Cosmetic dentistry covers a vast area of topics and services. From veneers to a myriad of other dental services, the best cosmetic dentists perform elective solutions to patients’ issues.
Always remember, in the US and Australia, cosmetic dentistry is not an official specialty. Since the Dental Board of Australia, for example, does not register dental professionals as “cosmetic dentists,” any duly licensed dentist can claim he or she is a Cosmetic Dentist, even if the dentist has no formal training or experience in dental cosmetics.
This situation can make choosing the best cosmetic dentist for you a challenging endeavor. The first step is evaluating those dentists who state they are cosmetic dentists.
Steps for Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist
1. Look for LVI-trained dentists first.
LVI Global is an international institution focused on improving the competence of dental professionals around the world. This institution offers post-graduate training for those dentists who want to expand their knowledge base and technical expertise.
2. Seek out for dentists that have proven their expertise with veneers and improving their patients’ smiles.
Take a look at ‘before and after’ pictures of their actual work, you’ll be more confident of their expertise.
3. In the US consider selecting a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), since members are dedicated to cosmetic solutions to patient issues.
Members of the AACD typically participate in extra cosmetically-focused education and training in the latest techniques, products, and procedures available in the cosmetic dentistry field. Most AACD members have earned AACD Accreditation by passing a written examination, documenting types of cases they’ve completed and an oral exam.
4. Ask your dentist, friends, and family for personal referrals of dental services they successfully have used for cosmetic treatments, such as veneers.
Even if you have glowing referrals from trusted people, you should talk to the office staff and consider a preliminary consultation with the dentist to learn if you and the dentist have or can develop some good “chemistry” with each other.
5. Always ask about their hours.
Cosmetic procedures like veneers can take a long time and require multiple visits. This means that if you want the process to be as convenient as possible, you’ll want a dentist who offers late, early, or weekend hours so you do not have to miss out on work.
6. Ask about “creature comforts”.
Again, because veneers can take a long time, you’ll want to make sure they offer measures to make you as comfortable as possible during the procedure. Many dentists will offer music, movies, blankets, fuzzy slippers, or a host of other comforting and entertaining things to make the process more enjoyable.
7. Ask about financing
Many dentists can offer third-party financing, or sometimes even an in-house payment plan. Because veneers and other cosmetic procedures are expensive you’ll want to make sure you can spread out the cost of your cosmetic procedures.
8. Depending on the improvements you would like, quiz the dentist on their experience with the procedures you need.
Smile improvement covers numerous subjects, from healthy, but discolored teeth to crooked, chipped, or missing teeth. Your cosmetic needs may range from the simple (veneers) to the complex (bridges and tooth repair). However, your motivation is probably the same: You want to look and feel better about your smile.
9. You should ask for evidence of the cosmetic dentist’s credentials.
Since most dental professionals have a website, you can easily learn their educational background and training. By learning when they graduated from college and dental school, you can use fourth-grade math to discern how long they’ve been practicing dentistry. If you still have questions about a cosmetic dentist’s credentials, there are multiple ways to verify them. Eventually, the most important credentials are the results the dentist generates. Real patient testimonials serve as the most trustworthy verification of the talent of cosmetic dentists.
Outstanding cosmetic dentists typically are both technically competent and focused on satisfying their patient’s dental needs with effective improvements. Current technology and materials give cosmetic dentists the “tools” they need to restore or create a beautiful smile for almost any patient.
Superior cosmetic dentists usually further their training by taking continuing education courses and attending seminars to learn the latest techniques and the most current recommended procedure processes. Most top cosmetic dental professionals are supremely proud of their results and are anxious to share their success with new patients by sharing “before and after” pictures.
If you decide that only an LVI-trained dentist will satisfy your cosmetic needs, you can locate the closest professional by doing an Internet search. While these dentists have demonstrated their commitment to learning and staying current with new techniques, you should find other dental professionals with equal talent and proven qualifications.
Choosing the “right” cosmetic dentist for you is largely a personal preference decision after you’ve verified and consulted the dentists that make your final list. The consultation (usually free) is vitally important if your finals include those cosmetic dentists with similar training and experience. This is because you’ll typically be more comfortable with one particular cosmetic dentist than the others.
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