What is Aesthetic Dentistry?
Aesthetic Dentistry is designed to enhance the appearance of the teeth and smile. Since “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, this type of dentistry is highly personalized, artistic and creative. Aesthetic Dentistry varies from simple procedures which render results in an hour, to complex treatments which may take several appointments to complete. Particularly with regard to addressing complex issues such as crooked, misshapen, missing or badly damaged teeth, Aesthetic Dentistry should also never take precedence over dental health.
How To Pick an Aesthetic Dentist
So how do you go about choosing the right dentist to address your aesthetic needs? It may come as a surprise to you that most dentists receive no formal training in Aesthetic Dentistry during dental school and that Aesthetic Dentistry is not a formally recognized specialty in dentistry. Thus, success in finding a properly trained and experienced aesthetic dentist will require some research on your part. Since you will see changes made to your smile in the mirror every morning, we recommend selecting a dentist who can demonstrate a proven track record in Aesthetic Dentistry.
Any competent dentist with substantial experience with aesthetic dental procedures will be more than willing to talk about their training, experience, and show you numerous photographs of specific cases that have done which are very similar to yours. If you are talking to a dentist who is showing you cosmetic examples out of a purchased book and who has no examples of his/her own work to show you, then you may be talking to someone with limited experience in this area.
To assist you in your search, here are 12 questions to consider when selecting an Aesthetic Dentist:
- What type of post-graduate training has the dentist had in aesthetic/cosmetic dentistry?
- If you had an examination, did the dentist take the time to photograph your smile and make moulds of your teeth so he/she could study them carefully before making any recommendations?
- Did the dentist take the time to explain to you all of the details of your case, all of your options and important issues such as longevity, durability, risks and potential complications?
- Did they show you examples of cases just like yours which he/she has personally treated? If yes, did you like the way they looked? Did it look natural or artificial?
- Will the dentist allow you to talk to patients he/she has treated and who have had similar procedures done?
- Upon visiting the office, did it appear to be up-to-date? Was it clean? Was the staff willing to show you around their office without hesitation?
- Was the office staff knowledgeable about cosmetic dentistry when you called on the phone or spoke to them in person about it?
- Is the dentist willing to stand behind their work if something unplanned occurs after treatment?
- What do other dentists (particularly specialists in town) think about the quality of their cosmetic work?
- Where is — and what is — the quality of their dental laboratory? (The place the aesthetic dentistry is actually made.) On site? Out of town? Out of state? Mexico?
- Has the dentist had any complaints made against him/her by patients to the Kentucky Board of Dentistry?
- Will the dentist allow you to come in and interview him/her and allow you to learn the answers to the above questions?
New Patient Comprehensive Exam
If you are a new patient, we will conduct a thorough dental history and comprehensive oral exam before ordering a diagnosis. Where necessary, we evaluate the relationships between the teeth, tempromandibular joints, and associated face, head, and neck muscles. For cosmetic procedures, we also may include diagnostic study modes and computerized analysis of your teeth, jaw, face, and smile.
Our detailed examination enables us to diagnose existing problems and give us a thorough understanding of what conditions are present. Furthermore, they provide a clear picture of what treatment options are available. This allow us to logically plan your dental treatment program.
Our comprehensive exam may include
- Complete health history assessment.
- Blood pressure reading
- Oral cancer examination
- Head and neck examination
- Digital full-mouth radiographs
- Computer Imaging, where we may image your smile onto a computer.
- Periodntal assessment – Analysis of gums, bone and home care.
- Digital panoramic x-ray
- Digital photographs
- Diagnostic study models