I really want to do a smile makeover. My dentist knows about my desire and is offering to do one for me. The thing is, he’s a general dentist not a cosmetic specialist. How do I know if my dentist can give me a beautiful smile?
It’s wise you’re asking this question. Too many patients just forge ahead and end up with a disappointing smile makeover. If you’re going to invest in a beautiful smile, you want to have some way of knowing that’s what you’ll get.
General Versus Cosmetic Dentist
One area of confusion is with the term cosmetic dentist. There isn’t actually a recognized cosmetic dentistry specialty. Every cosmetic dentist is just a general dentist.
The biggest difference you need to look for is if they’ve invested in training for creating smile makeovers. This isn’t something taught in dental school. So, you’ll want to ask them where they studied smile makeovers after dental school.
Getting a Beautiful Smile
There are three specific steps you can take to juggle the odds in your favor. The first is to look at some before and after pictures of work they’ve done. Ask to see their brag book. This should be the cases they’re the most proud of that they’ve completed. If you want porcelain veneers, ask specifically about those cases.
If you don’t like what you see of their best cases, they’re not the dentist for you. Try a different one. If you do like the results, then I’d next ask if they have a beautiful smile guarantee. You’ll want to know they’re willing to stand behind their work.
Finally, I’d check to see what their reviews are like. It’s always good to get to hear from people who’ve actually experienced treatment there. Were they happy with the results? Did they find him (or her) easy to work with? Checking a review can save you a lot of grief.
This blog is brought to you by LIbertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.
I’m thinking about getting my teeth whitened and then getting porcelain veneers. How will I know if the dentist is good enough?
You’ve asked a great question. Before I answer I want to make sure you know that porcelain veneers can whiten your teeth along with the rest of the smile makeover you’d want, such as changing the shape and size of your teeth. Most people just get them placed on their upper arch and then whiten their lower arch. So, you can only whiten those bottom teeth instead of both.
If you’re happy with the shape and size of your teeth, then you can just whiten both arches and save a ton of money. Otherwise, you want to get the veneers. Choosing your cosmetic dentist is one of the most important decisions you can make in your smile makeover.
Finding a Dentist to Do Your Smile Makeover
- Look Through Their Case Brag Book
Every dentist who does smile makeovers has a brag book of sorts. It’s a collection of before and after pictures of cosmetic dentistry cases. Ask to see it. Also, ask them if the pictures are of work they did themselves. Some dentists, just starting out, will try to pass off stock photos because they don’t have any of their own yet.
There are several sights online that allow patients to rate and comment on their experiences with their dentist, such as Yelp!, Google Reviews, and Rate My Doc. Go over these reviews to make sure the dentist’s work held up as well as their chairside manner being pleasant and polite. You don’t want to have to work with someone who’s unpleasant.
- Make Sure they Stand Beside their Work
You want a dentist who is willing to back up their claims of giving you a gorgeous smile. Do you have recourse if you hate what they create? Look at Dr. Potts’ Beautiful Smile Guarantee to get an idea what you should expect.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts. Ask him about dental sedation.
I’m interested in getting porcelain veneers. My dentist says he does them, but he’s a general dentist. Should I go to a cosmetic dentist for this or am I safe with my dentist?
Your question brings up quite a common misconception. Every cosmetic dentist is a general dentist. There isn’t a recognized cosmetic dentistry specialty by the American Dental Association (ADA). What that means is that any general dentist who does cosmetic work can call themselves a cosmetic dentist.
However, each dentist has a different level of skill when it comes to creating beautiful smiles. So, how will you know if your dentist can give you beautiful porcelain veneers?
Finding the Right Dentist for Your Smile Makeover
First, ask to see his smile gallery. If he does enough cosmetic dentistry he should have a brag book of sorts with cases he’s done. Don’t let him show you stock photos. Tell him you want actual before and after pictures of his clients. If he balks at that, run away…fast. He should be proud of his work. If he’s not, that’s a red flag.
Second, Make sure he has a beautiful smile guarantee. Essentially, that means he’ll do the porcelain veneers and place them on you with a temporary try-in paste. Under no circumstances should you allow him to permanently bond them on without you seeing what they look like on you in a variety of lighting AND you give your approval.
If you love what you see, then he can bond them on. If you don’t, he should be willing to go back to the lab and re-do them. Then, he should do the try-in paste again. He should be willing to do that as many times as necessary to give you the smile you’re paying for.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.
I lost a couple of teeth in a car accident. I’ve been seriously depressed over this, but just read that Jamie Foxx had a tooth knocked out for a movie role. He looks like he has great teeth. If I got dental implants would my smile look that nice?
I did some research to try to figure out what type of dental work he had done. I’ve pasted a picture below to show a progression with his teeth.
In his early years, he had a tooth gap. The gap was closed at some point, but I think that was done with orthodontics.
An interview revealed he had a tooth “chiseled” for his role in the soloist. It wasn’t clear whether that meant knocked out or just part of the tooth structure. If it was knocked out, he’d likely get a dental implant to replace it. If it was just chipped, he’d likely get a dental crown to make up for the lost structure.
The final picture shows he’s had cosmetic work done. The beauty of the work hints to me of a combination of porcelain veneers and dental implants (or crowns).
If you get a dental implant, it can be made to look beautiful with a good cosmetic dentist. It can look just like your natural teeth. If you’re wanting to improve your smile (and I’m not saying you need to) you can get a smile makeover, even with a dental implant. The veneers and implant can match exactly.
You won’t need to be depressed. Accidents happen and you’ll have a gorgeous smile.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.