For those of you who haven't been to the dentist in awhile, times have changed. From new technologies like needle-free delivery of local anesthesia to the same-day dental crown procedure, there are a lot of techniques in place to make the dental care experience more pleasant. There are so many changes taking place that many dentists are extending their quest for dentistry knowledge beyond their dental school tenure. The result is advanced dentistry -- dental education that takes place after dental school.
All this extra education is a good thing for you. If you've ever been anxious at the dentist's office or just don't like needles, it's easy to understand why you'd want a dentist who strives to make your dental care experience as quick and painless as possible. And that's just what dentists who seek out advanced dental training strive to do.
What Is Advanced Dentistry?
Advanced dentistry is a term that applies to an array of educational opportunities available after dental school. Advanced dentistry training may be completed right after dental school or after a dentist has been in the field for awhile. Training programs can be dental school based or non-dental school based, and may require anywhere from hours of training to years, depending on the program. Some award certificates, others continuing education units or Master's degrees.
Examples of advanced dental training include cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, implant dentistry and formally recognized dental specialties such as orthodontics and prosthodontics. Advanced dental training also includes training in the use of new dental tools and equipment such as digital tomography and computer-generated anesthesia.
Dentists interested in advanced dentistry tend to be actively involved not only in continuing education, but also in dental associations, often becoming speakers or educators of fellow dentists.
The Bonus For Dental Patients
A dentist who seeks out advanced dentistry education is eager to stay abreast of changes in the field and to incorporate these changes into his or her dental practice. That means you get a dentist who provides the latest techniques and technologies, many of which aim to make dental care quicker and less painful. In some cases, dentists pursue advanced dental training so they can serve as a one-stop shop for dental care, providing not only restorative care such as a dental cleaning and tooth filling, but also cosmetic dentistry, root canal therapy, even full mouth reconstruction. You save time and enjoy the convenience of having all of your dental care needs met by one dentist instead of having to seek out specialty care from one or more additional dentists.
The Bonus for Dental Patients
The best way to find out whether a dentist seeks out advanced dentistry education and training is to ask. You can ask the dentist directly about any advanced dental training and certification he or she might have obtained and how that training affects your care.
You can also rely on 1-800-DENTIST, which provides you with detailed background information about each dentist, including dental school education, dental association memberships and dentist reviews. A complete list of dental services is also provided, so you get a sense of the depth and variety of dental care available from each member dentist.