Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work or procedure that focuses on improving the look of your teeth, smile, and mouth.
While cosmetic dentistry procedures are usually done for aesthetic purposes, some actually provide restorative benefits. Dental veneers not only repair chipped or damaged teeth, but also improve the bite. Dental fillings are used to treat decayed teeth, and their color can be matched with the natural shade of your teeth to enhance oral appearance. Implants are meant to replace missing or lost teeth and help with your bite, but they improve your smile as well.
Since the aim of cosmetic dentistry procedures is to enhance overall oral appearance, it is crucial that you select the right cosmetic dental practitioner for you. Here are some tips.
1. Get referrals. Get trusted recommendations from your family dentist, who should be familiar with the current status and condition of your mouth and teeth. You can also ask referrals from relatives, colleagues, and friends who have had cosmetic dentistry procedures done and were satisfied with the results.
2. Check out their previous work. Cosmetic dentists usually show before and after pictures of their work. However, be wary of those who do not have examples of their previous work, and be mindful of airbrushed or photoshopped pictures as well.
3. Do a background check. Once you have narrowed down the list of potential cosmetic dentists, research on their credentials, experience, and education. Consider the following:
- How long has he/she been in practice?
- How extensive is the practice?
- What sort of cosmetic dental work does he/she do?
- What dental techniques and technologies does he/she use?
- Does he/she offer 24/7 or emergency services?
- Is he/she a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry?
The last question is actually very important, especially if the kind of cosmetic dental procedure or treatment you are looking for needs meticulous care and expert skills. AACD members are required to undergo rigorous training and pass strict ethical standards in order to qualify, so getting an AACD-accredited dentist ensures that you will receive high quality, professional dental care.
4. Schedule an initial consultation. Check out the office and get a feel of things. Do you like the patient comforts provided by the dentist? Do you feel that the dentist is sympathetic about your oral concerns? Is the staff friendly, welcoming, understanding, and patient? Do you like the ambiance of the dental practice?
It is best to compile a list of your concerns and what you want to change about your smile before meeting with the dentist. When you discuss them with the dentist, assess how he/she responds and evaluate the proposed solutions or treatment plan. Do not be afraid to probe and keep asking away. The right cosmetic dentist for you will spell out the procedure to you in great detail, including prior preparations, actual steps of the procedure and materials to be used, and after-care tips.
Do not be shy about fees and costs, either. Ask about payment plans and financing options they are offering to help you manage the cost of your smile makeover. Some cosmetic dental procedures can be quite expensive, so it is only natural to want to protect your investment and be upfront about getting your money's worth.
The author does not allow comments to this entry