You may need cosmetic dental procedures for various reasons, like correcting the alignment of your teeth, getting rid of discoloration, filling the gaps left by missing teeth, or concealing cracks and breakages. A dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry can carry these out expertly.
However, they can specialize in various sectors of cosmetic dentistry, which you can find in their credentials.
When choosing such a dentist for yourself, you must decide carefully based on your needs. Otherwise, you’ll be left dissatisfied with the final outcome.
To save you from the episodes of trial and error, here are ten unfortunate mistakes you must avoid when choosing a cosmetic dentist.
1. Choosing the Wrong Dentist
The number one mistake that people often make is choosing the wrong dentist, thinking everyone offers the same expertise in cosmetic dentistry. This often backlashes, as people end up getting varied outcomes for their problems.
There are generally two types of dentistry: general and cosmetic. General dentistry primarily focuses on your overall oral health and the health of your smile.
Cosmetic dentists, on the other hand, mainly work with improving how your smile looks rather than its health, although cosmetic dentists also give tips on taking care of your oral health.
Imagine going to a dentist to take care of your broken tooth, but you end up getting on oral health advice and possibly uprooting that tooth, leaving an unwanted gap. Therefore, if you want to get cosmetic procedures on your teeth, you should look for a dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry.
2. Advertisements Can Be Misleading
In a world where we face advertisements at every click and every tap on our cell phones, coming across a dentist’s advertisement is nothing rare. But the regrettable mistake that some people end up making is deciding to visit a dentist simply based on what’s showcased in the advertisement.
The reality can be much beyond what you saw on that small screen or on a promising billboard. Every dentist will claim to be the finest in the market, which can be deceiving. You may face the reality of their advertisements when you visit their office for a check-up.
3. Not Checking the Credentials of the Cosmetic Dentist
Before stepping into the dentist’s office, look for the credentials displayed on the name board. A cosmetic dentist will carry degrees that a general dentist won’t.
Besides, there are various kinds of cosmetic dentistry a dentist can specialize in: whitening, dental bonding, veneers, orthodontics, etc. Each requires specific degrees that permit them to practice cosmetic dentistry.
Before getting a consultation, check carefully if the dentist is certified to practice cosmetic procedures. If you’re looking for a solution in orthodontics, the dentist should have degrees showing specialization in that specific field. Or if you want to treat receding gums, you must inquire whether the dentist is certified, and has experience in treating similar cosmetic procedures.
4. Neglecting to Check the Equipment
Cosmetic dentist who wants to provide their patients with top-notch treatments will have updated equipment and software.
Therefore, don’t neglect seeing if your dentist is adequately equipped and works alongside lab technicians. Yes, working with lab experts is essential too.
Outdated equipment means you’ll risk getting low-quality treatments and lesser accurate results. X-rays and examining your teeth from the surface won’t simply cut them. A specialized cosmetic dentist should be able to create a digital model for you to address your concerns adequately and what procedures you’ll need to get your desired outcome.
Ask the dentist if they work with lab technicians for dental procedures that require taking molds of the teeth. If they can’t give a sure answer, then it may be a good idea to look for another dentist.
5. Choosing Based on Positive Reviews Only
A lot of us have a biased nature, that is, choosing things based on positive reviews only. But there can be much more behind those positive words, which is why you have to be logical and read all the reviews, including the negative ones.
Online reviews these days have become unreliable due to various factors. Firstly, most of these reviews are not based on real experience, in fact, they are bought with the purpose of marketing the business. As a result, many such dentists breed trust in customers through false reviews and ratings.
However, negative reviews can still help you weigh the options of what the dentist is good at and find loopholes, helping you decide if you want to get your concerns addressed by that dentist.
6. Getting Allured by Special Prices/Discounts
Dental office discounts and deals may attract customers, but they are definitely a red flag. This is because the returns on investment don’t make up for the promotional costs. So, don’t fall for the promotional traps, and run away from those discounts!
Discounted offers can carry two possibilities: the materials used to repair your teeth or take molds are cheap, and the dentist will treat fewer teeth than what you really require. It’s better not to fall into this trap, as you’ll get unsatisfactory results and won’t be able to achieve your desired smile.
Dentists who are genuine, and have years of expertise will take the time to examine all the teeth, listen to your concerns carefully, and recommend you the right action plan. Even if it means you need to spend extra bucks than you may intend, you’ll have satisfying results.
7. Ignoring the Look and Feel
Many people make this mistake even with an excellent cosmetic dentist, thinking that they’re asking for too much if they’re objecting a lot. While it’s up to the dentist to perform the procedures correctly, it’s also up to you to let them know how you feel when you bite or close your mouth.
Cosmetic dental procedures can give a lot of solutions, such as veneers, dental crowns, braces, implants, etc. For each of these, the dentist will take molds of your teeth, according to which you’ll get something customized to fit your teeth and everything around it.
Let’s say you got a dental implant, which has a tooth-like structure mimicking your original tooth. After the dentist plants it, you’ll need to do the bite test to see if you’re comfortable or if it feels misplaced. If you give false information, your dentist won’t be able to provide you with a healthy bite, thus putting your restoration at risk.
8. Not Having Dental Insurance
Typically, dental insurance won’t cover all cosmetic dentistry costs. However, they may cover parts of it, especially restorative procedures, such as getting dental crowns.
Some of them may also cover plans for dental implants, which are pretty expensive. But these will depend on whether the insurance company considers these as restorative surgeries.
Many people assume that dental insurance won’t cover their cosmetic dentistry costs, which is a crucial misstep. If you get dental insurance, you’ll benefit by saving yourself from spending a lot on the procedures.
But before that, when you’re choosing a cosmetic dentist, you have to ensure they accept the insurance package that you’re taking.
9. Looking at Too Many Choices
Too many choices can confuse you, as certain treatments have different processes but carry similar outcomes. The differences mainly lie within longevity and cost efficiency. You may make a terrible decision if you start considering too many options.
Suppose you have a few damaged teeth in a row or a few teeth are missing. The dentist presents you with options like dentures and implants. However, instead of considering whether to choose dentures or dental implants, you ask for other options, which ultimately leads you to confusion.
Or, let’s say you decided to take a second, third, and even fourth opinion when choosing a cosmetic dentist for yourself, and each person gives you a different solution. This can ultimately hinder you from getting the right treatment, leaving you with regrettable mistakes.
10. Hiding Your Oral Issues
The last mistake to avoid when choosing a cosmetic dentist is not discussing your dental concerns openly with your dentist. It may be uncomfortable for you to put all your concerns on the table without any hesitation.
Doctors don’t judge, and dentists are not any different. In fact, they expect you to be more open about dental issues so that they can treat you properly. Even if you have, let’s say, crooked or discolored teeth, let the doctor see it when you’re talking. Otherwise, they won’t be able to assess how it’s affecting your smile.
One of cosmetic dentistry’s targets is to give an aesthetic smile, and that’s what every cosmetic dentist tries to provide their patients. That means fixing the alignment, curing receding gums, bringing out the natural and uniform teeth color, etc. Don’t feel shy about sharing your dental concerns if you want your perfect smile.
Conclusion on the Unfortunate Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist
Your dental health should not be taken lightly. Any procedure you want to undergo needs a reliable dentist, be it for a regular oral assessment or a cosmetic procedure.
Additionally, there are no shortcuts, and safety should always be at the top of your priority list, no matter what. Hence, saving a couple of hundred dollars and suffering from mistreatment doesn’t seem like a good call.
You can avoid these ten regrettable mistakes when choosing a cosmetic dentist by being sound and avoiding confusion by too many choices. Don’t fall for the reviews, and definitely get dental insurance! Good luck.