Critical Things To Consider When Choosing A Cosmetic/Esthetic Dentist

Any type of Cosmetic/Esthetic dentistry is an investment in the future of your smile. Here at Rigby Advanced Dental, in Austin Texas, we take this type of work seriously.   Like any investment, you’ll want to do research before making a final decision. Dr. Brent Rigby recommends you use these guidelines can help you choose the practitioner who’s right for you.

Check the doctor’s credentials. Unlike other dental specialties (oral surgery, orthodontics, prosthodontics, etc.), cosmetic dentistry is not recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a specialty.  Evaluating HOW the practitioner became an expert in the field is critical.  The dentist should be licensed and be in good standing with the state dental board.  Despite cosmetic dentistry not being one of the nine recognized specialties, the ADA does consider Prothodontists EXPERTS in many of the facets of restorative dentistry.

Investigate the doctor’s training. The best cosmetic dentistry practitioners didn’t just go to dental school; they also completed extensive post-graduate training programs that focus specifically on issues of cosmetic dentistry and full mouth rehabilitation.  These post-dental school programs typically run 2-3 years in length and require many hours of literature review and discussion providing the practitioner with a solid foundation to draw from when treating/reconstructing patients smiles.  Look for a practitioner who has graduated from an accredited ADA post-graduate facility.  In addition, the best dentists regularly attend continuing education classes to stay up-to-date on new procedures and materials.  To read more about Dr Rigby’s qualifications please visit our website or check out his ADA accredited post-graduate training program at The Ohio State University.

Start with a consultation. Going in for a consultation is a great way to learn more about a dentist and dental practice. Consultations are generally inexpensive, and are sometimes even offered for free. Talk to the dentist before you commit to anything. Remember, it’s your job to make an educated decision.

Look for smile design experience. Cosmetic dentistry is as much art as it is science. In general, the more smiles a dentist has designed, the better that dentist’s work will be. Smile design is about more than just your teeth; the dentist should also consider your lips, gum line, mouth shape and facial structure.

Communication is key. It’s essential that you be able to talk to your dentist – and that your dentist will listen to you! There’s a lot of dialogue that needs to go into an individual long-term treatment plan. If you feel bullied, pressured, or rushed, then that’s probably not the right dentist for you.  Work with someone you are comfortable with and want to develop a long term professional relationship with.

Look at before and after photos. Take a look at the dentist’s portfolio before you make up your mind. Pay specific attention to cases that are similar to yours. Make sure that the photos are of actual work done by the dentist, not just stock photos.

Don’t pay too much – or too little. Some dentists charge more by marketing themselves as high-end celebrity cosmetic dentists offering Hollywood smile makeovers. Other dentists try to make up for poor materials and low quality work by offering low prices. Beware the extremes……the old adage, “if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is”, still holds true today.

An honest dentist sets realistic expectations. Watch out for doctors who promise more than they can deliver. You want a dentist who will tell you what can and cannot be done for your smile. You need to know how long the process will take, what you’ll have to do, and any complications that could occur.

Technology is cool, but it’s not the only thing. A dentist with high-tech modern equipment is more likely to be up-to-date on modern techniques. At the same time, however, don’t let yourself be dazzled by a dentist’s fancy tools; what really matters is if the dentist knows how to use them properly.  The best dentists have both a great mind and great hand skills.

A good lab technician is a valuable asset. The dentist might decide on the treatment plan, but generally it’s the lab technician who’ll actually fabricate the porcelain veneers or crowns that will be gracing your new smile. Great dentists are proud of their lab technicians and the materials they use. One of the greatest ways to distinguish skill level between practitioners is how much lab work they have actually performed with thier own hands.  Often those who have restored a smile from start to finish, including all of the lab work and fabrication, have a greater understanding and sense for what can really be accomplished and level of difficulty with particular cases.

Rigby Advanced Dental offers a variety of cosmetic dental services from dental veneers to dental implant therapy.  Please come and visit us for a cosmetic consultation.  We are located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave and Lakeway Texas.

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