Who doesn’t like to have a great smile? While ultimately it is your skills, experience, and education that will land you a job, a warm and welcoming smile can be the greatest ice-breaker during an interview. It can also work wonders in your personal and professional life. Unfortunately, not all of us are so lucky to have a naturally beautiful looking smile.
Don’t worry! You can still get a pleasant smile with the help of a cosmetic dentist. You can get different types of dental implants, tooth whitening, porcelain veneers, bridges, dentures, and dental crowns to make your smile more beautiful. You will, however, need to overcome your dental phobia and start searching for the right cosmetic dentist.
Finding the right cosmetic dentists may often be as difficult as overcoming the dental phobia. However, if you keep the following seven things in mind, you will end up having the best cosmetic dentist relatively quickly and easily.
- Experience in Cosmetic Dentistry
One of the first things you have to consider before seeking a cosmetic dentist is their experience in the field. While general dentists can also perform cosmetic dental procedures such as porcelain veneers and dental bridges, their primary focus is on taking care of basic oral health and filling your cavities. That’s why you have to consider a cosmetic dentist who has considerable experience in performing aesthetic dental procedures.
You should also consider a dentist who has worked with patients belonging to your age group. A dentist who has primarily worked with children or senior citizens may not be the right fit for someone in their twenties or thirties. In most cases, the dentist will have a website or at least social media presence which should tell you about their experience. Still, you can send out an email or call their office to know how much experience they have.
- Consider What Your Friends Say
Your friends, colleagues, and family members are probably your best source to know more about a cosmetic dentist, especially if you are doing this for the first time. Don’t just stop at checking out their website or calling their clinic, ask your finds about what was their experience with the doctor in question. It is even better if you can find more than one friends who have been to the same doctor.
Were they happy with the service and overall treatment? Are the results satisfactory? Was the treatment expensive? Was it worth the money they spent? How helpful is the staff in the dentist’s office? Ask the questions that come to your mind. Just make sure you trust the person you are asking for feedback.
- Go through Their before and after Photos
It is a standard practice among cosmetic dentists to have a collection of “before and after” photos of real patients. It is the best possible way to find out how varied and efficient their work is. You will most probably see these photos on their website if they have one. Still, you can ask for an album at their office.
You will be able to see photographs for different procedures including various types of dental implants, dental bridges, and tooth-colored fillings. Make sure to check the ones for the treatment you are seeking.
Some dentists may try to pass photoshopped “before and after” images as their original work. The patients may be real, but the “after-photos” may have been altered to display better results. Make sure the photos you are viewing look genuine. Usually, photographs with an overly polished look are considered fakes.
- Choose the Nearest Possible Location
Location is probably the most critical factor as you may have to make more than one visits to complete the treatment or may need to consult the dentist after the procedure. Besides, there is no point in going to a cosmetic dentist in Plano for saving a few hundred bucks if you are living in Austin. You will probably end up spending more for the gas.
Try to find the best cosmetic dentist available nearest to your home. The American Dental Association’s website has a list of qualified cosmetic dentists as well as other specialists. You can find a dentist from your state and locality with good professional standing. Just make sure to cross-check their name on your local and state dentistry regulating board.
- Find Someone That Meets Your Needs
Cosmetic dentistry involves several different procedures including porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, bridges, crowns, teeth-colored fillings, bonding, and various types of dental implants. That’s why you need to choose a cosmetic dentist that specializes or regularly performs the procedures that you want.
Usually, engaging the services of a cosmetic dentist that offers multiple services is better as you don’t have to turn to a new doctor from procedure to procedure. Still, depending on your requirement, you may have to enlist the services of a highly specialized cosmetic dentist. You can talk to a couple of dentists to see which one can address your concerns best and understands your point of view.
In the end, you want to open your mouth to someone who cares about what is in your best interest and makes you comfortable throughout the procedure. Cosmetic dentistry is a team effort. So, skills of the entire staff at a clinic should be taken into consideration as well. The dental assistant, specialists, hygienist, and lab technicians should also be experienced and patient-friendly like the dentist.
- Consider the Costs and Payment Alternatives
You should consider how expensive the treatment is going to be. Usually, traditional dental insurance plans focus on medically essential procedures only. Relatively modern dental insurance plans may cover a few cosmetic procedures but certainly not all.
Chances are you will be paying out of your pocket. So, you need to consider the costs and different payment alternatives offered by a dentist in question. You should work with someone who accepts credit cards or offers flexible payment plans or third-party patient financing. You may come across a few dentists claiming to provide services at the cheapest possible rates.
However, low-cost procedures rarely translate into best results. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, you get what you pay for. So, find a cosmetic dentist who has the right set of skills and experience but charges reasonably and offers payment options too.
- Check Their Credentials
Despite a stellar reputation and recommendations from your closest friends, you should check the qualifications of a dentist. Most dentists will proudly display their credentials on their website or in their office. You can also check if they have received any awards or accreditations from organizations such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) or the American Dental Association (ADA).
However, ADA doesn’t recognize cosmetic dentistry and implant dentistry as dental specialties. They do acknowledge prosthodontics or prosthetic dentistry as one of the nine dental specialties. It is directly related to the dental prosthesis in general.
A cosmetic dentist can make or break your gorgeous smile and self-confidence. That’s why you need to choose only the best cosmetic dentist available in your area. Keeping in mind the above seven things in mind while doing so can help narrow down your search and make the right decision. Once you find a suitable and experienced dentist, listen to their medical advice carefully. Keep smiling!