How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist?
Today more than ever, the choice of a cosmetic dentist is a critical decision that should be made with the utmost care. So how do you choose a cosmetic dentist? After all, in today's marketplace, many general dentists 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 so much so that in the industry, being a "cosmetic dentist" is almost a cliche. Why? Because these days, any general dentist who does things as simple as whitening teeth can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. So when someone is looking to get a Hollywood smile, what should they expect? Are all dentists the same?
Choosing the right cosmetic dentist for you, one with substantial experience in complex cases, extensive hands-on training, and a gentle approach that compliments your needs and wants is critical to achieving the most successful outcome - your gorgeous new smile. Educated and discerning people 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 difficult and confusing process. In the end, it is a personal decision that each person must make for himself or herself. We can, however, offer some advice, which our clients have found helpful during the selection process. From discussions with our clients, we believe the most important of these tips include the following:
Take Your Time
Most cosmetic dental procedures are elective 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 understanding and emotional comfort later. If in doubt, see a couple different experienced cosmetic dentists for a consultation.
Post Graduate Cosmetic Dental Training
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 needed. It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of dental schools don't teach any courses in cosmetic dentistry. Your mouth is not the place for on-the-job training. Therefore, it is crucial that the cosmetic dentist that you select continually completes series of hands-on courses in cosmetic dentistry. In depth training is essential to learn the latest techniques and materials to get optimal results.
Professional Cosmetic Dentistry Credentials
In dentistry as in medicine, specialties exist that indicate a higher level of education, knowledge, and expertise in particular areas of focus.
Find a cosmetic dentist who is honest in his/her assessment of your needs and of their ability to meet your expectations. Be wary of the doctor minimizing your recovery period and telling you just how "easy and simple" everything is going to be.
A Caring Approach & Great Communication
Find a doctor with a good chairside manner who conveys to you that they care about you as a person as well as a client. Cosmetic dentistry is a process not a single operation. Find someone with whom you can talk easily. It is just as important that he/she understands what you desire as that you understand what they are describing.
A Sense of Perfectionism
Find a cosmetic dentist who is accurate in his/her evaluation of your needs, precise in the execution of their operative plan, and meticulous in their craftsmanship. Although perfection is in the eye of the beholder, 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.
An Artistic Eye
While technical virtuosity is necessary to produce a great clinical result, it is not sufficient. Excellent cosmetic dentistry demands a highly sophisticated artistic sense. In order to achieve an optimal aesthetic result, one must have a clear vision of what is artistically possible and appropriate.
Extensive Smile Design Experience
Before you randomly select one of the cosmetic dentists out of the phone book or rely on your long-time family dentist to give you the smile design of your dreams, think again. Great cosmetic dentistry is an 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 mastery of this art.
Make Sure You Review Before and After Photos of Work Actually Performed by the Cosmetic Dentists
You'll want to look at before and 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 and make sure that the before photos you look at are also cases similar to yours.
Other Things You May Want to Consider
References from other patients, a tour of the office including sterilization areas, and asking about technology and materials used in the practice are all things you may want to look into.
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