How do I look for a dentist?
A good place to start is by asking for a referral from people you trust – your friends, family, acquaintances, work associates, pharmacist or family doctor. Ask them how long they have gone to their dentist, how comfortable they feel asking questions and what type of dentist they go to (general or specialist). It is important that you find a dentist with whom you feel comfortable. Alternatively, you can also contact the Australian Dental Association for a list of dentists in your area.
What kind of dentist should I look for?
General dental practitioners are trained to do all types of treatment. If you have difficult or unusual problems, your dentist may refer you to one of the following specialists:
- Endodontists deal with problems with the tissues and nerves inside each tooth and provide root canal treatment.
- Oral/Maxillofacial surgeons perform surgical treatments, such as removing cysts, tumours and teeth. They can correct fractures or other jaw problems that require surgery. They also use methods similar to those of plastic surgery to treat cosmetic problems of the jaw and face.
- Orthodontists correct improperly positioned teeth, using braces and other appliances to move teeth into a better position.
- Paediatric dentists have had further training in dealing with all aspects of dentistry for children.
- Periodontists specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases.