Choosing a cosmetic dentist can be tough. Times have become tough. With Photoshop, the internet, and items just about ANYONE could purchase, how can you find the right cosmetic dentist for you? It seems every dentist puts on his stationary “Family and Cosmetic Dentist”. To a degree, this implies that ANY dentist can give you that “red carpet smile”. To be honest, this just isn’t true. They aren’t lying, but the use of the term or the intended meaning is not established.
Quite often, if you asked many dentists what they mean by Cosmetic Dentist, they will say they do white fillings in addition to the mercury ones. Many of these dentists, when asked to give a perfect “Hollywood smile” will decline, or simply put off the patient (or worse yet, they will “try” and do their best, but in the end nobody is happy). They won’t make a referral of any sort, they simply find ways to discourage the patient from moving forward. Some will go so far as to say “what you are asking for just can’t be done…”
This can become very confusing for the consumer. If all dentists are NOT created equal, then how do you go about choosing a cosmetic dentist?
Unfortunately, this means the consumer needs to interview prospective dentists. Most offices will offer a free consultation to answer your questions. You should know that a consultation is NOT an examination. A consult is generally a “chat session” where things are discussed in general terms, perhaps visual aids or models are used to show a process, but it isn’t patient specific. If you are wanting to know what would work in your individual case, a clinical examination would be required, and all necessary diagnostic records would be taken. You should also expect a fee of some sort for this (but it won’t be much and often dental benefits pay most or all of the fee).
Find out from the prospective dentist how many cases they have done (you don’t want to be the first, right?). Find out how unique your specific case is (if you are an odd challenge, can they handle it?). Ask for photos of their own work (dentists can purchase books of beautiful cases that were done by someone else). Ask how they got trained in cosmetics (it is NOT a subject taught in dental school).
But in the end, you need to choose a dentist you can trust. With all the training in the world, fancy photography and cases under their belt, you need to decide if the person with the scary job is someone you trust. That is not an easy or quick decision.
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