A quick Google search for “cosmetic dentists near me” is likely to yield a long list of possibilities. How do patients separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to getting quality care? Most cosmetic procedures are considered permanent; they can also be painful and expensive to fix. That’s why finding the right dentist will have an impact on the outcome of your treatment.
The Elements of a Great Cosmetic Dental Practice
Attributes to look for in a cosmetic dentist can be divided into three categories: qualifications, performance and comfort level. Of the three, comfort level is the most difficult to gauge. It isn’t just about how the office is configured and decorated, but by how you feel when working with your care provider and staff. Do you feel that you’re treated with respect? Is there a level of rapport and trust between you and your dentist, and are you confident in their abilities?
What Are Your Cosmetic Dentist’s Qualifications?
Qualifications don’t relate only to what dental school someone attended. Very fine schools have graduated mediocre dentists and vice-versa. Good dentists continue their education and training throughout their careers, and they insist on the same from their staff. They embrace new technologies, and they strive to incorporate advanced treatments and techniques. Superior dentists also join and participate actively in professional organizations, and they try to become involved in the community.
Many practice website feature information about schooling, treatment philosophy, and additional training on their “About Us” or the “Dental Team” page. According to the team at Tijuana Clinic for Cosmetic Dentistry, you’ll want to look for a dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry or who has an in-house team of various specialists to cover all the possible aspects of cosmetic dentistry. And try to verify your findings independently whenever possible. You can find information about qualifications and training from the BBB and resources like MedRate, LinkedIn or listings, and mentions by other professional organizations and associations.
The Proof is in the Results
Practice websites are also a good place to view the results of actual patients. It’s even better if they offer testimonials and before/after photos or video of procedures and their outcomes. However, your investigation shouldn’t stop there. Look for practice reviews on dental and consumer review websites like Yelp and Angie’s List. You can also begin by just typing the practice or the dentist’s name into a search bar and see what comes up. Read all of the available reviews, not just the good or the bad, and look at the ratio of favorable reviews to unfavorable.
Other Things to Consider
While the above attributes are enough to help most people make a decision, there are other things to consider. One is location. Is finding a cosmetic dentist with a good reputation and all of the right qualifications worth driving out of your area for? What about office hours? Is the practice only open one or two days a week? Are the hours convenient, and is the staff willing to try and accommodate you?
Price is also a deal-breaker for many people. Cosmetic care is expensive, and many insurance plans refuse to cover anything that isn’t considered medically necessary treatment. If you have dental insurance that covers cosmetic care, does the practice accept it? Do they have alternatives like Care Credit, installment plans, or discounts for cash? These are things that are important to know before you schedule your first appointment.
In the end, locating a reliable care provider is a personal matter. Using some of these tips as a starting point will help you find a cosmetic dentist in your area whom you can trust with your pearly whites.