Cosmetic Dentistry processes and treatments are quickly catching up with other forms of cosmetic treatments that people want to subject themselves to, for many reasons from aesthetic to medical. However, choosing the right professional to a cosmetic dental procedure on your teeth can be quite a task.
There may be a set of questions you want to ask yourself in choosing a professional that you can trust to do a good job. After all, it involves a lot of time, effort and money and one that needs a carefully thought out decision.
In helping arriving at the right decision, there are some basic issues that need more than satisfactory answers.
1. Is the cosmetic dentist suitably qualified?
This is the most important question. Cosmetic Dentistry is not recognized as a specialty area by the American Dental Association but accreditations from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is a must for every dentist who can hope to carry out cosmetic procedures. Dentists receiving accreditation from the AACD have undergone a substantial amount of education and training in cosmetic dentistry, passed comprehensive oral and written examinations, presented at least five cases of cosmetic dentistry procedures before a panel of experts and take an exam to attend to very high standards of ethics in cosmetic dentistry treatment. With these qualifications and credentials under his belt, a dentist is considered as having achieved the highest level of competency. Even after having obtained accreditation, a cosmetic dentist is required to actively participate in continuing education courses and be abreast of the latest technology trends in dental treatments.
2. Does the dentist have experience in special procedures especially in the area you are looking for?
Firstly, it will do you a world of good to read up and get some background research into the dental procedure you wish to have. A cosmetic dentist who specializes in multiple areas seems like a good choice especially if you need two or three different procedures. However, if the service requires is highly specialized, the best bet would be to go with a specialist in that particular area who can offer suggestions and variations for any extensive work. But that specialization should be combined with adequate experience in the procedure required.
3. Does the dentist have records of results of previous patients and can you speak to one or two of them for reference / testimonials?
Looking at records and photographs of previous cosmetic dental jobs done by the dentist can be a good way of gauging his dentistry skills. Make sure these records are current ones and not older and see if you can speak to a couple of them to reassure yourself that you are making the right choice. The success rate and positive testimonials of cosmetic dental procedures associated with a particular dentist speak volumes about his expertise.
4. Has the dentist shown inclining to upgrade knowledge and skills and shows interest in staying updated?
Cosmetic dental procedures and the technology involved in carrying them out are constantly becoming more and more refined. If you find that the dentist you approach seems unwilling to go with the times and is more inclining to sticking to older methods, you may want to rethink your decision. A dentist should be committed to learning more on the job and keeping ahead of dentistry advances.
5. Are the dentist and his clinical patient oriented?
By making discreet enquiries about the dentist and his office, it is easy to gather information on whether the procedure and treatment go along with your requirements; any good dentist will be a good listener to the patient's requirements and choices and suggest good options and advice. A dentist who is keen on pushing a technique or procedure that you can not relate to is following a set agenda.
6. Is the dentist knowledgeable about the latest technology and is the clinic well equipped?
Some dentists take on a particular job and half-way through the procedure should something not go as planned, try to get the patient referred to another specialist. This is not only unethical but does not speak well about its practice. A dental clinic that is not only clean, well presented and hygienic but equipped with infrastructure for sedation, oral imaging, x-rays, lasers, CAD / CAM restoration etc. immediately inspires confidence about his treatment.
7. Is the dentist the recipient of excellence / best practice awards and accreditations?
Awards and accreditations speak volumes about a dentist's specializations and his commitment to the job. But ensure that these accreditation have been given by organizations or agencies that are relevant to dentistry and dental practice.
8. Lastly, is the dental clinic a feel-good place with an informal atmosphere?
Some visits to doctor's clinics can be putting off altar especially if the ambience, atmosphere and support staff seem to send negative vibes. A soothing and reassuring dental chair with a friendly dentist and reassuring staff and services take away unwanted fears and doubts and help provide a relaxed atmosphere to carry out the dental procedure.