Have you ever visited the dentist with a problem only to be referred to a specialist? Do you wonder why your dentist couldn’t do the treatment? Or maybe you have talked to friends and heard that they are referred to specialists all of the time and you wonder why your dentist does the treatment himself.
Whether a dentist refers to a specialist or not varies widely from dentist to dentist. Some dentists elect to do only restorative treatment and refer out all of their restorative procedures. Other dentists perform the vast majority of treatment needed by their patients. The main reason for this is the comfort level and experience of the dentist with the specific treatment.
Dr. Boyd continues to take continuing education courses and keeps his skills up-to-date. Still, there are procedures that Dr. Boyd prefers to refer out to specialists. The most common procedures our office refers to a specialist include extraction of impacted wisdom teeth and other complex extractions, surgical placement of dental implants, complex root canal procedures, and gum surgeries.
The American Dental Association’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional conduct states, ”Dentists shall be obliged to seek consultation, if possible, whenever the welfare of patients will be safeguarded or advanced by utilizing those who have special skills, knowledge, and experience.”
We know being referred to a specialist can be frustrating for patients. We understand that it means going to a new office, dealing with an unfamiliar staff, and a new doctor. We only refer our patients to specialists when we think it is in their best interest. If you are referred we will try to make it as easy for you as we can. We can send xrays by e-mail and can give the office your insurance information so they are ready for you.
We make sure that all dentists to whom we refer are dentists who respect our patients. We receive written reports from the specialists and talk with them about difficult cases. In the rare instance when we learn a patient hasn’t been treated the way we want our patients to be treated we contact the specialist with our concerns. If we don’t get a satisfactory response from the specialist we stop referring patients to them. We are always glad when our patients let us know how their experiences with the specialist went.
If you are referred to a specialist don’t be afraid to ask why we are sending you to another office. We are happy to explain anything about your treatment to you.