What Kind of Dentist Do I Need?

What kind of Dentist do I need?. Finding a dentist you feel comfortable with is quintessential to having a good experience.

Ways to Find a Dentist?

Family, friends and colleagues are a great place to start or if you are new to Boston, open your laptop and check online for local Boston dentists. Check the services they offer, their medical training and reviews.

Which Type of Dentist Do I Need?

You should start with a general dentist. A general dentist will refer you to a specialized dentist for any specific problems that you may have. If you know of a particular dental problem that you have, you can search for that specialist direct.

Children’s Dentist—Pediatric Dentist

This dentist specializes in child’s dentistry. You might choose this because children sometimes have unique dental problems that need fixing. They have been trained specifically to handle a child’s developing teeth. They also have an understanding of how to handle problems specific to children like gum problems and cavities.


An endodontist has received specific training on how to handle diseased pulp chamber and performing root canals. In some cases, you can also find a general dentist who will perform a root canal.


These dentists can improve your dental appearance by fixing broken teeth and misshapen or discolored teeth. They improve your tooth structure with the placement of caps and crowns on the teeth. The placement of these veneers has helped to conceal some of the defects.


As an oral surgeon, these are dentists who have a specialization, and they can correct fractures or other jaw problems that require surgery. One of the common surgeries they have been known to treat is called temporomandibular joint or TMJ for short. Oral and maxillofacial dentists have also been known to perform surgeries that have many similarities to plastic surgery related to the face and the jaw.


An orthodontist can help to correct the improper positioning of the teeth. They will often employ the use of braces to do this or another appliance, which will move the teeth into a straighter position to make them look better.


These are dentists who have a specialization in diagnosing and treating gum diseases. In some cases, they will also add a dental implant when needed. For example, if someone lost a tooth in an accident or chipped it.

What Kind of Degree Does Your Dentist Have?

Specialists and general practitioners will have two types of degrees, depending on the school they graduated from. For example, you have the D.D.S. degree, which stands for doctor of dental surgery. You also have D.M.D., and this stands for doctor of dental medicine. The requirements are almost the same.

What Kind of Services Does a General Dentist Provide?

Normally, a general dentist will cost less than what seeing a specialist costs. In addition, many of the insurance plans will require that you get a referral from a general dentist to see a specialist before they decide to cover it. Because of this, it can be worth having a general dentist who oversees your dental care and coordinates with you.

What Amenities and Services Should a General Dentist Provide?

Before you begin searching, you should first check to make sure that you have found a general dentist who can provide you with the amenities and dental services needed. He provides you with the general care of your teeth, and he will refer you over to a more specialized dentist if the need arises. Some of the treatments and services you might find with a general dentist include:

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Root canals
  • Gum care
  • Bridges
  • Fillings
  • Root canals

They might also perform tooth extractions, x-rays and fillings.

Which dentist you should choose will depend on your individual circumstances, but you should usually start with a general dentist. He can refer you to a more specialized dentist if he sees there are further dental problems that can’t be fixed with a general practitioner of dentistry. A dentist can also take preventative measures to stop you from having issues with their mouth later on. The ultimate goal of any dentist is to keep your teeth as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Creating Custom Sleep Apnea Dental Devices

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder, occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping. There are two types of sleep apnea; obstructive and central, which can affect anyone at any age, even children.

1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea occurs when the upper airway becomes repeatedly blocked during sleep, reducing and sometimes completely stopping airflow.

2. Central Sleep Apnea- With central sleep apnea, the person’s airway is not blocked, instead the brain does not send the signals needed to breathe.

To determine if you have or are at risk for sleep apnea, talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor may use sleep studies to record the number of episodes of slow or stopped breathing, the number of central sleep apnea events detected per hour, and also determine whether oxygen levels in the blood are lower during these events.

Several treatment options can be determined by your healthcare practitioner. Breathing devices, lifestyle changes, surgery and mouthpieces are common sleep apnea treatments. If left undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea can lead to serious complications such as heart attack, glaucoma, diabetes, cancer, and cognitive and behavioral disorders.

How can Boston Dental help?

Dental devices can be made to help relieve snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. The main purpose of the dental devices is to keep the airway open during sleep, by moving the tongue or lower jaw forward and upward, which moves the tongue forward, to increase the size of the upper airway, to help the patient breath. Such devices are specifically designed by dentists with special expertise in treating sleep apnea. They are generally easy to use and can be used alone or in combination with other treatment plans for sleep-related diagnosis.
Boston Dental specializes in crafting and creating the right dental device to suit your lifestyle. Our sleep specialist will work with your physician to help you find the right dental device. Once achieved, you will need to follow up with your dentist to ensure that the device fit is still good and to reassess your sleep apnea symptoms.

Some Advantages of Dental Devices:

• Comfortable and easy to wear

• Small and convenient

• Stabilizes the lower jaw and tongue for better breathing

What equipments are used?

Boston Dental uses the most advanced and effective state of the art technology dental technology to provide patients with gentle, quality care.

Cone- Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Technology
Boston Dental uses the latest 3D scanners such as the Dental Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) Technology to generate 3D images of our patients’ dental structures, soft tissue, nerve paths and bone – all in a single scan. The CBCT is capable of providing accurate images by moving a cone-shaped X-ray beam around the patient to produce hundreds of high-quality images. These images enable our dentists to execute more precise treatment planning than a traditional X-ray machine.

The process is simple! Patients simply sit down, in an exam chair, and remain still for 10 – 30 seconds, depending upon how much of the mouth and dental structures are imaged. In a single rotation, the detector can generate anywhere between 150 to 200 high resolution two-dimensional (2-D) images, which are then digitally combined to form a 3-D image that provides our dentists with valuable information about patients’ oral and craniofacial health.

Digital Impressions by 3 Shape Trios Orthodontics
Boston Dental uses modern, highly accurate wireless digital impression technology – a welcomed departure from the traditional dental practice of uncomfortable trays full of impression materials that taste bad.

As part of the Boston Dental luxury experience, our dentists use an intraoral 3D wireless dental scanner to digitally capture every nook and cranny of our patients’ teeth to ensure accurate impressions and make creating high-quality restorations much quicker, reducing chair-time.

The Power of Imagery in Creating Exceptional Patient Experiences

Dentists have a marketing problem: people understand that oral care is valuable to their health and well-being, but they are often afraid to visit dental offices. Drills, picks, knives, and scary-looking machines can lead to fear and anxiety, so practitioners need to be proactive about transforming their offices into more calming environments.

Major patient care advances have been made in medicine, and dentistry needs to keep pace. But this isn’t a simple technological arms race to see who can have the most advanced dental office. Practitioners need to make strategic investments in technology that positively affect patients’ experience.

To find out what technologies make my practice stand out, I conducted an informal survey of my patients. The results might surprise you.

Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT)

My CBCT machine was a popular answer among my patients. As opposed to old-school x-rays, the CBCT machine’s instantaneous 3-D images provide a wow factor for my patients. I’ve been especially impressed recently with the quality of Dentsply Sirona’s units, which produce highly detailed images at a low dose.

I use the Orthophos SL 3-D imaging unit that creates 3-D images, 3-D photos (although some patients find this weird), digital 2-D panoramic images, and cephalometric images. My staff discusses the machine’s ultra low-dose protocol with patients, so they understand that we are limiting the amount of radiation as much as possible. This is particularly helpful for parents of pediatric patients.

I like to use the CBCT scanner because it provides us with high-quality images, so we can make accurate diagnoses and map out treatment plans to help remedy issues quickly. The Dentsply Sirona machine offers a variety of diagnostic options for implantology, endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, maxillofacial surgery, TMJ, and other clinical needs.

Digital impressions

My practice is a multispecialty office. We do a lot of cosmetic dentistry and dental implants, so we frequently take impressions of our patients’ teeth. This is why I wasn’t surprised that our 3Shape Trios intraoral scanner was well-liked among our patients. Like the CBCT, the intraoral scanner is simple and offers patients the immediate gratification of an HD image that shows all the nooks and crannies of their smiles. What I did find interesting, however, was that older patients had a much stronger love of the technology than younger people did.

When I asked why, these patients said they remembered having impressions taken the traditional way. They are thankful that we spare them from uncomfortable trays full of impression materials that do not taste good, and they appreciate that we are able to capture more accurate impressions and create higher quality restorations more quickly.

Smile Design Studio

It’s important not to think of dental technologies in silos. Every tool in your office contributes to the practice’s overall patient experience.

The Smile Design Studio is a proprietary workflow designed to enable my staff to collaborate with patients to design perfect smiles. It is composed of the following technologies: the CBCT scanner, the intraoral scanner, a professional-quality HD camera (I use a Nikon D810), and 3Shape digital design software. We complete the dedicated photo and video studio with Profoto off-camera flashes so I can shape the light predictably for the best possible results.

During the initial consultation, the dentist assesses the patient’s teeth and provides feedback on how the patient’s smile could be improved. We capture images and videos and upload them to the software, which is used to create a realistic mock-up of the patient’s teeth. This gives the patient a clear preview of how his or her smile will look once the work is complete. The ability to show – rather than tell – patients their expected results is especially important when discussing cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, orthodontics, and implants.

Patients really love the smile design process because they feel like they are in control. A major source of patients’ dental fears stem from the loss of control they experience once they sit in the chair. Our Smile Design Studio makes going to the dentist a collaborative process with equal parts give and take to make everyone feel at ease. The practitioner is able to walk patients through the treatment plan and answer any questions they may have. This workflow has proven successful because it empowers patients with knowledge of what is to come so they can set their expectations accordingly.

After reflecting on my informal survey’s results, it would be easy to conclude that patients love images – that they like cool, Jetson-like technology for the sake of it. But to make that conclusion would be to miss a larger truth. It is said that images are worth a thousand words, and I think that’s particularly true in dentistry. CBCT images or digital impressions provide patients with information in an unfamiliar, often intimidating environment. They set the stage for a practitioner’s diagnosis and facilitate communication between the dentist and patient. This type of collaboration builds trust and loyalty, the cornerstones to any successful practice.

Maged el-Malecki, DMD, received his degree from Boston University in 2002 and currently practices in both Boston and Dubai. He is a general dentist with a strong focus on patient education in every procedure. Dr. Malecki is also an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Dental Sealants Reduce Risk of Decay by 80%

Brushing and flossing are the best ways to help prevent cavities, but it’s not always easy to clean every nook and cranny of your teeth – especially those back teeth which are rough, uneven and a favorite place for leftover food and cavity-causing bacteria to hide.

Still, there’s another safety net to help keep those teeth clean. It’s called a sealant, thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures, and grooves of molars to prevent decay on these surfaces. In fact, dental sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars.

The majority of decay on back teeth starts in the grooves and pits of chewing surfaces, especially during the first few years after their eruption. Sealing these surfaces with composite resins prevents this kind of decay.

Sealants are one of the most effective methods of preventing decay on the surfaces where they are placed. Although it is still a possibility that decay may develop on surfaces in between teeth, sealants significantly reduce the overall chance of having cavities.

Sealants are no substitute for brushing and flossing, but they can keep cavities from forming and may even stop early stages of decay from becoming a full-blown cavity.


The Art of Pediatric Dentistry

Even though children often seem as just small adults, their patience and cooperation can be largely compromised during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to know how to examine and treat children in ways that make their experience at the dental office relaxing and fun. This is often achieved by special office equipment and decoration which is designed with children in mind.

A pediatric dentist offers a broad range of dental services and treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your youngster’s oral health. When your pediatrician refers your child to the dentist, you can be assured that your little one will be provided with maximum attention and proper care.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends regular dental visits for children starting at age one. This not only introduces children to sights and sounds of a dental office, but also makes it a more comfortable experience during the future dental visits. Our integrated team of dentists and dental hygienists can teach children good oral hygiene and set them up for a happy, healthy life. We offer dentistry in a warm and friendly environment to children of all ages.



Delta Dental is Changing, How Will it Impact You?

You may have seen a recent Boston Globe article that discussed a major rift between dentists and the largest dental insurer, Delta Dental. In an effort to attract more budget-conscious consumers and businesses, Delta rolled out a new low-cost plan that could potentially lower the amount of money practitioners would earn per patient visit. The good news is that Boston Dental is not among the list of practices that are troubled by this news and will continue to accept all Delta Dental plans.

Delivering great dentistry and patient care at an affordable price has always been a priority here at Boston Dental and that will never change. Since opening our doors, we have remained committed to providing the best standard of care possible and have gladly worked with most major dental insurers to ensure all of our patients can receive the oral care they need to live healthy and happy lives. You’re more than just customers, you are a part of our Boston Dental family.

Are you overdue for your oral hygiene checkup? If so, visit our Boston Dental site and book your appointment online today.

Key Considerations for Dental Practice Expansion

Check Your Practice’s Pulse

Dentists aren’t known for having a high tolerance for business risk. And who can blame us? During our entire tenure at dental school, we practice the art and craft of dentistry, but receive minimal training in how to run a practice.

Typically, the first time dentists see a P&L statement is when they are looking to buy their first practice and never when they are practicing as an associate. It’s a major blind spot that can hamstring practitioners right from the start.

At any time, dentists should know the following about their business:

  • How many active patients are currently in the practice; that is, how many patients have been in the office in the last 18 months?
  • How much recurring monthly costs does the practice incur?
  • What is the average amount of revenue the practice brings in per month? Could this amount support the additional overhead of a new office?
  • Is my current practice profitable enough to support additional overhead?
  • How many new clients does the practice bring in per month?
  • How do these numbers compare to last month? Last year?

These few metrics serve as the vital signs for your practice. Dentists need to act like any other business owner and know exactly how much money they are earning and how much they are spending. We need to know the exact bottom line. Without that basic level of knowledge, it’s impossible to tell whether a practice is ready for growth or gasping for life.

There is no magic metric that tells dentists when they are ready to open a new dental office. This is a judgement call determined by the practitioner’s comfort. I’ve heard stories about dentists who use annual revenues or patient numbers as their top indicator. There are also practitioners who set aside a portion of their revenues into a separate account, similar to how people may buy a house or car, until they hit a predetermined number. There is no right or wrong way to go about investing in your future. The key is to get out of your comfort zone to maximize the practice’s earning potential.

The Costs Are Higher Than You Think

There’s no 2 ways about it: building out a modern dental office is expensive. There is a wide array of contractors, bureaucrats, and salespeople who are vitally important to bringing your vision to life.

The largest expense by far that I experienced was leasing the space for my new dental locations and then working with contractors to build out the offices. These steps took up a huge amount of my time and budget. In addition, there were many unforeseen costs involved in this process as there were permits to be secured and seemingly hundreds of decisions to be made to create the look and feel of these new offices.

I would encourage my fellow dentists to sweat the details as every element of the build, no matter how small, will have a direct effect on the patient experience. Make sure you hold your contractors accountable to timelines and budgets or else costs can spin out of control very quickly.

Another large expense that surprised me was marketing and advertising. When you open a new office, it’s crucial that you spend money informing the surrounding community that you are open for business. Print and online ads, flyers, custom take-home bags, and a hundred other promotional items all cost a lot of money in order to be done right.

One guiding principle that I use in my own strategy is to make sure my marketing investments are measurable. This data lets me know whether a tactic worked or not. Keep an open mind and try new things, but make sure there is a system in place that lets you know whether the campaign drove any new business.

I’ve seen many colleagues burn themselves out when they try to keep their original patient schedule while they expand their practice. It’s a classic example of holding on to what’s familiar versus embracing the unknown. The best advice I can give to ambitious dentists is to be comfortable adjusting their schedule as the need arrives.

We all start out as hard-working practitioners. But, as our career progresses, we should be focused more and more on the business. It’s a tradeoff that many are uncomfortable making, but ultimately it is the right decision for my practice, my staff, and my family.

Finding the right balance between practicing dentistry and running a business can be tough, but I’ve found it to be exhilarating and something that continually rejuvenates my love for what we do. It’s important for practitioners to push themselves and see what they are capable of. Dentists that embrace the challenge of expansion are rewarded for their hard work in more patients and more revenue.

Laser Technology in Dentistry

Dental laser is extremely effective and least invasive tool a dentist can use to provide patients with top-notch dental care. Lasers can be used for a variety of procedures, including crown lengthening, cavity detection, fillings, crown lengthening, sterilization, gum re-sculpting, as well as root canals.

For surgical procedures, the laser acts as a vaporizer of tissue by delivering energy in the form of light. For curing a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the tooth and the filling. In teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of the bleaching agents.

Laser dentistry has become a preferred choice for most patients due to its very obvious pros over traditional dental drills. First and foremost, dental lasers promote overall patient comfort and reduce anxiety due to the fact that they don’t require anesthesia! They provide minimal damage to the surrounding tissue which in turn means less bleeding and post-operative swelling as well as reduction in overall healing time and NO need for pain medication.

Always ask your dentist if they provide laser dentistry in their office, you may just love going to your regular checkups after getting this upgrade.

Why Early Intervention Equals Better Dental Health and a Killer Smile!

When you look at your daughter’s mouth, you wonder if she will need orthodontic treatment when she gets older. Or perhaps your dentist says your son who is entering his preteen years needs braces. How do you evaluate the different types of orthodontic treatments available? Addressing children’s orthodontic needs early not only decreases the amount of work required as they age, but also has the added benefit of better overall dental health.

How Early Diagnosis Works

The goal of early treatment is to address the causes of orthodontic problems before they become issues. This helps prevent long-term problems, instead of just putting a temporary fix on them once they have occurred. For example, in a growing child, encouraging nasal breathing instead of mouth breathing and eliminating oral habits, such as a tongue thrust and thumb sucking, are factors that, if treated, may decrease future problems, such as the growth of narrow palates and a backward position of the lower jaw which encroaches on the air passage. Without correct oral posture, the face, teeth and jaws will not grow properly.

Three things to look at are:

  • Does your child have allergies? Allergies can lead to mouth breathing, which may affect normal facial growth.
  • Are your child’s teeth and lips together?
  • Is the tongue on the roof of your child’s mouth?

Treatment Options

Expansion therapy.

The goal of expansion therapy is to widen the mouth’s palate to accommodate normal tongue posture. This will help to avoid the necessity of extracting adult teeth as much as possible by providing enough bone in the mouth to allow for the natural growth of permanent teeth. Jaw expansion also helps widen nasal passages to allow for better air flow and encourage the forward position of the lower jaw to balance the face. Develop the lower jaw forward. In most cases, when a child’s upper teeth stick out, the problem is not that the upper jaw is too forward, but that the lower jaw is too far back. Many conventional orthodontists treat against nature by extracting permanent teeth and using headgear or surgery to push back the upper teeth and jaws. Holistic orthodontics focuses on natural growth guidance by using appliances that encourage the lower jaw to grow forward. In doing so, this has been shown to increase the airway size and result in a balanced face shape.

Properly aligning the teeth.

Straight teeth are easier to clean and help gums “fit” more tightly around them, thereby reducing gum disease, which may lead to periodontal infection. If untreated, improperly aligned teeth may increase the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke, complications from diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes and respiratory disease. Crooked teeth are also more likely to develop decay and are prone to chip, break and wear easily. They may also act as stressors on the jaws and joints.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Treat the face – not just the teeth – by enhancing facial balance.
  • Choose treatment that doesn’t involve extracting teeth whenever possible.
  • Use expansion therapy and arch development to create a broad smile, an open
    airway and an increase in tongue space.
  • Never sacrifice airway width or tongue space for straight teeth.
  • Develop the lower jaw forward to balance the face and increase the airway.
  • Surgery should be recommended only as a last resort.

These are the principles that will work to integrate a beautiful smile with a better functioning mouth.

Sara Ghassemi, D.M.D., is a dentist with Boston Dental. She specializes in orthodontics with an emphasis on early treatment for children, as well as Invisalign for teens and adults. A graduate of Boston University School of Dental Medicine, she received her certificate of advanced graduate study in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.


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