How to select a qualified Cosmetic Dentist

by | September 1, 2010 @ 10:00AM

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Most qualified general dentists perform cosmetic dental procedures. Choosing one with the right education and experience that compliment your needs and wants is critical to achieving the most successful outcome. Perhaps you are looking for someone with a good chairside manner who will explain things so it is easy to understand, current magazines in the waiting room, or a sharp dresser. Some may look for the most expensive dentist, yet others look for the least expensive. Whatever your criteria, iEnhance has put together a list of doctors that can give you a head start on your search for the right cosmetic dentist to meet your needs. After reviewing this section, you may want to conduct additional independent research.

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for choosing a dentist that is right for you and/or your family. To some, training, reputation, and word-of-mouth are preferred criteria for selecting a dentist. Sometimes speaking to a patient or friend that has had a similar cosmetic procedure performed can help you feel more assured of your own decisions. iEhance has a section you can read personal experiences from patients that have had cosmetic dental procedure(s) that may be interest to you. Click on "My Story" to read about their experiences.
iEhance provides you with a cosmetic dentist to help guide you in choosing a well-trained dentist by location, name, gender and experience. A list of professional organizations is provided at the end of this page to assist you in conducting your own research.

"What are some of the preliminary verifications I should make prior to scheduling a consultation?"

Verify the education of the dentist. iEnhance is proud to list dentists on our website who meet our selection criteria. All of our dentists are State/Regional Board Certified. Confirm that the dentists earned his/her D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree from a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation, . Each state has a peer review committee that governs the dentists and handles any complaints.

Verify participation in continuing education. This information can be obtained usually from the office manager or receptionist. Ask for a list of memberships in dental associations, organizations, academies, societies, and study groups. What specialized Continuing Eudcation courses has the dentist attended and/or lectured at. We have listed additional links at the end of this page that will assist you in verifying the information provide.

Verify the dentist is licensed to practice in the state he/she is located. You may verify that the dentist is licensed to practice in your state by calling your State Dental Society; the number is listed in the State Government section of your phone book. Or you may search the website for the American Association of Dental Examiners, . Click on State Boards then look up by individual state. On this site you will be able to verify current licensing, disciplinary actions and citations, or pending actions if any.

Check past or pending legal actions. The AAED website will tell you if there has been any disciplinary actions past or pending but not what the violation was. You can contact the County Clerk's Office of the county in which the dentist has practiced or is practicing to verify any court action. Please be discrete in collecting and using this information.

Alternatively, you may use a Physician Credential Verification company to conduct the checks for you. iEhance has partnered with to assist our users in verifying doctors' credentials. SearchPointe does not currently have a dental section, however they are working on one and should be on line by November 1st.

"What questions should I ask during the consultation?"

Once you have done all the research and determined that the dentist you have in mind is competent and qualified you may go ahead and make a consultation appointment. Other than the questions you ask, the most important thing to consider is the communication between you and the doctor. A give-and-take dialogue can ensure that you and the doctor have the same vision of what you want the result to be. Make sure your expectations are realistic with your specific conditions. iEhance has provided a list of questions within each procedure's description. Click on "Procedures" to link to that section. Some additional questions you may want to consider about any procedure may be:

1. What does this treatment recommendation mean? Any part of the treatment your dentist has recommended that you don't understand, don't be afraid to ask for more information.
2. Why did you select this profession and what procedures do you prefer doing the most? If the dentist doesn't enjoy what he/she is doing, he/she may not do the best job. But when the dentist loves what they do, they may do more research and have developed better techniques.
3. Are other treatment options available? If all the options solve the problem, what is the cost difference and which would possibly last the longest?
4. Among the treatments recommended, which are urgent, less urgent, elective or cosmetic? Your dentist should be able to prioritize a treatment plan for you. Often treatment can be spread out over a period of time, however, understand the consequences of delaying treatment.
5. How much will it cost? When and how do you expect payment? Does the dentist participate in your dental plan? How will he/she accept payment and when will it be due? iEnhance provides an avenue for you to arrange financing for your treatment.
6. If you have talked to your dentist and are still unsure about what to do, get a second opinion. Don't ever be apprehensive to get a second opinion, "two heads are usually better than one".

CAVEAT: Selecting a State/Regional board-certified dentist assures you that the doctor has completed extensive training and passed rigorous examinations in his/her specialty. However, this does not guarantee that you will obtain the exact results that you desire. Carefully read about the procedure in our "Procedures" section, understand the risks associated with the procedure, talk to the doctors' past patients who have had the same procedure, and perhaps obtain a second opinion from another dentist. In sum, thoroughly research the dentist and procedure before proceeding. You will be better informed and be able to ask more informed and pertinent questions. But most important, enjoy your new smile!

Links to Professional Organizations: - American Dental Association. To verify the dentist's dental school accreditation, click on "Education", scroll down to "Dental Education Programs" and procedure before proceeding! - American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. - Academy of General Dentistry. - Coming soon! - American Dental Hygienists' Association - International and American Associations for Dental Research - National Institute of Dental Research 

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