Cosmetic dentistry can have a huge impact on a person’s life. It can boost confidence and self-esteem, improve current oral hygiene and, in some cases, leave a more positive first impression upon others. Research suggests that a large majority of people of all genders feel that a good smile is what makes a person most appealing.
image credit: Royalty Free Photo
However, opting for cosmetic dentistry is a big decision to make. It is a long term investment in yourself. But procedures can be costly and for some, it is a treatment that they only have one chance at getting right. With this in mind, it is essential that you receive the very best treatment that you can, otherwise you may find yourself having a negative experience, left with dental work that was not to your specifications or in the very worst cases suffering from complications due to inferior work being performed.
This article is not designed to put you off cosmetic dentistry. As mentioned earlier, cosmetic dentistry has innumerable benefits but, like many surgical procedures, there is some risk. So it is essential that you make an informed, well considered decision regarding your choice of dentist. Fortunately for you, the vast majority of cosmetic dentists working today are accredited; leaving you confident that the risk is minimal. Nonetheless, there are other factors you should consider when choosing the best dentist for you. See below for five top tips for ensuring you make the best choice you can.
It goes without saying that you should always choose a dentist who is fully qualified to practice, but to what level are they qualified? What post-graduate credentials do they hold? If you are looking for a very specific procedure you may be able to find a dentist with credentials that make them an expert in your particular area of interest.
Furthermore, try to find out which organizations your dentist is accredited with. The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry will only pass cosmetic dentists who have passed rigorous guidelines; this is the minimal accreditation you should expect from any cosmetic dentist that you choose. Dentists who have been practicing for longer, may have additional accreditations so be sure that you find out these as well. Any good dentist will have all of their accreditations displayed in their office and on their website.
2. Previous Work
Look/ask for previous examples of a dentist’s work. Where possible, try to find specific examples of the type of work that you are thinking about having. All dentists should have a book or website page of before and after photos displaying the standard of their work. If the photos are on their website try to do an image search to ensure that the photographs are not stock images.
Find out what other people have said about this particular dentist. Testimonials should be available to you. Better yet, ask your trusted friends and loved ones to find out if they have had a good experience with a cosmetic dentist these are always the best kind of referral. Don’t be afraid to look in the media also. High profile and reputable clinics may have been interviewed and consulted for radio or television shows. Perfect Smile Spa, for example, display the publications and shows that they have featured in on their home page, making it a quick few clicks to find out what the media are saying about them.
4. Standard of Consultation
Essential to choosing the right cosmetic dentist is how you personally feel about them. If you have reached the stage where you feel you are ready to consult with a dentist ask yourself: Are you comfortable with this person and do you trust them with your smile? People do not instantly develop good relationships and if you feel you are not comfortable in the dentist’s presence then it would probably be best to seek out another dentist.
Furthermore, when consulting, consider how thorough the dentist is. Do they give you a variety of options regarding treatment? Do they outline the pros and cons of the treatments you are inquiring about? Do they offer any resources for you to look at to help you understand what treatment may entail?
A consultation is also an ideal time to look at the types of technology the dentist uses and the standards in their office. Be sure to ask questions about any specialist devices they might use and how the devices work. Remember, the standards within a dentist’s office will give some indication to the standards of their dentistry.
Once a consultation has been completed and recommendations have been made it is advisable that you get a second opinion. A good cosmetic dentist will always welcome a second opinion because they are confident that they have helped you get the very best treatment possible.
This can be the biggest hurdle for many people and a reputable dentist will offer financing plans to help you achieve the smile that you want. They (or their staff) will guide you through financing options to ensure that you fully understand the cost to you and help you make a decision that is manageable for your financial situation.
Cosmetic dentistry at first glance can seem daunting and a bit of a minefield. So be sure to contact several clinics. The best clinics will put you at ease and make understanding the procedures that they carry out as easy as brushing your teeth. Follow the advice above and you can be sure that you’ll soon have the smile you’ve always wanted.