Some people pride themselves on knowing precisely what type of dental professional to see for any particular problem. There's a reason most specialists ask you if you were referred to them. Here's why you should still see your general dentist first before jumping straight to a specialist.
Your General Dentist Knows Your Dental History
No matter what type of problem you're experiencing, it's possible it can stem from something in your dental history. If you go to a specialist directly, they will not have your dental history. You may think you're saving time and money by going straight to a specialist. But, without your history, the specialist will actually be at a disadvantage.
In addition, the specialist may need to do some extra work that will cost you more. Consider that your general dentist has
- your dental records
- your dental X-rays
- a history of dealing with your teeth
When you see a specialist, he or she will likely need to take fresh X-rays, which will become a service tacked onto your bill. In addition, the specialist will have to spend quite some time asking you about your dental history.
Barring any of that, the specialist will have to send a request to your general dentist to have information sent over. That process can add time to your treatment.
You Might Be Misdiagnosing Yourself
You may think you know what's going on with your teeth or gums. However, it's possible you're wrong. You could go to see a specialist, only to find out they have to send you to another specialist, or even to your general dentist.
That visit can turn into a waste of time and money. Your general dentist can give you a diagnosis, and may even have the solution to your problem without you needing to see a specialist.
There's Benefit to Speaking to Your Dentist First
Even if you don't want to bring your issue to your general dentist, you should at least speak to him or her. Your dentist can give you some information you wouldn't otherwise have. For example, your dentist may already know if the specialist you plan to see will accept your insurance or not.
In fact, your insurance may not even support you seeing a specialist without a referral. Your general may already know this. Forewarning can prompt your dentist to send over your dental charts and history to the specialist before you visit.
For all of these reasons and more, you should always speak to your general dentist before you see a specialist. An orthodontist or periodontist may have the solution you need, but your general dentist can help you ascertain if a specialist is the right choice for you. Learn more by contacting services like Persona Dental.