For the sake of convenience, most people choose to visit a neighborhood dentist for their routine dental treatment.When seeking a cosmetic dentist,however, don't let location alone be a deciding factor.Do some research to find the very best- you'll be glad you did!

WHAT TO EXPECT

ARE YOU A PERFECTIONIST?

Be honest with yourself- if you even slightly fit into this category,it is in your best interest to make this point very clear with each dentist you interview.The key is to match your artistic needs with the abilities of the dentist you select.

HOW DO YOU SELECT A GOOD COSMETIC DENTIST?

  • Contact professionals in appearance-related fields. These include plastic surgeons, cosmetologists, hair stylists, and modeling or theatrical agencies.
  • Contact local dental specialists. These include orthodontists, oral surgeons, endodontists, prosthodontists, periodontists, and dental technicians, who are familiar with the dentists in the communities, often can provide recommendations.
  • Ask friends and business associates.
  • Use the internet to research specific areas you're interested in, but use caution(most internet sites are not governed or overseen by state boards).
  • Do your homework! Don't rely on advertisements and magazines.

HOW TO EVALUATE COSMETIC DENTISTS

  • Once you have  several referrals, evaluate each dentist's website. Compare credentials, treatment photos, educational background, and any professional teaching positions. Beware of hype!
  • Ask for a consultation.Expect to pay a fee for the dentist's time,as well as for any x-rays, computer imaging, intraoral exams, models, photographs, or other records.
  • Outline your expectations in a wish list before your first meeting with the dentist.
  • Bring photographs of yourself showing what you used to look like (if you want to have your teeth restored to a previous condition) or pictures of others who have the look you want to achieve.
  • Ask to see photographs of patients the dentist has treated with  similar conditions.
  • Don't shop for bargains. Instead, look for a dentist who will spend the time it takes to give you what you want. Otherwise, you may end up spending twice the money and time fixing mistakes.
  • Get a wax-up.In the procedure, your dentist applies a special wax either to a cast made from your teeth or  directly to your mouth to give you an idea of how the final result may look.
  • Consider a trial smile.Removable "snap-in"teeth made of acrylic or composite resin allow you to actually "wear" your new smile before any treatment is done.
  • Ask if the dentist is able to obtain digital images of various treatment alternatives using computer imaging.
  • Be aware of your problems and their potential treatment alternatives before seeing the dentist by performing the smile analysis.
  • Bring any x-rays or study models you have had made.
  • Be willing to invest in a second or third opinion.