When you put your health in someone else’s hands, you need to have confidence in their capabilities. You wouldn’t take your car to an ill-qualified mechanic or hire a tutor for your child without the proper credentials, so why would your standards be any lower for your smile? However, in a complex field like dentistry, you can’t always tell for yourself if a doctor is qualified. This is where dental boards come into play; these professional organizations require rigorous testing and hold their members to the highest caliber of care.
At our Houston dental practice, Dr. Craig Armstrong and our team are committed to helping you take charge of your oral health. Read on to learn more about board certification and what it means for you. In the following blog, we answer the question, “Should my dentist be board certified?” (with a resounding: “yes!”).
When you read about “board certification” you may find yourself wondering, “Who is on this board? How does a doctor get certified?” A board is simply a group of esteemed leaders in their field who sets the guidelines for their area of expertise. If a doctor wants to join the ranks of the board, he or she must pass this elite group’s evaluations. If he or she is deemed worthy, the doctor becomes “board certified.”
Board certification is one of the ways patients can ensure they get appropriate care. In many ways, this process exists in order to keep patients safe, giving them a standard by which to measure their potential healthcare providers. Consumers’ Checkbook, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart, healthy choices, explains: “We advise consumers to select physicians who are ‘board certified’” because “board certification provides tools for quality improvement, channels through which well-motivated physicians can fulfill a desire for professional improvement, and a way for each physician to demonstrate to patients and the public that he or she is committed to professional development.” Board certification offers a seal of approval that speaks to the skill, ethics, and devotion of a given dentist.
So, what does board certification actually entail? The American Board of Dental Specialties describes board certification as “the process by which dentists…physicians…or other health care practitioners in the United States demonstrate through written, oral, practical, and/or simulator based testing, a mastery of the basic knowledge and skills that define an area of dental/medical specialization.” This advanced assessment process is, of course, in addition to having a medical degree, “approved post-graduate training,” and a variety of other “prerequisites” set by the specific board. If a dentist is board certified, he or she must have already successfully jumped through a variety of professional hoops.
For example, as a 2003 study published in the Journal of Prosthodontics (the specialty in dentistry concerned with artificial teeth and restorations like crowns, dentures, and bridges) explains, “91 percent” of those who got certified with the American College of Prosthodontists took a special class (in addition to all their other coursework) in preparation for this process, while “41 percent…prepared for the boards by reviewing prosthodontic literature, reading textbooks, using the ACP Study Guide, and seeking the help of other board-certified prosthodontists.” According to the scientists’ findings, overall, “the most gratifying aspect of becoming board-certified” for these dentists “was personal accomplishment.” This demonstrates that the dentists, who invest the time and effort necessary to become board certified, do so because they are passionate about their field and want to do their best work.
Why Should Your Dentist Be Board Certified?
A more fitting question would be, “Why wouldn’t you want your dentist to be board certified?” The American Board of Dental Specialties explains the essence of board certification: “[It] helps ensure the public that formal training has been completed and a sufficient knowledge base in the specialty has been demonstrated.” If your dentist is board certified, you can be sure that your practitioner has:
- Extensive experience
- Knowledge of some of the latest technologies (especially since many boards make an effort to keep their members updated and may even require regular testing to maintain certification)
- Sufficient training
- The commitment and drive to pass the board’s many tests
- Excelled to the top percentage of dentists in the United States or even worldwide
The two words “board certified” mean quite a bit about a dentist when you understand what underlies them. Essentially, a board certified dentist is someone exceptionally qualified to take care of your teeth.
Now that we’ve extolled the benefits of board certification, it seems only fair that we tell you a bit about our Houston dental team’s accomplishments. Dr. Armstrong is dedicated to dentistry. His many board certifications and professional memberships reflect his mastery in this field.
Dr. Armstrong’s achievements include:
- Mastership from the Academy of General Dentistry
- Former President of the Greater Houston Dental Society
- President of the Texas Academy of General Dentistry
- Member of the Texas Dental Association
- Member of the American Dental Association
- Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry
- Fellow of the International College of Dentists
- Fellow of the American College of Dentists
We would be delighted to tell you more about Dr. Armstrong’s board certifications and what they represent when you come see us for your biannual cleaning and examination.
Dr. Ed Sauer is similarly credentialed. He is affiliated with:
- The American Academy of Operative Dentistry
- The American College of Dentists
- The American Dental Association
- Baylor College of Dentistry’s Alumni Association
- The Greater Houston Dental Society
- The International College of Dentists
- The Texas Dental Association
His association with many prestigious organizations speaks about his abilities as a dentist. In particular, his membership in the American Academy of Operative Dentistry speaks to his capability in oral maxillofacial surgery.
Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Glennis Katzmark has earned her share of commendations from professional organizations, including:
- The American Association of Oral Biologists’ Oral Biology Award
- The Houston Chapter of the American Association for Dental Research’s Award
- The International college of Dentists’ Student Leadership Award
- The Dr. Donald C. Kroeger Scholarship Award
- The DENTSPLY Scholarship for Excellence in Research
- Membership in the American Dental Association as a Student Clinician
Dr. Katzmark’s credentials don’t seem to stop there as she continues to provide outstanding care for our patients and expand her skills.
Contact Your Houston Board Certified Dentist Today
You deserve the utmost in dental professionalism – adept treatment from a board certified dentist. Are you ready to take charge of your oral health? Contact us today to find out more and schedule your visit. We look forward to seeing you!