Most people who are considering cosmetic dentistry know the importance of researching the right dental practice by asking for recommendations from friends and family, but there is quite a bit more to think about in order to maximize the results of your cosmetic dental work and have the best experience possible. Here are five ways to work with your cosmetic dentist to ensure you get the results you want.
Choose the Right Dentist
Do not choose a cosmetic dentist on price alone. Once you have narrowed down the selection to two or three practices, make initial consultations and use these to assess your comfort level with that particular dentist and to establish realistic expectations in regards to your treatment options and probable outcomes.
Beyond asking for references and before and after pictures of previous work, determine if they are a good listener, and how the office atmosphere makes you feel. Finding a cosmetic dentist who is a good match for your personality will make you feel at ease to share your concerns.
This also makes it easier for the cosmetic dentist to make suggestions and help you find the right cosmetic dentistry treatment for you.
Clarify Your Goals
It’s one thing to say you want a nicer smile than the one you have; it’s quite another to narrow down what you want to change to achieve it. While some dentists may help you with preventive care, only a trained and experienced cosmetic dentist should be trusted to recommend changes in your smile that will really achieve your goal. From teeth whitening procedures to dental implants, a good cosmetic dentist will know what treatments will get you the results you want.
Understand the Procedure
Whether you choose orthodontics, dental implants, veneers, or even composite tooth-colored fillings, take the time to research and understand the nature of the procedure. Different procedures and treatments may be recommended depending on the condition of your teeth and your desired outcome, so make sure to do your homework and be clear about what to expect. Ask about follow-up visits for different treatments, and the time frame of these visits.
Respect the Cosmetic Dentist’s Expertise
Be prepared to follow your cosmetic dentist’s expertise and guidance in post-procedure treatment and daily routine care, and let him know promptly if any issues come up. In order to trust his expertise, ask questions such as:
- What are the warranties that the dentist will provide for the different dental procedures you will require?
- Does the dentist treat patients with special conditions, such as diabetes?
- What kind of relaxation techniques, such as sedation dentistry, does the practice offer for various phobias?
- What is the wait for appointments?
- Does the dentist offer the latest in dental technology and do they take continuing education courses?
- What kind of emergency after-hours care does the dentist provide?
Communicate Clearly About Financials
Because many cosmetic dental procedures today are elective in nature, your dental insurance may not cover the procedure you want. Don’t be afraid to discuss alternatives, such as payment plans, if your procedure of choice is not covered by your provider. This is particularly important for more extensive treatment plans.