People decide to visit a cosmetic dentist for a wide variety of reasons. An improved smile can lead to more confidence, better oral and overall health, and the possibility of a longer lifespan. However, it is important to ensure you choose a dental professional who understands what you hope to gain from the experience and works to meet your needs.
Choosing the right cosmetic dental professional
Choosing the right dental professional helps to ensure the patient is comfortable with the procedure and more likely to enjoy the results of the procedure. There are several things to consider when seeking someone to perform cosmetic dentistry.
1. Ask about the professional’s education and training
Patients looking for a cosmetic dentist should find one who has taken the time for extensive education and training, specifically in cosmetic procedures. Look for members of one or more professional organizations, including accreditation from The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Seattle Institute of Advanced Studies, or the World Clinical Laser Institute. Experience is important as well.
2. Consider the range of procedures available
A dentist with a true professional interest in cosmetic dentistry should have experience in and offer to perform a range of procedures. Patients should look for someone who offers the cosmetic procedures they are interested in, such as traditional porcelain veneers, minimal-preparation porcelain veneers, fillings and crowns for white restoration, teeth whitening options, laser gum contouring, and cosmetic bonding. A dental professional with a well-rounded “menu” of options may be more likely to provide a patient with a complete smile makeover.
3. Look for someone who provides a detailed consultation
The length of the consultation can often help a patient determine whether the cosmetic dental professional is only in the job for the money or truly cares about patients. A true professional provides at least an hour for the consultation, if not more. This allows for discussing the patient’s treatment options, answering questions, and addressing any concerns. Educational videos, information booklets, and software that provides the patient with a realistic idea of what to expect from a new smile are important as well. The patient should feel comfortable asking questions and confident that the dentist is providing thorough, realistic, and truthful information.
Keeping realistic expectations about cosmetic dental procedures
When a patient does find the right cosmetic dental professional, it is important to keep realistic expectations about the available procedures. A patient may spend hours reading testimonials, browsing reviews, and looking at before and after pictures, but it is important to remember that every dentist only shows off their top-quality work. Procedure results vary greatly, and while there is often improvement, nobody should expect perfection. Realistic goals and expectations ensure the patient is more likely to be happy with the results.
A cosmetic dentist can often help patients to feel more confident in and happier with their appearance. If you are interested in learning more about your options, contact a local professional.
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