While cosmetic dentistry procedures are generally believed to be aesthetic, they also carry a variety of restorative and preventive benefits. Teeth that are crooked, out of line, or uneven can make it uncomfortable or difficult to eat, and at times, these issues can cause speech impediments and lower a person’s self-esteem. It is important to be confident that any money spent to fix a concern with either the look or function of the mouth will provide the desired results. If you are one of the millions of people considering cosmetic dental treatments, you should plan to do some research to find a qualified professional.
Finding cosmetic dentistry services
Take some time to prioritize your needs before searching for a cosmetic dentist to ensure you find a professional who meets your requirements.
Ask trusted friends and family members for recommendations if they have had cosmetic procedures performed. Other dentists can also provide referrals. Online reviews are another source of information regarding professionals in your area.
Skilled cosmetic dentists are proud to show before and after photos of their work. Check the dentist’s “smile gallery” on the website. Are the photos original or does the dentist use purchased stock photography? Look for actual patient names posted near the picture or the use of the phrase “actual patient.” Ask the dentist to see actual patient photos if you are not sure.
Glowing referrals and impressive photographs are good signs, but appropriate credentials are also important. Look online for information about your dentist’s college degrees and licensing, continuing education, and professional organizations. Authenticate the school the provider graduated from and do some research about its dental program.
The number of years in practice is important to know when evaluating your cosmetic dentistry options. It would help if you looked for a dentist who devotes a large percentage of their practice to cosmetic dentistry, with preference given to those with a significant volume of cosmetic procedures performed. You can also check with the state board to inquire about any complaints lodged against a provider over the years. You want a positive experience based on years of quality service.
Questions to ask in a cosmetic dentistry consultation
A good cosmetic dentist will answer your questions with honesty and transparency rather than trying to give you a sales pitch. Here are some questions to focus on during your consultation.
You should ask about the costs of the procedures you are interested in during an initial consultation so there are no surprises afterward. This is the time to ask about insurance and financing options as well. Ask for an itemized breakdown of the procedure and costs associated with each step. See if there are any discounts for paying in full or for a cash payment.
Cost is not the only criteria you should use when evaluating your cosmetic dentist. Sometimes dentists who charge the least have less training and use lower-quality materials and inferior laboratories. Ask your potential dentist about the quality of materials used and the typical lifespan for these materials if you follow the recommended hygiene and maintenance practices.
Ask about all options available for the outcomes you are looking for. A quality cosmetic dentist will be patient-focused and honest, offering several alternatives that you can choose from based on your needs. Some procedures are multi-step processes, but depending on the desired result, there may be a lesser involved plan that delivers a similar look.
Ask for an honest estimation of how long the results of your chosen procedure will last. Find out about the requirements for maintenance and whether there will be a need for future procedures and ongoing costs. Make sure to ask about processes or treatments that do not work or that fail prematurely. Find out about the responsibility of the provider to correct those issues or to provide restorative services and the cost involved.
While there are a number of factors to consider in your search for a cosmetic dentistry professional, the bottom line is finding someone who makes you feel valued and comfortable. Friends and family can provide personal experience recommendations, and images and online reviews will reveal the nature of the services provided. Looking into the education and experience can provide further confidence in the skills and abilities of the provider. Thoroughly research a cosmetic dentist before making your choice.
Request an appointment here or call Dallas Laser Dentistry at 469 838 5292 for an appointment in our Dallas office.