I plan on getting a smile makeover. I keep hearing the dentist is the key, but how in the world do you know if you’ve got the right key?
You’ve asked a great question and doing so will save you a great deal of agony. There have been countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories of patients from another practice who came to us in tears needing their “smile makeover” fixed.
The problem most patients run up against is there is not a recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. That means any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist if they dabble in one or two cosmetic procedures.
Unfortunately, to get great results in cosmetic dentistry, it takes a lot more than dabbling. Here are three important things to look for in a cosmetic dentist.
Trait One: Empathy
This one is hard to quantify, but you can quickly tell if a dentist has it or doesn’t. Dr. Hall calls this trait, “The root of a good cosmetic dentist.” They know you want a beautiful smile and they will make sure you get one you can be proud to share.
In general dental school, dentists are taught they know better than the patient. Cosmetic dentistry is different. It’s the way the patient sees their smile that matters. They’d never let a patient leave unhappy and will make any changes necessary to make sure it is the smile of your dreams.
Trait Two: Training
How to do stunning smile makeovers isn’t taught in dental school. It requires a dentist’s willingness to invest in extensive post-doctoral training. They’d invest time and money in continuing education at reputable institutions.
Trait Three: Artistry
Smile makeovers are a type of art form. As with any art, some artists are better than others. The evidence isn’t necessarily in the art school they went to but the results of their work. Never hesitate to look at a cosmetic dentists smile gallery to see what type of results they get.
Especially look for specific examples of the procedure you’re getting. if you want porcelain veneers, ask to see those pictures. If you have tetracycline stains, see what type of success they’ve had covering those.
Where to Locate Dentists with these Traits
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry realized the predicament patients were in locating a great cosmetic dentist. Because of that, they began an accreditation program so dentists with the right skills could have a way of letting patients know.
They have to pass stringent oral and written exams as well as provide visual evidence and a large and varied number of cases demonstrating their artistry.
If you’re really looking for the best, go to aacd.com and do a search for an accredited cosmetic dentist.
This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.