Six Tips To Find The Right Dentist For You


Dr. Baruch TetriPhoto Credit: Petro Onysko

For the past decade, Dr. Baruch Tetri one of the Miami's most admired periodontal surgeons, has made exceeding patient expectations his daily mission as he works to advance the profession.  Doing that goes beyond self-promotion to offering helping everyone find the right dentist for their needs. Offering six tips to finding the right dentist, Dr. Tetri shares insight into his approach, and a few thoughts concerning the future of dentistry. 

Forget the cold, featureless and antiseptic dental offices of the past, Dr. Tetri’s clinic is warm, comfortable and inviting. A welcoming staff ensures a cup of coffee or tea is always at hand, and his expert team of technicians inspires confidence. Adhering to the most rigorous CDC guidelines for hygienic safety, the latest techniques and equipment combine in an experience designed to fundamentally change what we expect from a visit to the dentist.  

From cosmetic to reconstruction, and advanced micro-surgery, Dr. Tetri elevates dentistry to a higher level.  Delivering precise, consistent and beautiful results, all rendered as non-invasively and as painlessly as is possible. While admittedly lofty ambitions, they reflect an educational journey of nearly 20 years that has spanned three countries and help to explain the approach of a visionary dentist.

Dr. Tetri’s career began in Israel where at the age of 14 he studied to become a Master Dental Technician.  There his creation of a successful company providing top lab services to dentists proved to be not the end, but ironically a newprofessional beginning. Unleashing a burning desire to build upon his technical expertise, he began study to practice dentistry.

This led Dr. Tetri to dental school in Moscow, where he earnedhis first dental degree and initial surgical training.  Dentallaboratory artistry had propelled him to becoming a dentist, but it was all he had learned in the lab that set the tone for the unique, hands-on approach characterizing his practice today. He knew there was still so much more to learn.

Determined to find the best, New York University in New York City beckoned.  At NYU he earned his DDS in 2006, followed by a post-graduate periodontal degree in 2009. Today, from preventive and diagnostic treatment to rare restorative andpioneering micro-surgical techniques, Dr. Tetri provides a uniquely patient-first approach to treatment and planning.

His work today reflects nearly two decades of training, education and successful practice. These combine in truly state-of-the-art treatment and doing more in less time. Often with extractions and implants all in one day, all performed to the highest standards comfort assured by anesthesia with exacting AAAHC Accreditation.

Wherever you may be and whatever your dental needs, Dr. Baruch Tetri shares six down-to-earth common-sense tips to find the dentist that’s right for you and real oral health.


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#1 – Understand your needs and find a dentist that meets them.

It sounds simple and logical, but the first step in choosing the right dentist is far more than an Internet search and making a list for phone calls.  It’s a highly personal decision and an important one. To help, a few general thoughts are offered below followedwith six tips that begin with briefly explaining the types of dentists to understand who does what and why.

Oral health is a primary indicator of overall health.  If untreated, bad breath, bleeding, sensitive and swollen gums are more than nuisances, they can be the early indicators of worse things to come. On the other hand, if your needs are cosmetic, your search for a dentist may be quite different.  In every case, consider the dentist’s training, and look for advanced, specialized degrees, read his or her reviews, and factor in your budget and the overallfeeling you got about the dentist and the practice when you call, or better yet, visit.

For most of us, a General Dentist is the first dentist we meet and the right choice for preventive care.  Most will also perform a measure of restorative services, commonly check-ups, teeth cleaning and filling cavities.  Some may also diagnose or treat the early stages of gum disease, place crowns and provide initial consulting.

Periodontist has more specialized training enabling the treatment of tissues damaged by more progressive gum disease whose symptoms include bleeding, swollen or hyper-sensitivity. Additionally, periodontists often specialize in implants that do more than just replace a missing or failing tooth, also helping to stabilize the jawbone and reduce further bone loss.  Their expertise includes Osseo-integration, where today’s titanium implants graft with bone, as well as microsurgical techniquesThese are advanced skills learned through rigorous specialized higher education and training.

Prosthodontist specializes in procedures that may repair teeth and jaw bite.  They also often also perform cosmetic dentistry.

Finally, an Endodontist has had specialized training to treat more complex tooth issues that involve nerves and nerve pathways.

There have been great advancements in dental technology and specialized procedures, and increasingly they require a dentist trained in specialties including neuromuscular phylosopy.  This is because teeth, bone and muscle are interconnected with nerves, which is how and why dental health impacts overall health. An experienced periodontist factors in all three when providing critical techniques for advanced restorative dental services.

#2 – Find a budget plan you’re comfortable with and works for you.

We all want to save money and get the most value for what we pay.  What’s also true is that while there is always someone willing to do what we want for less we generally get what we pay for.  The hidden cost of false economy can be devastating in terms of shoddy work, time lost, and have redo what wasn’t properly done, and pay for it again.

Dental Insurance and Dental Savings Plans can be misleading and confusing, sometimes intentionally. It’s best to examine them carefully to make sure you understand the specific features of their waiting periods, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, annual benefit caps and more. When in doubt, ask questions!

After finding a dentist with the skills, expertise and experience that’s right for you, it’s good practice to explore payment options upfront.  Many accept credit cards, and some will even arrange a custom payment plan to enable you to get the treatment you need on terms that work with your budget.

#3 – Make sure you read – and understand –reviews and ratings.

Today, there are two basic truths about reviews and ratings:  First, reputation is essential, and healthcare professionals live and die with ratings and reviews.  And second, while there is no shortage of dental review sites, be aware that they vary wildly.  As a smart first step, ask family and friends about their dentist, if therecommend him or her – and why.

A good place to start is with reviews on sites like Google, Yelp and Healthgrades.  As is always the case, remember it’s important to weigh what you read and try to put it all into proper context. Reviews can provide you a sense of what patients have to say about their experience, while a negative review may be an outlier and unfair for a variety of reasons.  A negative review for a dentist with predominantly good ones, maybe inaccurate or spiteful.

#4 – Nothing can be more helpful than to request a consultation.

It’s a great idea to ask for one before ever actually seeing the dentist.  It will give you a sense of the dentist’s business approach and a smart place to start. The purpose of a consultation isn’t for immediate treatment or instant diagnosis, but a general discussion about care and policies. There are many benefits to a consultation, and it can be the beginning of an important long-term relationship.

It’s important to understand that a dentist is a physician and should be interested in the overall medical condition and health.  This means looking deeper, beyond symptoms to the state of your body, not just drill and fill. An outstanding dentist will achieve the greatest success from your treatment, by paying understanding everything that contributes to your health from lab work to medications, nutritional supplements and more.

When you go, you’ll get a first-hand look at the office, as well as a sense of their culture, cleanliness, and overall atmosphere.  Take a look around and try to take it all in.  Is the equipment and technology new and up to date, or old and tired. First impressions can tell you a lot.

#5 – Your overall impression – consider all you’ve seen and heard.

From reviews to expertise, billing and payment flexibility to office amenities, equipment and technology to staff, culture, and hours of operation, what is the overall impression they combine to make on you? Did you feel welcome and comfortable or like an outsider?   Would you be proud to call him or her my dentist?

Trust your instincts and as you do it leads us to the final tip.

#6 – Take the time you need to make the best decision for you.

Don’t rush the process.  Many things go into your final decision in selecting your dentist.  Your health and the health of your family is at stake.  It’s important to feel good about your decision and that’s the point, because most important of all, it’s about you and your feelings and comfort.

The differences between dentists, large or small, are important, and a little research does go a long way. Your smile will thank you!