William D. Titus DMD, PL
COSMETIC & GENERAL DENTISTRY

PHONE:  (904) 879-3786 

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Why Do I Have to See a Specialist?


Seeing A Specialist for Care

 

At times, it may be deemed necessary to refer you to a dental specialist for a certain dental need or concern.  Specialists are dental school graduates that have undergone extra dental training in a given dental specialty.  The American Dental Association recognizes the following specialties within the dental profession: Endodontics, Orthodontics, Pedodontics, Oral Surgery and Periodontics.  Specialties were established in the dental profession to ensure the highest quality care for patients.  Dentistry over the past 100 years has become an increasingly complex healing art.  The rapidly expanding knowledge base of dentistry is too complex for any one dentist to master.  In addition, the excessive cost of equipment and training to master the latest state-of-the-art procedures to preserve and treat teeth is at times overwhelming.  So in order to provide our patients with the very best care, we will at times, refer you to a specialist for your care.  This is most often encountered with surgical tooth extractions, molar root canal therapy and more advanced care of gum disease.

Often, we find that patients are frustrated by "having to go to another dentist."  We do referrals in the best interest of the patient and do so often to meet the standard of care which we are expected to meet.  "Standard of Care" is an esoteric concept that professionals use to determine whether a colleague has acted appropriately when rendering treatment for a given patient.  When such a question arises, dental boards will poll respected clinicians in regard to what they would have done in a particular situation.  If a majority of polled dentists indicate they would have acted differently, the dentist whose judgment is in question can be deemed to have committed malpractice because he was not within the "Standard of Care" of his peers.

Standard of Care is a regularly changing and evolving entity.  Changing technology and changing dental techniques fuel this change.  When referrals are made, we not only are attempting to meet Standard of Care for our liability concerns, but also to provide you with the best, most appropriate care possible.

When a referral is provided for you, we also attempt to refer to only those specialists we know and have a long-term relationship with.  These are doctors we would use ourselves and with which our patients over the years have given us positive feedback on.  Unfortunately, some dental plans and PPO plans require the use of specialists that we do not know or have a track record with.  In these cases, we will usually inform you that we do not know this specialist.  You will then need to make a decision on whether to use this provider.  While we make suggestions on specialists, we never require a patient to see the specialist we suggest.  You are always free to see any specialist of your choice and most board certified specialists have proven their mastery of their specialty to a board of their peers.  If you have used a specialist in the past and wish to continue to use their services, know that we fully support your decision to do so.

 

Oral Surgeons Periodontists Orthodontists Endodontists Pedodontists