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Educational Consumer Tips

Before Visiting a Dentist

Author: Rachel Willard
Published:
Category: Health

Before visiting a dentist it is important to do some research first. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or ask your primary care provider who they would recommend. You can also search the Accredited Business Directory for a BBB Accredited dentist in your area.

In addition, insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, and managed care plans usually have a panel of dentists from which to select. After obtaining the names of possible dentists, check to make sure that they are properly licensed and have clear records.


Massachusetts
Boards of registration in Massachusetts are licensed by the Department of Public Health. Support services, like license searches or Locate A Dentist tools are provided by the Division of Professional Licensure.

To verify the license of a dentist or dental hygienist, visit mass.gov/dph/boards/dn and click Check A License. Chose "dentist" from the pull down menu and enter the full name of the dentist you would like to search for. Any legal action that has been taken against the dentist will also show in this search. Keep in mind that only general dentists can be licensed in Massachusetts. Specialists obtain certification from specialty boards.

If you have a complaint about your dentist, you can file through the Division of Professional Licensure. Download a complaint form to fill out and then send to:

Department of Public Health
DHPL Office of Public Protection
239 Causeway Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114

To get more information about
what violates the standards of professional conduct, call the Division of Health Professions Licensure board at 617-973-0865.

If you want more information about dentists in Massachusetts visit the Office of Oral Health, or contact a below agency.

Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry
239 Causeway Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
617-973-0971
www.state.ma.us/reg/boards/dn

Massachusetts Dental Society
2 Willow Street, Suite 200
Southborough, MA 01745
508-480-9797
www.massdental.org

Massachusetts Dental Hygienist Association
PO Box 457
Clinton, MA 01510
508-808-9642
www.massdha.org


Maine
To verify the license of a dentist or dental hygienist, visit the State of Maine's Agency License Management System.  Click on Search Licensing Information. Chose "dentist" from the pull down menu and enter the full name of the dentist you would like to search for. You can also search for Disciplinary Actions.

If you have a complaint about your dentist, you can file through the Board of Dental Examiners. Fill out the online form, or call 207-287-3333. To file a fee dispute, you must go through the Maine Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit. Send a letter of complaint to:

Attorney General's Consumer Mediation Service
6 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

If you want more information about dentists in Maine visit the Maine Oral Health Program, or contact a below agency.

Maine Dental Association
PO Box 215
Manchester, ME 04351
807-622-7900
www.mainedental.org

Board of Dental Examiners
143 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-3333

Maine Dental Access Coalition
11 Parkwood Drive
Augusta, ME 04330
207-622-7566


Rhode Island
Verify the license of a dentist or dental hygienist through the Rhode Island Department of Health. Chose "dentist" from the pull down menu and enter the full name of the person you would like to search for. You can also search for
Disciplinary Actions and file complaints through the same form.

The Rhode Island Dental Association offers a peer review program for disputes between patients and dentists. Call 401-825-7700, or download a Peer Review Form to fill out and mail to:

Rhode Island Dental Association
875 Centerville Commons
Building 4, Suite 12
Warwick, RI 02886

If you want more information about dentists in Rhode Island, visit the Division of Oral Health or contact one of the below agencies.

Office of Health Professionals Regulation
Board of Examiners in Dentistry
3 Capitol Hill, Room 105
Providence, RI 02908
401-222-2827


Vermont
To verify the license of a dentist or dental hygienist in Vermont, visit the Office of Professional Regulation's eLicense system and search for the person you would like information about.

If you have a complaint about your dentist, you can file through the Board of Dental Examiners. Call 802-828-2390 or download the complaint form.

If you want more information about dentists in Vermont, visit the Division of Oral Health or contact one of the below agencies.

Office of Professional Regulation
Board of Dental Examiners
National Life Building, FL2
Montpelier, VT 05620
802-828-1505
www.vtprofessionals.org

Vermont State Dental Society
100 Dorset Street, Suite 18
South Burlington, VT 05403
802-864-0115
www.vsds.org

About the Author: Rachel Willard is Communications and Marketing Manager for BBB serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont. Find Rachel on Google +.

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