What To Look For In Choosing A Dentist For Your Cosmetic Dentistry
by Benjamin T. Watson DDS, MAGD
Your smile is important. It is the first thing people notice about you. A recent survey by potential employers found that a smile is the first thing that they look for in a potential candidate. The number one reason people do not smile is because they are not happy with the appearence of their teeth. A smile says so much about an individual. So what does one look for in searching for a dentist to give them that beautiful smile?
Contrary to what appears to be promoted, there is no designated specialty in cosmetic dentistry. Placing the words "cosmetic dentist" in front of one's name does not make them a "specialist" in the area of cosmetic dentistry. One only has to look at the number of advertisements that say, "cosmetic dentist" or "specializes in cosmetic dentistry" to see that it is widely promoted. There are, however, things that an individual can look for to see if a dentist truly has the experience in cosmetic dentistry.
First, how long have they been in practice? Being in practice for many years does not guarantee that one has the cosmetic expertise just as being in practice for only a few years does not rule one out. But experience does count. The longer one has been in practice the better their manual dexterity, experience in cosmetic techniques, dental procedures, as well as their knowledge in dental materials.
Secondly, does the dentist show you before and after photographs of work that they have done? In many instances a dentist will show you examples of treatment performed by other dentists. They have purchased these photos that have been professionally done. Be sure you can see examples of treatments that they have performed. If a dentist cannot show you this then be cautious. Dentists who do a great deal of cosmetic procedures take before and after photos.
Thirdly, make sure that the dentist has a clear and precise treatment sequence to give the patient what they want. What you do not want is a dentist that after one consultation will jump right in and do the procedure. Getting the best result takes planning and gathering the right information. Dentists who are experienced in cosmetic procedures have a precise pathway they have developed to give them proven results. In other words, they will start with an initial consult to determine if the patient is a candidiate for cosmetic dentistry and what they are exactly looking for in results. This will usually include a cosmetic analysis. From there they will schedule an appointment to take pre-operative models and photographs. This gives the dentist a starting point. From there a final consult will be performed to finalize the treatment plan. Usually at this point, before actual treatment is initiated, a diagnostic wax-up will be done. This gives the patient an idea of what the final treatment result will look like. Sometimes even photo imaging can be done to photographically show the patient what can be achieved. Keep in mind that the wax-up and imaging only give the patient and "idea" of treatment outcome. The patient will sign a consent form for the purposed treatment. Only after the above is performed is the patient ready to begin actual treatment. Keep in mind, the better the preparation, the better chance of giving the patient what they are looking for which is a great smile.
Your smile is very important; you wear it every day. So take the time to choose the right person to give you the beautiful smile you deserve. If you are looking to have cosmetic dentistry and do not have a dentist then give the office of Dr. Watson a call. Dr. Watson has over 30 years in cosmetic dental experience as well as a proven track record in creating beautiful smiles.