Before you dive in to cosmetic dentistry, you should be prepared for the consultation with the dentist and arm yourself with some knowledge.
1. Choosing the right dentist
Choosing a dentist is always a matter of checking on the dentist’s background and training, checking references and considering location and pricing. With cosmetic dentistry, while most dentists offer cosmetic procedures, choose a dentist who has enthusiasm for helping patients improve their smiles.
When you say to a dentist, “I don’t like my smile,” does he respond to that with understanding and encourage you, or does she change the subject to cavities, gum disease or other health matters? All dentists should be concerned with the health of your teeth and gums, of course, but a dentist who seems unconcerned about your desire to change the look of your teeth may not be the best choice for a cosmetic procedure.
2. The initial consultation
The more you know about cosmetic dentistry before you go in for your first consultation, the more equal you will feel when discussing your options with the dentist.
A consultation shouldn’t be the dentist doing all the talking. You should make the dentist understand what you want. You should concede the fact that the dentist knows more about dentistry than you do, but don’t let the dentist tell you what you want. In the end, if you’re not satisfied with the dentist’s plan, seek another opinion.
3. Understanding your options
Some things just aren’t possible, for example, if you have teeth that are dark from decay, teeth whitening won’t fix that. Decayed or damaged teeth may need a crown, or they may need to be replaced. Veneers can change the shape of teeth and cover minor imperfections. Veneers may be able to fill in gaps between teeth, but bonding may be necessary for major changes.
4. Remember that the dentist is working for you
A dentist shouldn’t be seen as an authority figure. You are paying the dentist to do a job for you. Remind yourself of this, as often as necessary, to keep the proper perspective when talking to the dentist. Do some research, understand what’s available before you pick up the phone and make the call for your consultation.