The need for dental treatment has never been greater than today, with people losing their teeth more and more as time passes by. Perhaps it’s because of the greater availability of sweets and tooth-decaying products that has forced this to happen. Maybe it’s because more and more people can’t afford the best cosmetic dentist that money can buy because of the disappearing middle class and the ongoing effects of the 2008 financial downturn.
With that said, here are the 10 steps you need to observe to find the best cosmetic dentist around that you can afford.
- Learn What You’re Getting Into: Don’t depend solely on the dentist to inform you the difference between a dental implant and a dental bridge. Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry with more focus on the appearance of your smile. Dentists who practice this type of dentistry can fill in cavities like standard dentists, but they know other special procedures that make them more viable for your specific aesthetic needs. They mainly focus on how well your teeth look. If you have a dental emergency like an impacted wisdom tooth, seek the help of a standard dentist.
These specialists are more about making your teeth even and not crooked through orthodontics or dental implant therapy. They can also whiten yellowing teeth through various whitening and bleaching techniques, some of which involve lasers. They can also apply tooth-colored resins to the teeth surface to fill in any gaps, excess spaces, and chips as well as cover stains. Porcelain or plastic veneers cost less than crowns, cover the teeth protectively, and last longer than bonding. Many of these appliances or processes find way sot improve the appearance of misshapen, stained, or chipped teeth.
- Visual Evidence: The proof is in the pudding. In the case of cosmetic dentistry, the proof is in the results of the cosmetic dentist’s handiwork. You know you’re making a good choice in terms of beautifying your teeth even if it’s just getting some ZOOM! Teeth Whitening done on them through bleaching and laser treatment. Your dentist should provide evidence of his overall dental competency. Or you could have him recommended by friends you trust whose smiles serve as all the proof you need. This is why referrals are so important.
When it comes to finding the right cosmetic dentist, you should follow a logical train of thought. Check out not only the advertisements and pictures posted on the dentist’s clinic. Make sure the people smiling there aren’t just stock photos to ensure you’re getting a smile makeover. You should also acquire testimonials from people who can be contacted and aren’t just hired specifically to give a good word for the doctor. Third-party reviews, anecdotes, and accounts (complete with pictures) can also help you out since you’re assured these reviewers aren’t being paid by the dentist for positive publicity.
- More Choices to Choose From: A good cosmetic dentist shouldn’t be a one-trick pony that does only teeth whitening or installing jackets over crooked and uneven teeth. He should be a jack-of-all-trades so that you have multiple choices when it comes to beautifying your smile. Yes, there are times when you’re in need of a specialist in orthodontics or bridgework, but you only need to pass that bridge when you get there. You start off with a cosmetic dentist who offers you multiple paths towards the betterment of your dental aesthetics first before anything else.
It’s only when your issues are disambiguated and shown to require even more specific expertise due to the complexity of the work can your cosmetic dentist refer you to a specialist. These doctors tend to perform quite a lot of cosmetic procedures, which includes orthodontics, laser gum contouring, cosmetic bonding and contouring, white restorations with fillings and crowns, traditional and minimal-preparation porcelain veneers, and (of course) various options for teeth whitening. You might also undergo something more complicated as well, such as performing bridge and crowns (which are quite a lot per year, more so than veneers surprisingly enough).
- Better Prices: Naturally, the price of the dental cosmetic work should be taken into consideration. Although cosmetic dentistry is considered a luxury at best and expecting something cheap from it is as ludicrous as trying to find an “affordable” Porsche, you still want to get more value from any service. The best cosmetic dentist out there should also be the most cost-effective (and not just the cheapest) of the bunch. You should make sure he has quality work, the best equipment, and proper financing in the form of coverage from your personal or company dental insurance.
If you’re long due for a paid vacation prior to getting implants or having your wisdom teeth pulled, why not do both to maximize your enjoyment? In this case, it’s actually encourages to mix business with pleasure. After getting your procedure done, you can visit all sorts of tourist attractions galore to help you heal from the surgery. Dental tourism can also help you find the cosmetic dentist of your dreams. That’s the main appeal of dental tourism, by the way. It’s a vacation and a dental procedure all rolled into one package.
- Education and Training: Your dentist should have the highest accreditation or even possess international-grade training (so that you’re assured that you’re not only getting the best cosmetic dentistry in the United States of America or the United Kingdom, but also the best cosmetic dentist in the world). A cosmetic dentist proves that he’s excellent not only with his handiwork (which you can only judge by through photos on his website or testimonials of his regular clients), but also through his education. You want someone who took the time and effort into learning the most dependable of procedures.
You also want a cosmetic dentist who knows the most advanced and cutting-edge treatments as they come out, so that you’re assured you’re getting the best and latest dental care possible to maximize your smile potential, so to speak. Their training is almost as important as their license and their allowed insurance policies. If they’re from abroad, they should have international or western-grade training. If they’re stateside cosmetic dentists, they should be accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Other organizations include the Seattle Institute of Advanced Studies or the World Clinical Laser Institute.
- Thorough Consultation: Did you know that some advanced dental cosmetologists are capable of giving you a preview of what your planned “new” smile is supposed to look like? It’s true. Some dentists have advanced pieces of equipment that could actually recreate your smile digitally to showcase what it’s supposed to look like after you’ve put on veneers, braces, or teeth whitening onto your teeth. It scans your teeth, data regarding your procedures are inputted unto it, and then a full color image of your altered teeth is shown to you.
Aside from cosmetic imagine technology that helps you make informed decisions about your dental treatment plan, you should also consider thorough consultation with your prospective cosmetic dentist. Ask him about what to expect from the various treatments and what his capabilities or specialties are in the first place. If possible, he should present you with education videos on porcelain veneers and the like so as to visually demonstrate what that entails. You won’t know if he’s the best cosmetic dentist for the job until you’ve reviewed his credentials and offerings thoroughly, as though with a fine-toothed comb.
- Investigate At-Home Treatment Options: A good cosmetic dentist will also recommend to you at-home treatment options you yourself can take care of. This is especially true for patients whose main concern is teeth whitening. Although you want the best cosmetic dentist on hand to fix your teeth for you, sometimes you don’t need to go that route for a healthier smile. Your dentist can give you home treatments you can apply to your teeth every time you brush and clean it. These are significantly less expensive than whitening done at the clinic.
You might be recommended brush-on formulas at the drug store or whitening toothpastes. You shouldn’t immediately jump into cosmetic dentistry if something simpler could be used to give you better smile than before. Nevertheless, before you use a kit containing strong bleaching agents like peroxide, check with your dentist to ensure that there isn’t an underlying issue with your teeth discoloration such as disease or decay. If you are suffering from some sort of condition such as enamel hypomineralization, it should be addressed post-haste in order to get to the root of your problem.
- More Info Regarding Orthodontics: Before you get bonding, jacket, or veneer work done to your teeth, perhaps you should give orthodontics a try. This is also a cosmetic dentistry approach, but it takes a bit longer than one visit to accomplish. The idea here is to put braces unto your teeth for an extended period of time (preferably done on children while they’re going up) so that you’d end up with straightened out teeth in the future. This is one of many treatment plans available that you should really take into consideration.
However, orthodontics usually pays off in the long run because it takes care of your teeth as a whole rather than deal with them on a tooth by tooth basis (which can be a lot more expensive). The best cosmetic dentist around should realize orthodontics is called for and recommend it as such in light of your insurance plan and financial capabilities. You can address your teeth unevenness through reshaping and bonding, but seriously misaligned teeth require straightening with braces more often than not, especially when you’re attempting to change your bite.
- Attention to Your Comfort: A lot of patients seek a smile makeover when instead their teeth require significant repair. If you’ve avoided dentists your entire life due to some sort of phobia, then you might not only need the best cosmetic dentist on your corner but also the most comfortable one you can find. Certain dentists have ways to deal with fearful, anxious, or stressed patients. Some affordable dentists abroad do it by providing vacation packages in their area on top of their dental services (this is called dental tourism).
That way, you can have a relaxing vacation before, during, and after the operation as you heal. You can also avail of sedation dentistry so that you’re sleeping while the cosmetic dentistry does his thing. This should be reserved to patients who have deep-seated dental trauma. Many people who suffer from dentophobia have managed to get work done by going the sedation dentistry route. It will be more expensive to acquire this sort of dentistry on top of having a cosmetic smile makeover, but for some patients who have difficulty sitting on a dental chair for a lengthy procedure, it’s worth the price.
- Convenient Appointments: Your dentist of choice should also be someone who makes the most convenient appointments. Usually, in-office teeth white restorations or whitening operations, you’ll be needed to make appointments at office hours. However, if your makeover plans to get a better smile with the help of the best cosmetic dentist around, you might be required to have longer visits. Your dentist should schedule after-hours appointments to better accommodate your busy work schedule and whatnot.
You even have the option to avail of dental tourism so that you can have dental work done while you’re on vacation. The ideal places to go to when having a dental trip of sorts include Thailand, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, Dubai, Philippines, Poland, Costa Rica, and Hungary depending on where you are, what the foreign dental clinic rate is (including travel costs), and which place is closest to you. Your dentist should also recommend to you the most affordable procedure (for instance, if porcelain veneers are too expensive, he should recommend the low-cost alternative of bonding).
Although dental services have always been around, they will always be extremely expensive regardless of the shape of the economy. This is why it’s encouraging that dental tourism exists as an alternative for people who just can’t deal with the expensiveness of local or stateside dental rates. Instead of dealing with U.S. rates, just go elsewhere for your dental emergency (whether it’s wisdom tooth extraction or dental implantation) to find the best cosmetic dentist around.
Thantakit International Dental Center is Thailand’s longest established dental center. Situated in Bangkok, our clinic is renowned across the world as a destination for world-class dentistry, with most of our patients flying to us from Australia.
Please contact us today and get a FREE dental consultation.