Finding a cosmetic dentist
If you have been considering dental cosmetic treatments it is important to do some research to make sure you find the right cosmetic dentist. Because cosmetic dentistry is not officially recognized as a specialization in dentistry, all dentists can technically present themselves a cosmetic dentist. So, taking some time and finding the right cosmetic dentist can make a difference in your dental cosmetic results.
Choosing a cosmetic dentist
There are some important criteria to consider in selecting a cosmetic dentist. Both cost and convenience can be serious considerations for many people. However, cosmetic dentistry can be likened to a fine art in that it requires both skill and time and will usually be costlier than general dentistry. Most cosmetic dentists will assist you with financing options and treatment plans that can fit within your budget.
In finding the right cosmetic dentist for you consider the following:
- Referrals: Getting referrals from family and/or friends is a great way to find a good cosmetic dentist. And it’s especially important to consider referrals from anyone you know that has had a positive experience with cosmetic dentistry procedure. Asking your dentist for a referral can be a good place to start. Online reviews can be helpful for researching dentists in your area, too.
- Credentials: Since any dentist can present themselves as a cosmetic dentist, it is important to investigate credentials. The AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistiry) does offer membership and accreditation for dentists who are looking for gold standard credentials to present to possible patients.
- Continuing Education and Training: Generally dental schools themselves do not offer general cosmetic dentistry education. In order to master cosmetic dentistry principals and treatments dentists need post-graduate training. Luckily, there are many well-respected programs for cosmetic dentistry education.
- Experience: Beyond continuing education and supplemental training, it can be helpful to find out the number of years of experience a dentist has specifically with cosmetic dentistry. It can also be helpful to find out how much of the dentist’s practice is cosmetic oriented. Good cosmetic dentists will have a high volume of patients receiving restorative and cosmetic treatments.
- Photographic Representation: It’s important to ask to see examples of their cosmetic dentistry work. Cosmetic dentists who are confident in their work will be happy to show before-and-after photos of their work. Often these will be displayed online in “Smile Gallerie”, but of course photos can be retouched and there are actually “stock” before-and-after photos, so just pay attention. If you are considering using a specific dentist and still have questions you can always ask for a few referrals for patients you could call personally for reviews.
- Consultations: Take your time at any consultation. Make sure you thoroughly explain and discuss your treatment goals and make sure to listen to what the dentist is recommending.
- Comfort Level: It seems obvious, but your level of comfort with the dentist you’re considering working with for your cosmetic treatment is one of the most important pieces of the cosmetic dentistry treatment puzzle. Make sure you feel really comfortable with the dentist, his or her staff, and the general environment of the dental office.