Cosmetic dentistry has evolved over the years. Prior to the 1990s, very few dentists considered themselves a cosmetic dentist. Today, most every dentist claims to be a cosmetic dentist; however, there are significant differences in the services that are provided, as well as the skill levels.
Since there is no real definition of cosmetic dentist, how as a patient do you know how to pick a cosmetic dentist, or if your dentist is a cosmetic dentist? There are certain basic services that should be offered cosmetically. Plastic fillings for back teeth, all-porcelain crowns with no metal, porcelain veneers, and at least one convenient form of teeth whitening (either whitening strips or tray whitening) should be available. In the ultimate cosmetic practice, the following services should be provided:
- Invisalign® for straightening teeth
- Three forms of tooth whitening: whitening strips, trays, and office whitening.
- Laser gum lifts. The amount and symmetry of the gums that are on display when a person smiles can have a major impact. A laser gum lift allows you to proceed with an impression for porcelain veneers or crowns immediately. This is in contrast to the old-fashioned way of removing excess gum with surgical instruments and waiting six weeks before proceeding.
Photography is important for several reasons. It allows the dentist to study the patient’s teeth and gum display while smiling and speaking from different viewing angles. It also allows various Smile Designs to be developed and computer-imaged. In this way, a patient can choose the design they like best prior to treatment. If you are having cosmetic dental treatment more extensive than whitening and no one is taking photos, RUN! Delmarva Dental Services is proud to provide all of these services.
— Dr. Joseph Harmon