If you have less than perfect teeth, there are lots of different cosmetic procedures that can give you that movie-star smile you have always craved. Cosmetic dentistry, however, is very different than other types of dentistry. Furthermore, cosmetic dentistry is not recognized as a formal specialty; this means that any dentist can offer these services without having undergone any training specific to cosmetic procedures. Any dentist can say they are ‘’cosmetic dentist.’’ Here are some tips for finding a good one.
Look for Training Specific to Cosmetic Dentistry
To obtain the best results, it is important to look for dentists that have taken the time to receive trainings and certifications specific to cosmetic dentistry. Remember again, that any dentist can do these procedures, and while there are no guarantees in life, ones that have taken the time to receive advanced training are the safer bet. Good indicators include accreditation by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Other good signs include undergoing training at places such as Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, Pankey Institute, Dawson Academy, Kois Center or the Spear Education Center.
Experience and Inquiry about Past Patients
When you are meeting with potential dentists, it is important to ask certain questions to best assess their qualifications and skill. Besides inquiring about training, you want to ask some other things. Find out how much of their practice is devoted to cosmetic procedures—these procedures require a great deal of skill and the more a dentist handles it, the better he probably is. Many dentists recommend choosing someone with at least 5 to 10 years of experience in cosmetic procedures. You also want to choose a dentist with a lot of experience in reconstructive work as this is a key foundation in successful cosmetic procedures.
You also want to see examples of their work with previous patients and even better, ask if you could have their contact information. While pictures may give a good idea, there is always the chance of them being altered. Many cosmetic dentists have noted that many of their patients are quite happy to show off their new mouth and answer questions from people considering similar procedures.
Considerations for the Lab
In most cases, the veneers and crowns for cosmetic work are not made in the dentist’s office, rather the doctors work with labs who fabricate the materials. The lab is just as important a consideration as the dentist himself. Doctors trying to reduce expenses as much as possible may be using inferior products or working with laboratories that do not have proper certifications; many dentists might also be using foreign labs which offer much lower prices and may not be using safe materials.
This is another reason to make sure you choose a quality dentist as they are most likely have a long-standing relationship with a lab that has highly trained technicians. You should definitely inquire about this and ask to see paperwork verifying where the materials are coming from.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who has covered a range of dental topics from routine dental care to the links between poor dental health and disease. Follow the link if you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Dallas