Cosmetic dentistry is not recognized as a dental specialty by the American Dental Association.
The term “cosmetic dentist”, however, is widely used by professionals within the ADA.
Prosthodontists, the only dentists recognized by the American Dental Association as true specialists in aesthetic or cosmetic dentistry, can restore optimum function and appearance to your teeth – and to your smile.
To obtain their specialty certification, prosthodontists must have received two or more years of continuous formal training beyond dental school in an ADA approved university or hospital program.
All other dentists are cosmetic specialists in name only. Since there is almost no standardization in their training, the scope of their knowledge, their skill levels and their experience, the results of their treatment will vary greatly.
The SDNY prosthodontists have written textbooks and dozens of journal articles on cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry. They teach at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and at New York University College of Dentistry on a weekly basis and they deliver lectures around the world.
In choosing a dentist for your cosmetic dentistry, you should familiarize yourself with their relevant training and experience.
Visit the doctor’s Web site and don’t hesitate to call their office and ask questions. The more you know about their credentials, the more likely you are to make an informed decision that will leave you with a smile.
Ask to look at the dentist’s sample photographs showing examples of his or her work to see if the size, shape and color of the restorations look attractive to you. However, an all-important factor in determining whether or not the restorations have been completed properly is the appearance of the gums around the teeth.
Discolored and puffy gums will not only detract from the appearance of the final restorations, they are a sign of inflammation, and they can lead to serious problems including bone loss and tooth decay. And recent research has shown an association between gum inflammation and cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and pre-term births.
Many dentists’ photo galleries have pictures of patients smiling, but don’t show the gums around the teeth. You need to view photos of restorations with the gums visible and you should ask to see them.
For additional information on evaluating the quality of cosmetic dentistry and the health of the gums around the teeth, See Below Procedures