If you’re unhappy with your teeth, making the decision to get the smile makeover you’ve always dreamed of can be exciting.
But, even if you’re convinced, a little dentist anxiety is normal.
The best way to overcome any doubts is to take back control. That means gathering as much information as you can about your cosmetic dentist and the procedures you need.
While it’s great to research online and read patient testimonials, it’s always better to get personalized answers to all your dental questions.
Whether you’re anxious about upcoming dental treatment or not, here are 12 questions you need to ask before you choose a cosmetic dentist.
1. Which Cosmetic Procedures Do You Offer?
Although most dentists’ websites will have a full rundown of the procedures they offer, it’s still vital to ask this dentistry question at the start of your consultation.
You might find that the online information isn’t up-to-date, or that the cosmetic dentist you speak to performs extra options not listed online.
It’s important to be aware of all the possible procedures that could be available to you before committing to anything. Plus, by finding out exactly what’s offered beforehand, you could even get several procedures done at once, saving you time and money.
2. What Procedures Would You Recommend for Me?
After looking at the cosmetic dentistry options online and hearing more about the possible procedures available, you might already have an idea of what you’d like. But it’s also a smart move to ask your cosmetic dentist what procedures they’d recommend to give you the best results.
All good dentists will be used to answering dentistry questions like this. As a result, they’ll be able to explain to you in a clear and concise way what their recommendations are.
3. How Many Times Have You Performed These Procedures?
Cosmetic dentistry is an ever-changing field, with more and more possibilities available for a wider range of aesthetic dental problems every year.
But that does mean that your cosmetic dentist might not have as much experience in some of the newer options available to you. As such, avoid asking general questions about experience. Instead, it pays to ask a dentist how many times they’ve performed the specific procedures that you’re interested in.
As a result, you’ll then be able to make a more informed decision about the dentist in question and the treatment options you want to go for.
4. Am I a Good Candidate for These Procedures?
Your dentist is very unlikely to recommend any treatments for you that aren’t suitable for whatever reason. But asking your dentist whether you’re a good candidate for a certain treatment does give them the opportunity to explain why they would or wouldn’t recommend it.
If your dentist tells you that you’d be a good candidate, asking this question provides added reassurance. It also allows you to achieve a greater understanding of the procedure and why it’s the best choice for you.
And, if your dentist advises you that you’re not a good candidate, it shows that they have integrity since they’re prepared to lose you as a client for the sake of providing the best care and results for you.
5. If Not, What Alternatives Would You Suggest?
If you had your heart set on a specific cosmetic dentistry procedure, it can be upsetting to learn that you might not be a good candidate. But not all may be lost.
There are often several different treatment options available to solve similar dental problems. For example, while you might not be a good candidate for a crown, you could still achieve your perfect smile with the help of dental implants to replace any missing teeth.
Every cosmetic dentist has their own ideas about the best way to help you get the best results. But they should also be prepared to take your goals and concerns into account to create the best plan for your needs.
6. What Are the Benefits and Limitations of These Procedures?
It’s vital that you and your dentist have the same goals before you make any final decisions.
When asked this dentistry question, your dentist should be able to explain what results you can expect as well as the limitations of the procedures. Patients can sometimes be disappointed in the results due to misplaced high expectations. As such, it’s important that your dentist takes this opportunity to ensure that you’re both on the same page.
7. Are There Any Risks or Complications Involved in These Procedures?
You might be too scared to ask a dentist this question. But it’s always best to be aware if there is a possibility of any complications either during or after the procedure.
In almost all cases it’s very unlikely, but hearing that from a professional is sure to put your mind at ease.
8. Can I See Before and After Photos of Similar Cosmetic Work?
The best cosmetic dentists are always happy to share the before and after photos of their recent patients as a way to demonstrate their skill and artistry. They might even have their best work on display in the lobby.
For you, these photos offer an accurate visual representation of what the procedures you’re interested in can achieve. As such, you’ll be able to adjust your expectations accordingly by comparing your own dental issues with those of the patients in their before photos and the extent of the improvement.
9. How Long Can I Expect My Results to Last?
While some cosmetic dentistry procedures such as dental implants can last decades, dental bonding tends to last around three to five years.
With this in mind, asking your dentist this question may help make your mind up about which treatment to choose. After all, if you have to come back every few years, cheaper quick-fixes could end up being more expensive than longer-lasting procedures.
You should also ask your dentist how best to maintain your new smile and how to keep your teeth white for longer after a whitening treatment.
10. Would You Recommend Any Extra or Follow-Up Procedures?
With many years of experience helping a range of patients achieve their perfect smile, your dentist will know the best cosmetic dentistry package for each patient.
This can include which treatments to have first, and whether it’s best to see the results of one procedure before deciding on an extra procedure.
For example, you might want to have a cosmetic crown to hide a broken tooth, but you may not have considered tooth whitening. If your dentist recommends tooth whitening for you, they’d advise you to have this treatment first. This way, your crown can match your whitened teeth better.
Asking this question allows you and your dentist to decide on the best course of action for you. By considering your dentist’s recommendations for possible future treatment, you’re more likely to achieve the results you want.
11. What Is the Total Estimated Cost and Do You Offer Financing Options?
Knowing the exact cost of the work you’re considering is an obvious factor in your final decision.
If the price is higher than you expected, you might have to adjust your treatment plan or opt for a different procedure altogether.
Although, if your dentist offers financing options, this could allow you to select a more complete cosmetic dentistry package and spread the cost over the course of several months.
12. What Will You Do If I’m Unhappy with the Results?
Don’t be afraid to ask tough dentistry questions like this before you go ahead with any procedures.
Of course, both you and your cosmetic dentist want you to be 100 percent satisfied. But it’s vital to find out how they would handle it if you end up disappointed.
Your dentist should take this opportunity to reassure you, while also reminding you of the limitations of the procedure and what your expectations should be.
And, based on their experience, they should also be able to anticipate the possible source of your future disappointment and what they would do to rectify the issue.
Dental Questions to Ask Your Cosmetic Dentist
Although this might seem like a lot of dental questions to ask your dentist, it’s always wise to be thorough before making any big decisions, especially when it comes to your appearance!
After all, 29 percent of Americans say that a person’s smile is the first thing they notice about someone. As such, you want to be sure that your smile is in the hands of the best cosmetic dentist there is.