I’m a little confused about cosmetic dentistry. Some say they are AACD accredited and some just say they’re cosmetic dentists. Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? I’d like to get a smile makeover but want to do it right.
This is a very important question. There are countless cosmetic dentistry horror stories that have resulted from patents not knowing how to find the right cosmetic dentist. One thing which is important to know upfront is cosmetic dentistry is unregulated. There isn’t a recognized specialty so any general dentist can call themselves a cosmetic dentist regardless of the amount (or lack of) additional training they received. Smile makeovers are not taught in dental school. Therefore, it is up to the dentist to invest in the skills and artistry required to create beautiful smiles.
With an AACD accredited dentist, you can know they’ve received the training and have the artistry to create beautiful smiles. In order to become accredited they have to pass technical exams, as well as demonstrate artistry on a large number of specified cases. They are in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country.
I don’t want to give the impression they are the only great cosmetic dentists. Some excellent dentists choose not to get accredited. Some are on their way to accreditation, which takes a long time, but already have the skills.
What to Know Getting a Smile Makeover
The first thing I’d do is look for an accredited dentist in your area. However, not every location will have one. If yours doesn’t, then you have two choices. The first is to travel for your smile makeover where there is an accredited dentist. Many people do that. In fact, some accredited dentists have patients who fly in from other countries to have their work done. The second option is to look for another local dentist who is equally qualified.
One way you can do that is by checking the mynewsmile.com website. Dentists cannot pay to be listed there. Instead, they have to show they have the requisite technical training and artistry. They can also give you a gorgeous smile. There are always three precautions to take though. One is to look at their smile gallery. If you want a smile makeover, porcelain veneers are the way to go. See what the before and after photos of porcelain veneers they’ve done look like. Don’t let them show you stock photos. It needs to be their cases. If you’re not blown away, move on to a different dentist.
After you’ve looked at their results, check their reviews. You want to be certain patients are happy with the dentist, the staff, and their results. Finally, make sure they have some type of beautiful smile guarantee. That essentially means you get to see the porcelain veneers on your teeth with a temporary try-in paste. If you don’t love them, they go back to the lab until the dentist gets the smile just the way you want it.
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.