How To Choose A Cosmetic Dentist
Today more than ever, the choice of a cosmetic dentist is a critical choice that should be made with the utmost care. So how do you choose the right cosmetic dentist? After all, in today’s marketplace, there are many general dentists who perform at least some types of cosmetic dental procedures. Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic influx of “cosmetic dentists” into the field that being a ‘cosmetic dentistry’ in the industry is almost a cliche . . . passe’. Why? Because these days, any general dentist who does things as simple as whitening teeth can claim to hold the title of a cosmetic dentist. So when someone is looking to get that perfect Hollywood smile, what should they expect? The question remains: are all dentists the same?
Choosing the right cosmetic dentist for you, one with extensive hands-on training, substantial experience in complex cases, and a gentle approach that compliments your wants and needs is critical to achieving the most successful outcome – your dazzling new smile. Those educated and are able to discern will realize that most cosmetic dentistry, if done properly, is a complex and precise set of operative procedures that will dramatically affect their lives for years to come.
Selecting among cosmetic dentists can be a quite difficult and rather confusing process. In the end, it comes down to a personal decision that each person must make for him or herself. We can, however, offer some advice, which our clients have found immensely helpful during the selection process. After discussing it with some of our clients, we believe the most important of these tips are summarized in the following:
1. Take Your Time
Most cosmetic dental procedures are optional procedures, not emergencies. Time spent learning about the dental procedures, different techniques and materials, and cosmetic dentists you are considering will pay great dividends in terms of your emotional comfort and understanding later. If you are hesitant, see a couple different experienced cosmetic dentists for a consultation.
2. Post Graduate Cosmetic Dental Training
In order to perform cosmetic dental procedures at the highest level, technical skill, an artistic eye, and a rigorous program of post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry is required. It may surprise you to know that the vast majority of dental schools don’t teach any courses in cosmetic dentistry. Your mouth should not be the place for on-the-job training. Therefore, it is crucial that the cosmetic dentist you select is continually completing series of hands-on courses in cosmetic dentistry. If you want to get optimal results, in-depth training is essential for a cosmetic dentist to learn the latest techniques and materials.
3. Professional Cosmetic Dentistry Credentials
Just as in medicine, in dentistry, specialties exist that indicate a higher level of education, knowledge, and expertise in particular areas of focus.
Find a cosmetic dentist who is truthful in his/her assessment of your needs and of their ability to meet your expectations. Be wary of the dentist minimizing your recovery period and telling you just how “simple and easy” everything is going to be.
5. A Caring Approach & Great Communication
Find a doctor with a good bedside manner who conveys to you that they care about you not just as a client, but as a person as well. Cosmetic dentistry is not a single operation, but a process. Find someone that you can talk easily with. It is just as important that he/she understands what you desire as it is for you to understand what they are describing.
6. A Sense of Perfectionism
Find a cosmetic dentist who is accurate in his/her evaluation of your needs, meticulous in their craftsmanship, and precise in the execution of their operative plan. Although perfection is in the eye of the beholder, you should make sure this doctor will do whatever it takes without cutting corners, not only to satisfy you, but also to meet their own personal standards of excellence.
7. An Artistic Eye
While technical virtuosity is necessary to produce a great clinical result, it is not necessarily sufficient. First-rate cosmetic dentistry demands a highly sophisticated artistic sense. In order to achieve an optimal aesthetic result, you must have a clear vision of what is artistically possible and appropriate.
8. Extensive Smile Design Experience
Before you randomly select one of the cosmetic dentists from the phone book or rely on your long-time family dentist to give you the smile design of your dreams, think again. Remember that great cosmetic dentistry is a form of art. The fact is, many dentists are generalists who simply have not performed cosmetic smile designs very many times or with a regularity that leads to the necessary mastery of this art.
9. Make Sure You Review Before and After Photos of Work Actually Performed by the Cosmetic Dentists
You will want to look at before/after photos of cosmetic dentistry that has actually been performed by the dentist that you are considering. But you want to confirm that you are seeing actual work of the dentist you are considering, so make sure that the before photos you look at are also cases similar to yours.
10. Other Things You May Want to Consider
A tour of the office including sterilization areas, references from other patients and questioning or testing technology and materials used in the practice are all things you may want to look well into.