Let me tell you a little secret……there is probably no other disciple in dentistry where you will find larger treatment planning differences than in cosmetic dentistry. What that means is you could theoretically go to 10 different dentists, and get 10 different treatment plans. All based on what they think looks good, and what they know how to do. If you are considering cosmetic dentistry, you need to know that some dentists who claim to be “cosmetic dentists” have very little post graduate training, while others have extensive training. You also need to know that not all post graduate training is the same. Some training programs tend to lead dentists to treatment plan very aggressively, while others try to be more conservative. I would advise you not go to someone just because they claim to have received training from “XYZ institute” of cosmetic dentistry. That institute may espouse a philosophy that is not in your best interest.
So how do you choose a cosmetic dentist? First get more than one opinion. Go see at least two dentists and see if they recommend different treatments. When you talk to the dentist ask them about their training and experience; just to see if they have any. I would ask to see photos of their work. Most likely if they have a good amount of experience they will have seen and treated a case that is similar to yours. Also any dentist that is serious about cosmetics will take photos of their work. If they don’t have photos, go to someone who does. Second I would ask about the lab they use for cosmetic cases. Dental labs are like retail stores, you have Wal-Mart and you have Nordstrom. Who do you want doing your front teeth? I’ll take Nordstrom. It will cost more, but you will see the difference every time you smile.
The last question I would ask is if they do orthodontics? If they don’t I would look elsewhere fast. Many healthy, crooked teeth are aggressively prepped for crowns and veneers when a couple months of orthodontics would have solved the problem, cost thousands less and lasted much longer. If a “cosmetic dentist” doesn’t do orthodontics with cosmetic cases, then they basically have one tool in their tool belt, a drill. Orthodontics is another tool, a very valuable and important tool. You may not need it, or want it, but trust me, a knowledge and use of orthodontics says a lot about the philosophy of a cosmetic dentist.
Here are a few of the cases I have done over the years. If you are interested in knowing more please call for a free consult. We would love to help you improve your smile.
Dr. Stephen Johansen
Before and After Photos
Dentistry by Stephen F. Johansen
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