The process for choosing a cosmetic dentist is very similar to what you might expect when finding a local dentist. However, there are some important distinctions to make. A cosmetic dentist has specialized training and experience to improve the aesthetics of your smile. You want to make sure that you are getting treatment from a highly-skilled cosmetic dentist, since their work is much more visible than a general dentist. When searching for a cosmetic dentist, you should look at these factors:
Location is an important factor when it comes to choosing a dentist. You don’t want to end up spending more time getting to the dentist than the time you spend in the dentist’s chair. Start your search with dentists who are close by, and evaluate them on other factors. However, with a specialization like cosmetic dentistry, you might want to find a dentist that’s slightly farther from you if they’re a better option. Expanding your search radius might help you find a dentist who is more experienced or more highly rated. If you live in a large city like Portland, you might also find it beneficial to find a dentist outside of the city that might offer a lower price for the procedure due to the lower cost of having an office in the suburbs.
Cosmetic dentistry requires highly specialized training, so you want to make sure that your dentist went to a good school. Check their website for a mention of which dental school they attended. Learning doesn’t stop with college, though. A skilled dentist will pursue additional educational opportunities to keep up with new techniques and trends. Look for any mentions of dental associations, learning groups, or teaching positions your prospective dentist might have. These are all indicators that your cosmetic dentist has committed to a constant improvement of their craft.
Each cosmetic dentistry procedure is complex and unique, suited specifically to each patient’s needs. This means that there is no substitute for experience when it comes to choosing a cosmetic dentist. The ideal choice will have experience suited to your specific needs. Go to the dentist’s website and read what they have to say about the procedure you need. Check their online reviews to find other patients they have performed the procedure on. Find a dentist that has a lot of experience with the procedure you need, and you can rest assured that they know how to do it right.
Total years in practice is also a great indicator of experience. If a cosmetic dentist has only been out of dental school for a few years, they may not be the most experienced practitioner in the area. Dentists who have been in practice for longer will have a broader variety of experience that they can draw on to perform your procedure correctly.
If you need dental implants, look for a dentist that specializes in that procedure. If you need dental bridges, find a dentist who has proven experience with that procedure. The same goes for every other cosmetic dentistry treatment. A dentist who has chosen to specialize in a certain procedure is more likely to be skilled at that procedure. Dentists will often outline their specialties on their website, or in their online business listing.
Online reviews are important information for selecting a dentist, and the same is certainly true for choosing a cosmetic dentist. Research the reviews of potential dentists, but don’t look at just one platform for reviews. A single platform like Yelp can be manipulated and untrustworthy. Instead, compile reviews from the dentist’s website, Google, Bing, Healthgrades, Angie’s List, and other local resources. A dentist with positive reviews across the board is more likely to provide a positive outcome.
In summary, you should review location, experience, and review factors when considering which cosmetic dentist to choose. It’s an important choice, and a significant investment in both your dental health and your self-esteem. Do your research, and you’ll be sure to walk away with a new smile that you can be proud of.