Make Sure Your Dentist Is LicensedDec 04, 2015, by
Following the sensational arrest of an unlicensed dentist in El Paso, the local Fox affiliate has taken up the warning cry that the number of unlicensed dentists in Texas “could be on the rise.”
Of course, the station doesn’t offer any real data to support this hypothesis, but it is still worth noting that there are unlicensed dentists out there who will offer to perform dental services without the proper training, equipment, or experience. Some of them may even have had their licenses suspended because of misconduct or poor performance. It’s important to take care when choosing your dentist and never put your oral health at risk.
How to Make Sure Your Dentist Is Licensed
The easiest way to make sure you’re working with a licensed dentist is to check with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE). Just put in the name of the dentist and you’ll see their license status. Note that if you click on the details of the license, you’ll also get their address, so you won’t be fooled by someone pretending to be a real dentist but practicing somewhere else.
Warning Signs to Watch out for
But if you didn’t check your dentist’s credentials beforehand (or even if you did), there are some warning signs to watch out for. First, never agree to dental treatment at a person’s home, a warehouse, industrial space, or any location other than a real dental office. These areas are unsanitary, which can increase your risk of infection, and probably aren’t equipped to deal with any dental emergency.
Don’t agree to have procedures performed at times outside the normal business hours of a location. Most unlicensed providers are dental hygienists or assistants who have a “side business” performing procedures they’re not authorized to perform. Some of them may operate out of the dentist’s office without the dentist’s knowledge. Always make sure the dentist is present when you are getting dental procedures done.
Unlicensed Dentistry Is Not Worth the Risk
Many people seek out unlicensed dentists because they are looking to save money on dental care, but this could be the most costly mistake they ever make. If you’re lucky, the unlicensed dentist will just take your money and not provide a service. Then you’re only out a little bit of money. If you’re unlucky, they may perform part of the service, then ask for more money to complete it or skip town leaving you with half-done dental work.
Or the dentist may perform the service, but do it so poorly that you’re left with the original problem and more. Now you have to seek out a licensed dentist to fix your new problem, too.
When you consider the importance of your teeth and gums to your appearance and your overall health, dental care is worth the investment. And it’s worth getting it done right, especially when flexible payment options make it easier to fit dental care into even a tight budget.