Everyone wants to have a smile they can be proud of. Unfortunately, a clean, white smile isn’t a given, even when you do take care of your teeth every day. Factors such as genetics, diet and your overall health can affect your teeth, causing them to be crooked, yellow, brittle, and even to fall out.
Thankfully this is where cosmetic dentistry can help you. Your dentist can offer you non-invasive solutions such as whitening, veneers, braces, and crowns to help give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Once you have chosen to go down the path of cosmetic dentistry to address the problems with your teeth, there are some things you should take into consideration before and during the procedure.
Keep reading as we go over six important tips you should keep in mind.
1Ask for examples
In this day and age, the media flashes perfect smiles across our TV screens and magazine covers all the time. It’s easy to see how and why the cosmetic dentistry industry has grown. While it’s important to note that a “perfect” smile is subjective, you can still find plenty of examples of the kind of smile you want to achieve. (1)
When consulting your dentist, it’s always worthwhile asking to see photographs representing different results for the procedure. This includes both before and after shots of things such as denture fittings, teeth whitening, same day crowns and more. Images like these will give you insight into what your dentist might be able to do for you. A dentist who volunteers this information not only has nothing to hide, but is also clearly interested in providing great customer service and prioritizing customer satisfaction.
Some dentists only offer these images for a price, so be prepared for that.
2Communicate what you want
It’s important that what you want and need is in line with what your dentist is going to do. Be sure to openly communicate with your dentist what you really want. They might see your condition from a different perspective, or they might think a different solution is appropriate, either of which could lead to dissatisfaction on your part with the outcome.
If your dentist sees things differently than you do, you should try to understand their reasoning. But, if you’ve done your research, conferred with other dentists and people who have undergone the same procedure, communicate this very clearly and be careful not to undergo anything that costs more than needed.
One way to effectively communicate with your cosmetic dentist is by providing them with your own images. For example, in 2018 the most sought-after work was dental prosthetics. With so many different types available, bringing in your own examples would be a great way to narrow down what makes sense for you. (2)
You can show your dentist the results you want to achieve with your own teeth through examples of those who’ve had similar issues. Providing visual aids is a great way to clearly demonstrate what you are asking for.
Any professional dentist would know that, especially when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, you’ll require a functional wax-up before undergoing any preparations on your teeth. A wax-up serves as a guide for your dentist to understand the starting and ending points of your teeth, and just how the proposed procedure will actually play out. Along with helping your dentist and the technicians involved, the wax-up will also help you, as a patient, understand how your teeth with actually look after treatment. (3)
A wax-up is prepared in a lab and is then sent to the dental clinic where you’re having the work done. Not only will the wax-up be approved by the dentist and their team, but by you as well. It’s unfortunate that because of this, and because of the extra costs involved, some dentists and dental technicians don’t use wax-ups. Doing so ignores the overall savings in terms of time that a wax-up can offer when it comes to the procedure itself.
It’s worth asking your cosmetic dentist about this step to ensure they offer it.
Cosmetic dentistry is highly sought after. Its market size was reported to be USD$9.12 billion back in 2018 and was only projected to grow. The industry pumps a lot of this money into its advertising, so it’s important to remember that what you see on TV or in magazines is not always to be believed. Especially in cases of teeth whitening and cleaning, images and videos use professional lighting and make-up to get the best results and are often touched up in post-production. (2)
It’s crucial for you to conduct your own research before you undergo any cosmetic dentistry procedures. Search online for reviews and professional resources, ask family or friends about their own experiences, and seek advice and pricing from multiple dentists.
6Understand the costs
A part of this research is about the costs. Some procedures and services such as implants and veneers can be quite costly. For example, veneers are often priced out per tooth and can cost anywhere between USD$925 and USD$2500 each. You can find dentists who offer competitive prices and discounts too, you’ll just need to have some figures in your head based on your research, and different quotes you’ve obtained before taking the next step. (4)
If the work they are offering costs more, ask other dentists what their pricing is for this particular procedure and research whether or not it’s the best treatment for your specific issues.
When undergoing any cosmetic dentistry procedure, the key is to communicate with your dentist, come prepared with your own research, understand what you want and need and the possible costs.
Ensure you’re receiving the best treatment possible and that your dentist has helped others achieve the same outcomes. While your dentist might know more about teeth than you do, it’s still crucial to come in with defined ideas about what you want based on your own research. You don’t want to walk away having to pay for a procedure you’re unhappy with or didn’t need.
- “The impact of the popular media on cosmetic dentistry,” Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6808759_The_impact_of_the_popular_media_on_cosmetic_dentistry
- “Cosmetic Dentistry Market Size […] 2026,” Source: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/cosmetic-dentistry-market-100223
- “Functional Diagnostic Waxing Up – Practical Procedures in Aesthetic Dentistry,” Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781119324911.ch3.5
- “Porcelain Dental Veneers | Treatment, Recovery & Cost,” Source: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/veneer-procedure/