When you realize you want a dentist who focuses on cosmetics, you encounter many claims of dentists who are “tops” or “the best.” Friends and family or newspapers, radio or internet ads don’t really explain how dentists earn “top dentist” or “best dentist” status. Yet, there are discreet things to look for when you are trying to discern the best dentist to meet your cosmetic dental needs.
Dentists bring varied levels of skill and experience to their craft. Many general dentists who claim to be cosmetic dentists are capable of performing basic cosmetic procedures such as whitening or single veneers. However, if you desire a significant amount of cosmetic work, you are well advised to seek out the rare dentist who specializes in exceptional cosmetic/aesthetic dentistry. Don’t ever be afraid to ask to see examples of cases similar to what the dentist proposes to do for you, and ask to see at least ten similar cases. If the dentist has only a few examples of what you desire, you probably will want to keep looking for the best cosmetic dentist for you.
Just as you would carefully choose a surgeon or financial planner, you should dedicate time to getting to know your cosmetic dentist. The best cosmetic dentist for your needs desires a relationship with you to clearly understand your expectations. Top cosmetic dentists know that it doesn’t matter how technically correct the dentistry is if it’s not what the patient wants. Relationships that thoroughly explore a patient’s desires and the options for fulfilling them rarely happen in one visit. You and your dentist will most likely have to invest time in each other to ensure that your expectations are understood. Any dentist who is not willing to spend time with his patients to understand their needs and desires is unlikely to come near meeting their expectations and is even less likely to exceed those expectations.
Top cosmetic dentists know and realize that for a patient’s new cosmetic dentistry to last and perform well, careful planning must occur both before and after the procedure. The best cosmetic dentists engage in comprehensive staging and planning and discuss not only the approach to your restoration but also the steps necessary to protect and ensure the longevity of your new smile. If the cosmetic dentist with whom you consult is more interested in what he can do for you than in what you want, or does not explain the process for realizing and maintaining your dental dreams, you are not talking to a top cosmetic dentist.
The secrets to finding a top cosmetic dentist explained above relate to qualities of the dentist himself or herself. The final secret relates to the environment surrounding the dentist. Chances are great that if the office is designed for the comfort of those who spend time there, you will feel relaxed and peaceful. If you are greeted by people who are competent and genuinely interested in your well-being and comfort, you might reflect that the dentist who has surrounded himself with such exceptionally caring people is of like mind. Environments which reflect indifference to the comfort of the dentist’s patients or team are not likely to be a home for a top cosmetic dentist.