Cosmetic Dentistry: How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist
Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
Dr. Debra King Dr. Debra King

How To Select A Cosmetic Dentist

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist, one with extensive training, substantial experience and a gentle approach that understands clients’ needs, is the key to achieving a successful outcome—a gorgeous new smile!  Below are some guidelines compiled from patients for successfully choosing a cosmetic dentist.

Does the Dentist Have Real Credentials In Cosmetic Dentistry?
It seems as though many dentists say they perform some of cosmetic dentistry as part of their services.  In dentistry, as in medicine, specialties exist that are indications of a high level of education and training. Presently, however, no specialty in cosmetic dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association exists.  In 1984, however, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) was formed and has the filled the need for credentialing in the area of cosmetic dentistry.  The organization currently has 7,000 members in the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. It is the largest international dental organization dedicated specifically to the art and science of cosmetic dentistry, and it administers the leading accreditation program for cosmetic dentists. This accreditation process is a rigorous one, which requires dentists to attend many continuing education courses in cosmetic dentistry, to be tested and to submit a number of cosmetic cases to be judged by a panel of cosmetic dentistry experts.

Does the Dentist Have Extensive Post Graduate Training In Cosmetic Dentistry?
To perform cosmetic dental procedures at the highest level, technical skill and a rigorous program of post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry, is needed. It may surprise you that the majority of dental schools do not offer training in cosmetic dentistry. It is extremely important that the cosmetic dentist whom you select continually completes courses in cosmetic dentistry. In-depth training is necessary to learn the most advanced techniques and to be aware of the most advanced materials and technology in order to get optimal results.

Does the Dentist Have Extensive Smile Design Experience?
Great cosmetic dentistry is an art. Dentists who are generalists usually have not performed cosmetic smile designs enough, or with a regularity that leads to mastery of this art. If you are considering veneers, for example, you should ask how many veneers the dentist has placed. Look for cosmetic dentists that have placed not just hundreds, but thousands of veneers. This experience allows the dentist to see a wide variety of smiles and to bring this experience and expertise to your smile.

Does the Dentist Have A Caring Approach and Great Communication Skills?
Cosmetic dentistry is a process; it is not a single procedure or operation. So you must find a dentist with whom you can talk easily. It is important that the dentist understands what you desire, and that you understand the process that the dentist is describing. To accomplish this, the dentist should listen and make certain that he or she understands all of your concerns, needs and desires as they relate to your dental health and the appearance of your smile. Only then should he or she spend time diagnosing and consulting on a recommended treatment plan, which should be individualized for each patient.

Does the Dentist Have An Artistic Eye?
It is important to find a dentist who is accurate in his or her evaluation of your needs, precise in the execution of the treatment plan and meticulous in craftsmanship. Make certain that the dentist addresses not only your teeth, but also your gums, lips, facial structure—and your specific requests.  Excellent cosmetic dentistry demands a highly sophisticated artistic sense. To achieve optimal aesthetic results, a dentist must have a clear vision of what is artistically possible and appropriate.

Make Certain That You Review Before and After Photos of Work Performed by the Cosmetic Dentist
You will want to look at before and after photos of cosmetic dentistry that has actually been performed by the dentist you are considering. Be aware that commercially produced photos and albums to show the possibilities of cosmetic dentistry exist. You will want to confirm that you are seeing the actual work of the dentist you are considering and that the before photos are cases similar to yours.

Be Careful Of Going With The Cheapest Price
Many times, you do indeed “get what you paid for.”  If a dentist is cheaper than others, perhaps that should be a red flag to you.

Other Things to Consider
You may also want to consider references from other cosmetic dentistry patients, taking a tour of the office, including sterilization areas, and asking about the office’s technology and materials. You may also want to check with the state licensing board to verify that the dentist does not have a history of complaints or adverse state Dental Board action.

 

Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
5014 Roswell Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30342
(404) 847-9711
www.atlantacenterforcosmeticdentistry.com