Recently I received this letter in the mail informing me that I have been included in the list of “America’s Top Dentists” – I love that it’s in quotes by the way.  For a fee, I can get that engraved in glass or a plaque for all the world to see.  Two things really bug me about these “awards”: 1) it’s obviously a way for a company to make money selling trophies and 2) it’s very misleading to the public which is dangerous when it is in the field of healthcare.

I started looking on the web to see what these companies were all about and came across this interesting piece by ABC News.  The article talks about the companies that put out these awards and the problems with the selection process.  Some interesting nuggets from the piece include:

One of 2012’s America’s “Top Dentists” hasn’t practiced a single day of dentistry since his training days were over in 1986.

Dozens of these “Top Doctors” were charged and found guilty of serious allegations including fraud, harassment, assault, rape, negligence and sexual exploitation of children.

… a spot on TopDocs.com is available to any physician who pays for membership, regardless of true top doctor status.

Choosing the right doctor or dentist can be hard enough without bogus “top doctor” lists steering your in the wrong direction.  Don’t get me wrong, some doctors on these lists really are at the top of their game and should be included on lists but there is so much more involved when choosing the right healthcare provider.

The best place to start is with referrals.  Ask friends and family who you trust on who they would recommend. You’re looking for a doctor you can build a relationship with, someone you are comfortable talking to and can empathize with your situation. Finally do some research and see if the doctor is currently licensed and if they’ve had any disciplinary actions in the past. We’ve included links below to the various state licensing boards that will provide you with that information.

If you get a chance, click here for the full ABC News article about America’s Top Dentists.  It’s an interesting read.

Links to verify Licensing and Disciplinary Action

p.s. If you’re looking me up, my license is under my full name Rewadee Meevasin.