consideration of their patients' individual needs. Your dentist should request that you have an X-ray examination only when it will benefit you.

    You may have heard or read statements that question the safety of dental X-ray examinations. There is little reason for you to be concerned about safety when modern techniques and equipment are used. X-ray examinations are a necessary part of complete, comprehensive dental care.

    Preventive techniques, such as topical fluoride applications and pit and fissure sealants have reduced many dental problems. But these techniques cannot save your teeth and reduce your dental costs unless you and your family share the responsibility for your own oral health. Brushing and flossing the teeth thoroughly at least once a day is necessary to remove plaque. Plaque is the thin film of bacteria that forms on everyone's teeth and causes dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease. Using a fluoride mouth rinse and dentifrice (toothpaste or gel) accepted by the ADA's Council on Dental Therapeutics helps make teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. Eating nutritious meals and limiting the number of snacks you eat is also important for maintaining your oral health.

    Material on this page was contributed by Jeffrey L. Wissot, DDS-FAGD & & John Kois




    Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD
    2009 Birdcreek Terrace Temple, TX 76502 254.773.9007 | Fax 254.773.8051

    ©2004 Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD | Online since 1996 | Updated Continuously