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The Process: How we come up with the Top Dentists list.
This list is pulled from the 2020 topDentists database, which is created using peer evaluations and includes listings for more than 900 dentists and specialists in Colorado. To create its list, topDentists asked dentists and specialists a personal question: “If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer him or her to?” The nomination pool comprised all active dentists listed online with the American Dental Association as well as with dental academies and societies. (Dentists could also nominate others who may not be on those lists.) Respondents were asked to consider experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies, and physical results. After the responses were compiled, dentists were checked against state dental boards for disciplinary actions to make sure they have active licenses and are in good standing. We realize there are many fine dentists who are not on this list; a dentist’s inclusion is based on the subjective judgments of fellow dentists. For more information, visit usatopdentists.com.
Dental Anesthesiologist: Manages pain and anxiety during oral surgery or other dental procedures using general and/or local anesthesia
Endodontist: Treats issues related to nerves and the inner portions of the tooth; root canals are a common procedure
General Dentist: Performs preventive dental care and basic upkeep, including cleanings and X-rays Oral and Maxillofacial
Surgeon: Removes impacted teeth (such as wisdom teeth) and performs reconstructive surgeries, like rebuilding broken jaws
Oral Pathologist: Studies, identifies, and treats oral diseases ranging from potentially cancerous leukoplakia to canker sores
Orthodontist: Modifies your bite or coaxes unruly teeth into alignment using braces and other devices
Pediatric Dentist: Provides therapeutic and preventive dental care for kids
Periodontist: Specializes in the periodontium, or supporting tooth structure, and treats gum disease and receding gums
Prosthodontist: Deals with dentures, implants, and bridges as well as complex crown work
The COVID-19 Complication
How the novel coronavirus is affecting dental practices—and what you can do at home.
They may not receive as much social media fanfare as shuttered restaurants and bars, but many dental practices are small businesses, too, and have been negatively affected by the pandemic. The suspension of nonemergency medical procedures in Colorado from March 23 to April 26 (in Denver, April 30) was intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to preserve personal protective equipment for health care workers treating people with the new coronavirus. Patients with urgent dental issues—gum infections, knocked-out teeth, and mouth pain that might send them to an overwhelmed ER—were still asked to call their dentists, who would open clinics to provide treatment. Carrie Mauterer, president-elect of the Colorado Dental Association (CDA) and a dentist at Thornton’s Appletree Dental, agreed with the decision but noted that “as we delay routine dentistry, we could see issues rising.” The CDA was advising practices to extend hours to catch patients up once they were allowed to fully reopen. If you’ve had to put off a cleaning, you’ll want to get it rescheduled ASAP, but in the meantime, Mauterer encourages the following actions if they’re not already part of your twice-daily brushing routine. —Jessica LaRusso
Floss daily. You should be doing this anyway, but it’s anextra important habit if you’re delaying a cleaning because plaque that’s not dislodged can harden into tartar—a gingivitis-causing mineral deposit that can only be removed by a professional.
Use a mouthwash with fluoride, which helps prevent decay.
Visually check your mouth for ulcers or growths. If you have a canker sore that lasts for more than two weeks, call your dentist.
Start brushing with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste when your child’s first tooth appears, and begin flossing as soon as two teeth touch.
Set a timer or play a favorite song to the two-minute mark to ensure kids are brushing for the recommended time.
Pull your child’s lips up and cheeks out to look for bumps, pimples, or growths on their gums, and call your dentist right away if you see anything abnormal, which could indicate a tooth abscess.