This post is the third in a four part series on choosing a general dentist. If you haven’t already read parts 1 and 2, I recommend you do before continuing.

Choosing a general dentist (continued)

  • Check with the state dental board – Every state maintains an agency to ensure transparency for medical professionals like dentists. You can look up a general dentist by name or license number at this page on the New Mexico Regulations and Licensing Department’s website. You’ll get a report including the dentist’s certifications, education, and any violations or disciplinary actions against them.
  • Consider cost – will the dentist work with your insurance? It’s a good idea to have information about your dental insurance on hand when you call the office. If you don’t have dental insurance, will you be able to afford the dentist of your choosing without it?
  • Look for advanced technology – the field of general dentistry is filled with fast paced discovery and technological innovation. Many of these innovations, like painless anesthetic delivery, for example, can make a big difference in your experience as a patient. The best dentists make sure their practices keep up with the curve when it comes to new technologies.
  • DDS vs. DMD – Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine. Although the names are different, these are the same education. It’s up to the university granting the degree what they want to call it, and state licensing boards accept either interchangeably – so don’t get hung up on it.

A child visiting their general dentist

What about cosmetic dentistry?

It’s important to note that cosmetic dentistry is not one of the 9 areas of interest recognized by the American Dental Association. This means that any General Dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist without any additional education, training, or experience (on top of their dentistry degree, that is). One good way to evaluate the quality of a cosmetic dentist is to take a look at their work. Any cosmetic dentist should be proud of how good their work looks, and eager to show it off. If photos of their work are hard to find or they don’t provide them, that’s a big red flag.

Check back soon for How to choose a general dentist – what to look for and more, part 4. In the meantime, check out our page to learn more about Dr. Abeyta’s qualifications and approach to general dentistry.