Choosing a cosmetic dentist is one of the most critical decisions you can make. You are choosing a professional who will help change your appearance by changing the look of your teeth and your smile. Some of the procedures you will undergo are not reversible. You want to ensure your comfort and confidence with the cosmetic dentist you choose.
Your general dentist should be able to recommend the best cosmetic dentist for you. He or she knows the current status of your teeth, gums, and your other related dental conditions. Your friends or relatives who might have undergone a smile makeover could also recommend their doctors.
Before you set up a consultation appointment with your prospective cosmetic dentist, do your investigation prior to your appointment. Is your dentist skilled in providing full mouth reconstruction, or does he or she refers patients to other specialists for other treatments? How extensive is the dental practice? Are you impressed by the before-and-after photos of previous patients? Does the practice have imaging technology and other aids when recommending procedure options? Are other modern dental technologies (lasers, caries detection devices, CAD/CAM restoration) used in the dental practice?
During your consultation with your cosmetic dentist, discuss what you like and do not like about your smile. This is the one time you and your cosmetic dentist will establish realistic expectations about your dental treatment. You may be referred to smile design books with before-and-after photos of cosmetic dental procedures. There would also be a review of different tooth shapes and sizes to see what fits and appeals to you. Cosmetic dentists use computer monitors so both of you can review your smile tooth by tooth. This is also for your understanding on what can be changed and how. Results, of course, may vary depending on the skills of your chosen dentist. Since you have been apprised of his or her skills beforehand, your expectations will not be much at variance with the outcome.
Your dental records are also very important during consultations with your cosmetic dentist. They are important in developing a precise cosmetic dental treatment plan unique to your case and needs. These would typically include the comprehensive intra-oral examination (including photos and X-rays), and teeth impressions.
Diagnosis and treatment plans
If a diagnosis and treatment plan is given during consultation with your cosmetic dentist, make sure you understand it completely, including any viable treatment alternatives. Also, be sure you are completely comfortable with the thoroughness of the presented details given. This way, you can make an educated decision on the dental treatment you will pursue.
Finally, discuss the payment or financing options. (This might be undertaken with the dentist’s office manager.) This is important because it can help you manage the cost of your cosmetic dentistry treatment. Cosmetic dental treatments are not typically covered by dental insurance. Dental clinics of some cosmetic dentists sometimes offer in-house payment options.