How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist
COSMETIC DENTISTS (ALSO KNOWN AS AESTHETIC DENTISTS) ARE GROWING IN NUMBER, but not all are equally qualified to craft and enhance beautiful smiles. Your smile is a significant feature that uniquely expresses your personality. When choosing an cosmetic dentist, you want a professional that you can trust. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a specialty area, but it is important to consider your aesthetic dentist’s level of training and experience before entrusting him or her with your smile. A highly trained cosmetic dentist who cares about your goals and expectations has the expertise to fashion a smile that you will love for years to come.
The following list details several qualifications you should look for when choosing an aesthetic dentist:
Patient Centered—During your initial inquiries and consultation, check to see if the esthetic dentist and staff appear to be patient-focused and not just following their own agenda. An esthetic dentist who will listen to your goals for your teeth has a higher chance of creating a smile you can be proud of. Be sure your cosmetic dentist will explain aesthetic dentistry options in understandable terms and grant you choices.
Commitment to Continuing Education—Cosmetic dental technology and procedures are continually advancing as professionals find more effective ways to repair and beautify smiles. It is important to find out whether your prospective aesthetic dentist is committed to staying updated on aesthetic dentistry advancements through continuing education.
Positive Patient Testimonials—Patient testimonials and reviews generally speak volumes about customer service, dental procedure success, and the dental office atmosphere. A simple internet search or a look on social media sites can yield a wealth of information from previous patients about the aesthetic dentist you are considering.
Successful Previous Patient Results—Asking for ‘before and after’ photos of previous patients is an effective way to observe a cosmetic dentist’s skill level. Make sure you like the style and quality shown in the photos before moving forward with your chosen aesthetic dentist.
Specialties That Fit Your Needs—Be sure to research which dental services are offered at the office, and whether or not your prospective aesthetic dentist specializes in any procedures. Many aesthetic dentists offer some level of general dentistry. A dentist who offers multiple services is convenient because you do not have to switch between specialists who have never seen your mouth before. However, an aesthetic dentist that is highly specialized in a few procedures can be the right choice if your mouth requires specific or extensive work. Most importantly, be sure to choose an esthetic dentist that is well trained in the procedures you need.
Experienced—One way to measure experience is to find out how long the cosmetic dentist has been practicing. You might also ask which dental procedures are most commonly performed at the aesthetic dentistry office.
Awards and Organizations—Most esthetic dentist websites list any awards earned or professional organizations that the dentist belongs to. By looking up these professional organization websites you can usually tell a lot about the philosophies of a dental practice. Many organizations such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) require extensive training and high standards for accreditation.
Use Updated Technology—Dental technology is one way to determine the level of advanced care in an aesthetic dentistry office. You might look for or ask about the following technologies: CAD/CAM restoration, dental lasers, dental sedation, and intraoral imaging.
Positive Office Atmosphere—Because cosmetic dental work can require some time in the dentist chair, it is important to make sure you feel comfortable in the office atmosphere. The offices of many aesthetic dentists offer music or movie options in addition to other comfort amenities. Also be sure to observe the friendliness of the staff.
Find a Cosmetic Dentist Near You
To get started on your search for a qualified esthetic dentist, search for and contact a Crown Council member dentist near you. Crown Council member dentists are committed to advanced training and high standards of patient care.