What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is defined as an area of dentistry which focuses on improving the appearance of a patient’s teeth and smile. While some of the most common types of cosmetic dentistry include teeth whitening and veneers, they offer many other types of services.
When working with a well-trained cosmetic dentist, they can aid in improving a patient’s appearance, smile, and overall confidence. Over time cosmetic dentistry has grown to where the dentists are able effectively address both functional and aesthetic concerns. Surprisingly, cosmetic dentistry is not considered to be a recognized dental specialty. This means that virtually any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist, regardless of their training and experience.
In 1984, Dr. Jack Kammer and Dr. Jeff Morley co-founded The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). During this time, a small group of dentists met to create standards for cosmetic dentistry and establish an organization which was dedicated to responsible esthetics. Since its creation, the AACD has matured into the largest and most trusted organization in the world for cosmetic dentistry.
More than 6,000 dental professionals, laboratory technicians, educators, and researchers from 70 countries are not included in the AACD. The members of the AACD strive to be the top providers in their field. The AACD website also has a directory which includes member dentists from around the world.
When selecting a cosmetic dentist, there are many factors to take into consideration. In some cases, the patient will chose their cosmetic dentist based on convenience and cost. When searching for the best cosmetic dentist who can aid in achieving optimal results, the following categories should be considered:
Cosmetic Dentistry Training & Education
It is not common for dental schools to offer a general education in cosmetic dentistry. As a result, it is vital for the dentist to pursue post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training. There are numerous programs throughout the country which are well-respected for their training in cosmetic dentistry. The AACD also offers numerous education opportunities for their members. Dentists who strive to be the best in their field will apply for Accreditation through the AACD. The accreditation tests their skills through practical exams and real-life case presentations.
Cosmetic Dentistry Skills and Experience
While education and hands-on training are very important in cosmetic dentistry, the dentist should also have real world experience in practicing cosmetic dentistry. It may be beneficial to discuss how much of the dentist’s practice is committed to cosmetic dentistry. As one may assume, the dentist’s skill and ability often corresponds directly with the amount of experience they have.
When patients chose to enhancing their smile, it can have a dramatic and positive impact of their appearance. Even minor improvements can aid in improving confidence and self-esteem. With many modern advances in cosmetic dentistry, procedures may range from a simple teeth whitening to the replacement of missing teeth.
Do not hesitate to request examples of cosmetic work the dentist has completed for previous patients. Many dentists also share before and after photos on their website which may include reviews and testimonials. Patients can even request to speak with past patients regarding their experience.
At the end of the day, it is important to feel comfortable with the dentist and in their practice. If the dentist makes you feel comfortable and patiently answers your questions, you can feel confident that you will have a positive experience.