Dental Care for Kids: Finding the Right Dentist

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FAQs About Cosmetic Dentistry

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What is cosmetic dentistry? You want a healthy mouth—but that's not all. Along with fighting cavities and gingivitis, you also want to improve the overall appearance of your teeth and gums. If you're not sure how to accomplish these goals, take a look at everything you need to know about cosmetic dental services.

Are Cosmetic and General Dentistry Services the Same?

While these two categories are similar, they are not identical. Cosmetic services focus on the appearance aspects of your oral health. But this doesn't mean the cosmetic dentist will ignore your mouth's health. Like a general dentist, the cosmetic dentist also helps patients to improve oral function and reduce the risks of decay, infection, and other oral issues.

Even though cosmetic dentists may sometimes provide general dentistry services (such as tartar removal), they aren't the right professional to see if you only want a routine cleaning and checkup. You will need to see your general practice or family dentist for this type of regular oral health care.

What Types of Services Do Cosmetic Dentists Offer?

The answer to this question depends on the dental provider. Most cosmetic professionals offer treatments and procedures that can dramatically change the look of your smile, shape of your teeth, shape of your gums, or overall appearance of your mouth area. These may include in-office whitening treatments, veneers, crowns, enamel shaping, dental implants, dentures, periodontal surgery/plastic surgery, tooth-colored fillings, bridges, and injury repairs.

Why Should You See A Cosmetic Dentist?

Again, a general or family practice dentist can conduct routine checkups and professional-level cleanings. They can also drill cavities, place fillings, and may offer bridges, crowns, or even implants. 

General and family dentists have years of training, education, and experience. But they don't have the additional knowledge/training that cosmetic dentistry requires. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends that prospective patients always check the cosmetic practitioner's credentials. This can help you to learn more about the dentist's training and background in cosmetics.

The more specialized training and education the dentist has, the better able they are to help you achieve your cosmetic goals. An experienced cosmetic provider should have extensive knowledge of current techniques, materials, and dental practices. 

How Can You Choose the Best Cosmetic Dentist?

Start with your smile goals. Do you want white teeth? Straighter teeth? Smoother, more shapely gums? Make sure the dentist offers the services you need. Ask the provider about their credentials and the amount of experience they have working with patients similar to you. Before and after photos can help you to learn more about the dentist's skill level and the results you can expect.

For more information on cosmetic dentistry, contact a professional near you.