All You Need To Know About Cosmetic Dentists
Cosmetic dentists are teeth doctors who perform dental work that improves the general appearance of your teeth, gums and smile. Many professionals in this field refer to this term as being redundant since the nature and general objective of a dentist is to improve the appearance and function of teeth. For this reason alone, many dental doctors will refer to themselves as cosmetic dental doctors regardless of their education, training, specialty and field experience. It is considered unethical because many view it as a marketing gimmick for dental practitioners. There are certain dental associations that do not recognize cosmetic dentistry as an area of specialty in dentistry. Dental doctors who have specialized in prosthodontics and orthodontics are the doctors who are considered cosmetic dentists. Cosmetic dental procedures may involve a number of options that include:
1. Addition of dental material to the gums or teeth, e.g. porcelain veneers, bonding, crowns, and gum grafts.
2. Neither removing nor adding dental materials to teeth structure or the gums, e.g. whitening or bleaching of the teeth.
3. The removal of gums or teeth structures, e.g. gingivectomy, enameloplasty.
4. Teeth straightening which is normally accompanied by facial feature improvements.
The materials that cosmetic dental doctors use are numerous and include porcelain to repair teeth because porcelain gives the patient’s teeth a more natural look. In past years, dental doctors used dental fillings, which were made of gold, amalgam (silver fillings) and other tough metals. Some of these metals were even veneered with porcelain. Now dentists prefer to use fillings made entirely of porcelain. Many dental patients prefer porcelain because of the natural look that it gives. These professionals uses resin adhesive to bond the porcelain material to the underlying structure of the tooth. Unlike amalgams or silver fillings, the porcelain fillings do not have mercury.
In order for a dental doctor to be considered a cosmetic dental practitioner, he or she has to undergo a minimum of two to three years of post-dental school training. The training is quite rigorous and often lead to certification by an international board that is approved by dental associations.
Examples of academies that offer courses in prosthodontics and orthodontics include:
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry: This academy is one of the largest dental organizations in the world. The members of this academy come from over seventy countries. The members include general dentists, lab technicians, and specialists who are specialized in the art of cosmetic dentistry. This academy has been very successful and was established in 1984. The dental doctors produced by such academies are thoroughly tested. The services of these professionals are analyzed, tested and evaluated in order for them to be certified and accredited as being good cosmetic dentists. The American board of cosmetic dentistry is responsible for the analysis and accreditation. However, the certification offered by this board is not recognized or approved by the overall Dental Association in America.
All in all, it is important to know what kind of dentist you are engaging with. Although the services offered by dentists are quite similar, it does not mean that all of them are qualified to be cosmetic dentists. Ensure that you inquire about the qualifications of your dentist and you can even go as far as demanding for proof of certification in order to build some confidence and trust in your dental practitioner. Many tooth doctors will often claim that they are qualified in aesthetic dentistry, but if you look at their qualifications and experience, you will see that they have only been trained in regular dental procedures.