How to Find a Cosmetic Dentist
If you’ve been considering a smile makeover, be prepared to do a little homework before you find a cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized specialty, so any dentist can call himself or herself a cosmetic dentist. It is important to take some time researching candidates before you make a decision, so that you feel confident you are getting the best treatment and will achieve the best possible results.
WHERE TO FIND A COSMETIC DENTIST
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has developed a search tool to help find cosmetic dentists from across the United States and Canada. With this easy-to-use directory, you can search to find a cosmetic dentist near you and check their credentials. The AACD offers several levels of membership including Accredited Members and Accredited Fellows. Dentists who have achieved these credentials have demonstrated the highest levels of continuing education, experience, and demonstrated ability.
Use our Find a Dentist tool to search for a cosmetic dentist near you.
HOW TO CHOOSE A COSMETIC DENTIST
There are numerous criteria upon which you can select a cosmetic dentist. For some patients, it comes down to convenience and cost. Take caution when choosing the cheapest cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is like fine art. It requires time and skill and generally costs more than general dentistry. Most dentists, however, will work with you to find the best treatment options in your budget and present financing options where needed.
GUIDE TO HELP YOU FIND A COSMETIC DENTIST
Ask For Referrals
Talk to people you know who have had cosmetic dentistry. Personal referrals from friends and family are often the best way to find a cosmetic dentist. You can also ask other dentists including your general dentist. Read online reviews for dentists in your area to find out which ones get the highest ratings.
Remember, any dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist. The AACD provides the gold standard for credentialing dental professionals in the field of cosmetic dentistry. We offer various levels of membership. Those who seek to be the best pursue Accreditation in the AACD. Learn more.
Ask About Continuing Education
Very few dental schools provide general education in cosmetic dentistry. Therefore, it is essential that a dentist pursue post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry to master the principles. There are numerous, well-respected cosmetic dentistry education programs. The AACD provides ample learning opportunities for member dentists.
Find Out How Much Time is Devoted to Cosmetic Dentistry
In addition to education and hands-on training, it is important to know how many years of experience a dentist has practicing cosmetic dentistry. Also, ask the dentist how much of his or her practice is devoted to cosmetic dentistry. While there is no specialty in cosmetic dentistry, those who strive to be the best in their field see a significant volume of patients for cosmetic and restorative dental treatments.
Ask to See Before-and-After Photos
Just as an artist would showcase masterpieces in a gallery, a skilled cosmetic dentist will show off their best work. Ask to see examples of cosmetic dental work. Many dentists also post before-and-after photos in online Smile Galleries. Be aware that retouched photos and stock before-and-afters do exist. If you have concerns, ask the dentist to provide you with a few referral patients that you can personally call.
Take Time During the Consultation
Don’t rush through the consultation. Take time to clearly explain your objections and listen to the dentist’s recommendations. Communication is extremely important in cosmetic dentistry to achieve the best possible results.
Make Sure You’re Comfortable
But what it all comes down to is how comfortable do you feel in the practice. If the dentist and staff make you feel comfortable and well cared for, you’re sure to have a great experience.