CONWAY — Dr. Eric Hamilton of North Country Dental is making sure general dentistry is alive and well in the North Country.
Hamilton graduated with a doctor of dental medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and is an ongoing member of the American Dental Association, North Country Dental Society, and the New Hampshire Dental Society.
Representing more than 75 percent of the state’s dentists, the New Hampshire Dental Society advocates for the practice of dentistry, provides and promotes the highest levels of oral health care and advances the public oral health.
General dentists work closely with more specific disciplines. Many dental school graduates concentrate on one discipline, for example, orthodontistry, oral and maxillofacial surgery, endodontistry, pediatric dentistry, periodontistry, or prosthodontistry.
Providing the most innovative service has a lot to do with continuing education, an ongoing requirement for all dentists.
"The biggest thing for me is the mentality and willingness to learn, and desire to provide higher and higher levels of service to patients. Being able to look at your work critically and seeing the areas where you can improve, applying new information," said Hamilton. "There’s a huge difference between putting time and effort into getting additional education and jumping through hoops just because you have to. Having an open mind, paying attention to what’s being taught, not just going through the motions” is what makes the difference." Hamilton.
Dentists in the United States complete a bachelor's degree. This schooling is followed by four years of dental school to qualify as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD).
Dentists need to complete additional qualifications or continuing education to carry out more complex treatments such as sedation, oral and maxillofacial surgery and dental implants.
By nature of their general training, general dentists can perform the majority of dental treatments such as restorative (fillings, crowns and bridges), prosthetics (dentures), endodontics (root canal) therapy, periodontal (gum) therapy, and extraction of teeth, as well as oral examinations, radiographs (X-rays), and diagnosis.
Dentists can also prescribe medications such as antibiotics, sedatives, and any other drugs used in patient management.
“I try to do everything a general dentist does and do it very well,” Hamilton said.
North Country Dental, where Hamilton practices, “creates a lot of opportunities for the entire staff to be educated in ways that are directly beneficial to our patients, including staff members that may not have continuing education requirements, which is really how we go above and beyond in that department,” he said.
"Our front desk staff is considerably more educated than many front desk staff would be because of the continuing education and clinical education that they receive. We worked closely with one continuing education firm for a couple of years that covered a broad range (of clinical topics) and was very involved. It was training that is extremely beneficial to the whole practice and to our patients. Keeping up with advancements in materials and keeping up with technologies have made a big difference in what we do. It allows us to do things that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do."
For more information about Dr. Eric Hamilton, go to northcountrydental.com/about-us.