If you live in Raleigh, NC and are trying to find a new dentist, you can easily find yourself in a dilemma when you start researching teethandgums the field to find one that fits your goals. Most states do not allow patient/dentist engagement. Not so for Raleigh, perhaps because of the nearby UNO School of Dentistry. Disregarding for a moment that there are specific specialties in dentistry (such as oral surgeons and periodontists), there are over 250 general dentists in Raleigh!
Because there are so many general dentists in Raleigh,
Many choose to focus on a special audience such as children (pediatric dentistry). But if you read the advertising materials for Raleigh dentists, you may be confused by what other dentists have to offer. All of the following categories of focus, such as pediatric dentistry, relate to the type of people a Raleigh dental practice is specifically trying to serve. This is an era of specialization, and it makes sense for dentists in Raleigh to meet the needs of a variety of patients. The same method for choosing a dentist is not used in other parts of North Carolina – especially in rural areas, where one or more dentists can try to meet the needs of the entire state. (So plans for a dental school in the state recently began.)
To help clear up the confusion if you live in Raleigh,
the categories used by general dentists are described below. These concepts can help you make the best choice for your situation. Details are informal. Most are not officially designated by the American Dental Association or the NC Board of Dentistry. There are no specific rules defining them. The NC Board of Dentistry requires all general dentists to follow certain guidelines, and general dentists in Raleigh may refer to themselves as one of the following (unless additional requirements apply and I note below). Using the first four categories in Raleigh—if they fit your needs—is the fastest way to significantly break down the 250 dental field. If you need dental implants, you will expand the field even faster. (As of June 2009, there were six dental providers in Raleigh.)
– Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry that is aesthetic in nature – in other words, they provide services that improve your smile.
-Sedation Dentistry –
Dentists who provide additional sedation services (in addition to the “standard” anesthesia used by most general dentists) to manage anxiety and pain sensitivity. Since 2009, the NC Board of Dentistry has regulated the administration of sedation by general dentists—requiring special training and experience for sedation providers. There are different levels of sedation. Many patients who suffer from anxiety or are sensitive to pain can benefit from this level of oral sedation.
Implant dentistry is dentistry that provides teeth (replacements for your natural teeth) to replace or combine teeth and bridges to provide greater stability and/or a better natural appearance.
– Comprehensive Dentistry –
Dentists who want to be a full service provider for their patients – often avoid referrals to patient/family specialists. In addition to preventive dentistry services, their services include cosmetic and implant dentistry services, orthodontic services and periodontal treatment. These dentists can be trained more extensively to provide a wider range of services. . Although growing in popularity, it’s a relatively new trend in Raleigh.
Preventive dentistry is dentistry that focuses on maintaining healthy teeth and gums and preventing cavities and oral disease. All general dentists are trained in preventive dentistry as well as restorative procedures (fillings, crowns, etc.) necessary to maintain oral health. Preventive dental care may at least be covered by dental insurance, while cosmetic dental services often are not.