The doctor-patient relationship is based on mutual respect, trust, compassion and caring. When seeking a doctor to manage sleep-disordered breathing, TMJ disorders and/or craniofacial pain problems, here are some questions you may wish to ask. We hope they help you identify a healthcare provider who has the knowledge, skill and ability that are necessary to thoroughly address your concerns and achieve optimal treatment outcomes.
- How long has the doctor been in practice?
- What continuing education or training has the doctor completed?
- Is the doctor board-certified (that is, has s/he earned any Diplomates) in this discipline?
- Is the doctor actively involved in relevant professional associations (beyond simply being a member)?
- What percent of the doctor’s practice is TMJ-related? Sleep related?
- How many patients has the doctor treated that have a problem similar to yours?
- Will the doctor (or staff) provide you with the names of any patients you can talk to before you begin treatment?
- How does the doctor define the success of any given therapy or treatment?
- What is their success ratio?
- Will the doctor provide you with a written treatment plan that details all costs and timelines?
You may also want to consult the directories on the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Web sites, which can be useful in locating qualified dentists in your area.