Questions to Ask a Perspective Periodontist


Interviewing a New Periodontist

The periodontist you choose will have a significant effect on the health of your teeth and gums. When looking for a specialist, start the search by getting a recommendation from your dentist. If you trust your dentist, you can trust his referral. Friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers can also give recommendations.

While these referrals are a great place to start your search, you should not choose a periodontist without conducting an interview first. The following questions will help you learn more about the dentist’s practice and whether or not it is a good fit for you.

  1. What continuing education opportunities do you pursue?
  2. All periodontists have completed dental school and at least three additional years of education and training focusing specifically on periodontology. They also must be licensed to practice by the American Board of Periodontology. To maintain board certification, they must commit to continuing education.

    The conferences, workshops and classes attended by periodontists ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest technologies, treatments and skills. Talk to your candidates about the training they receive to stay current with advancements in the field.

  3. How do you handle patients with dental phobias?
  4. If you have any anxiety about going to the dentist, talk to your candidates about the measures they take to make patients comfortable before, during and after procedures. Ask about relaxation techniques, dental sedation or other ways the dentist puts patients at ease.

  5. How long does it take to get an appointment?
  6. Some periodontal issues must be dealt with immediately, especially if the patient is in pain. Look for a dentist who keeps a schedule that is convenient for you. That may include evening or weekend hours or same-day appointments.

  7. Does the office offer payment plans or accept your insurance?
  8. Many dental offices offer no-interest financing plans, while others demand payment up-front for services. If you have insurance, make sure the dentist is in your network.

  9. Do you have before and after photos of your work?
  10. Most dentists keep a before and after portfolio of work they have done on real patients. If you plan on having cosmetic periodontal work done, look at the photos to make sure the dentist you choose has an esthetic sense similar to yours.

  11. How will you treat my condition?

Talk to the dentists about how they will handle your specific case. Some dentists opt for conservative treatments initially, while others pursue a more aggressive approach. Treatments for gum disease can range from simple cleanings to laser surgeries. Discuss all your options before making an appointment.


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