10 Things to know when choosing cosmetic dentistry

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1. Investigate the qualifications of the dentist and disregard advertising claims that seem to be too good to be true. Remember that cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty so beware if a dentist claims to be a specialist in cosmetic dentistry. All cosmetic procedures require time and excellence in operative procedures.
2. Dental practices that have high sales motivation and offer reduction in fees for signing up immediately should raise a red flag also don’t be deceived by office glamour or glitz. Fancy waiting rooms do not necessarily mean high quality work.
3. Never make a decision for a cosmetic procedure on the first visit. Beware if confronted with an urgency to book dental work by the practice staff.
4. Lack of information on dental procedures and the lack of required time for evaluation and planning before beginning the procedure should be questioned. Remember that a conscientious dentist will explain treatment options, indications and contraindications for procedures and required time for completion.
5. When reviewing presentations of past procedures ask if procedures in the presentation were performed by the dentist.
6. Have knowledge of the restorative materials that will be selected for your procedure. Never accept a statement that these are the “state-of-art materials.” Remember the best materials are not the only ingredient for success, it requires the proper diagnosis and restorative team and a clear plan before you proceed with any cosmetic procedure.
7. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Beware of the dentist who does not provide adequate time for questions or explaining and performing procedures
a. Ask about the longevity of the restorative procedure and the time span for replacement
b. Ask if adhesive protocols are utilized in the procedure and if a dental dam is used.
8. Get an independent second opinion before you agree to any cosmetic dentistry.
9. Do not accept changes in the treatment plan unless those possibilities have been discussed prior to the procedure and seek opinions of independent specialist if changes occur with regard to periodontal, endodontic, or oral surgery during a procedure.
10. Do not accept a restoration as finished until viewed in different lighting and observation by an independent observer. (i.e. family member, friend)

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