According to a new national survey of dentists, it is common for general dentists to offer a wide range of services. The results of the survey of nearly 2400 dentists were published in BioMed Central’s Oral Health imprint, and revealed that some specialist services were commonly performed, while others were generally avoided.

This can be good in many cases, because offering many services is convenient for patients, but in other cases it may lead to poor care when dentists are undertaking services they are not qualified to handle.

Cosmetic Dentistry Is among the Most Common Services

happy woman at a dental officeThe survey results revealed that almost all dentists (96%) routinely performed non-implant restorative procedures. Fillings, dental crowns, and other restorative procedures are nearly as much a part of general dentistry as routine checkups. The next most common procedure performed, surprisingly was extractions, followed by cosmetic procedures.

More than half of all dentists (59%) routinely perform cosmetic dentistry and more than a third of dentists (36%) said they occasionally perform cosmetic dentistry services. This seems like a very high proportion. The 95% of dentists who offer cosmetic dentistry procedures is much higher than the proportion of dentists who are trained and qualified in performing cosmetic dentistry.

Especially worrisome are the third of dentists who occasionally perform cosmetic dentistry services. Many of these dentists probably have little training in what makes cosmetic dentistry special and how best to get the results their patients want. And with a lack of training and only sporadic practice with which to hone their talents, it’s unlikely that these dentists will ever be able to improve.

And there are the nearly 40% of general dentists who say they “occasionally” perform dental implants. Dental implants are a procedure where training and experience are crucial in performing the procedure properly, which is why we work with a specialist for our dental implant procedures.

Is Your Dentist Pushing a New Service?

It’s not uncommon for a general dentist to try to “upsell” you for additional services when they are performing a dental checkup. Before you decide that a dentist who does a reasonable job with fillings is the right choice for your porcelain veneers, talk to them about their credentials. Ask them about their training and their experience. Look at before and after images.

You shouldn’t discount them immediately, because there are a lot of great cosmetic dentists who still perform general dentistry procedures, too. We’re one of them. But you also shouldn’t agree to have the procedure done just because this person is your regular dentist. A professional should understand if you decide that you want to work with someone else for an important and delicate cosmetic dentistry procedure.

If you are looking for a dentist in Orange County who has the experience and education to offer a full range of dental procedures, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.