Choosing the Right TMJ Disorder Doctor – Part One
First, if you have not had a chance to read part one of this series, here is a summary of it:
- Research your area – Make a list of all the doctors near you that could be candidates.
- Prioritize your needs – What qualities are important to you in a doctor?
- Verify credentials
- Interview doctors
- Evaluate – Is this the right doctor for you?
- Choose your doctor!
Choosing the Right TMJ Disorder Dentist or Doctor – Part Two
A healthy Doctor / Patient relationship is in many ways like other relationships, with negotiations and compromises. The big difference is that all negotiations and compromises need to be made with the patients best interest in mind. Having a clear idea of what you want to get out of your visit will help your doctor make the most of your visit.
Points to Remember:
- Your impression of the receptionist and other staff is important. It often reflects the attitude of the doctors.
- If after the interview you feel uncomfortable, follow your gut, and don’t hesitate to interview someone else on your list.
- If you have multiple health problems, is your doctor able to handle the entire situation? or is he or she a specialist?
- Does the doctor see many TMJD patients?
- Get a second or third opinion if you are unsure about anything that your doctor recommends.
Your Responsibility as a Patient
- Provide to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about present symptoms, past illnesses and hospitalizations, medication usage and other matters relating to your health.
- Follow treatment plan as recommended by your physician.
- Report unexpected changes in your medical condition to your doctor.
- Understand your course of treatment, including pain relief options, as outlined by your physician, nurses and other health professionals. When you do not understand, ask your nurse or doctor to clarify.
- Keep your scheduled appointments with health care providers and notify them immediately if you are unable to do so.
Before Agreeing to a Procedure or Treatment Ask These Questions:
- Can you explain this to me?
- Where can I get more information?
- Can you write this down or draw me a picture?
- Are there any risks involved?
- What are the side effects? What percentage of people experience these side effects?
- Does my insurance cover this treatment? (If you need more information on insurance, we have a guide on TMJ insurance coverage).
- How will this help me?
- If I decide not to go ahead with this treatment, what are the consequences?
- Is there anything else I can do or try?
- What is the time frame for this decision?
Finding the right medical care does not happen by accident. It is important that you find a doctor that you can trust, communicate well with, and makes you feel comfortable. If you are unsure about these things, don’t hesitate to interview someone else.
Do you have any tips for finding the right doctor or dentist? What qualities have you found are important in a medical professional that treats your TMJ disorder?