Finding a qualified cosmetic dentist requires careful consideration. Although there technically is no recognized cosmetic dentist specialty, there is an increasing number of dentists offering cosmetic treatments. Combine this with the wide variety of procedures to choose from and the possible need for inter-disciplinary care beforehand, your choices can be staggering.
Obtaining Referrals: What to Know
Your general/family dentist’s recommendation is a primary consideration. If you have been receiving regular check-ups, your general dentist has a picture of the current status and condition of your mouth.
If your dentist finds that your teeth, gums, supporting bone structure and occlusion (bite) are in need of further evaluation prior to cosmetic treatment, he/she may refer you to a periodontist, prosthodontist, endodontist, orthodontist or oral maxillofacial surgeon. The condition of your teeth, gums, supporting bone structure and occlusion has an impact on the longevity of any dental procedure. You may require additional care for these conditions before cosmetic treatment begins. In some cases, a full mouth reconstruction may be part of your procedure plan.
Ask your friends, neighbors, and business colleagues who have undergone a smile makeover whom they would recommend.
Narrowing Your Choices
It is important to do your homework and investigate the level of cosmetic dentistry experience for each dentist you consider before setting up a consultation. You may want to ask if the dentist is skilled in providing full mouth reconstruction, or if he/she refers patients to another specialist if such treatments are needed. You may also want to ask if he/she is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, which requires adherence to rigorous study, ethical standards, and examination to qualify as an accredited member.
Other criteria for narrowing your choices include:
- How long has the dentist been practicing?
- Are the results shown in before and after photos of previous patients to your liking? Are the photos of actual patients that the dentist has treated?
- How extensive is the practice? Does he/she offer study models, imaging technology and/or bonding previews when recommending and demonstrating procedure options?
- What dental technologies (lasers, caries detection devices, CAD/CAM restoration, intraoral imaging, etc.) are used in the practice that may help serve your needs?
- What patient comforts are provided through the practice – such as headphones that provide calming music, comfort chairs, spa services or sedation dentistry– that will make the treatment process a more relaxing and anxiety-free experience?
- Emergencies are unlikely but do find out what provisions the practice offers. Is the emergency service provided by the dentist or a staff member? Is communication over the phone or in person?
What to Expect at Your Consultation
Cosmetic consultations typically include records gathering. Because these records are important for developing a unique and precise treatment plan that will satisfy your needs, a significant amount of time may be spent for this purpose. Records gathering involves, but is not limited to:
- A comprehensive intraoral examination and inspection of any existing dental work.
- Intraoral photographs
- Radiographs (X-rays)
- Impressions of your upper and lower teeth (models and study casts will be made later).
- Looking through smile design books that show an assortment of before and after photographs of different procedures.
- Reviewing different tooth shapes and sizes to see what appeals to you.
- Discussing tooth color
- Using a computer monitor, reviewing your smile tooth by tooth so you can thoroughly understand what can be changed and how.
Your consultation may also include a meeting with a patient coordinator. The patient coordinator’s role is to help you with scheduling appointments and follow-up care. For More Information Contact Us Now!