Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

There are many specialties in the dental field, but cosmetic dentistry doesn’t have a specific specialty degree. Your general dentist may be a cosmetic dentist or may prefer to recommend you to someone who has  experience in such cases.

“You want to ask good questions that help you determine if your dentist is not only experienced but has skill and expertise in the field,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix Cosmetic office. “Some dentists have different ideas about what a cosmetic dentist does. A dentist might consider making and replacing crowns as cosmetic dentistry, but a patient may not.” It’s good to know what questions to ask in choosing a cosmetic dentist.

First some Dos and Donts:


  • find a cosmetic dentist who has had a lot of experience in the procedure(s) you want.
  • look for a dentist who has some experience with opacity and transparency and understands that every patient’s teeth are different in size and alignment.
  • find a dentist who will give you a natural look.


  • become the first cosmetic patient of the dentist, or even the fifth or sixth veneer patient.
  • accept a “one size fits all” solution.
  • work with a cosmetic dentist who doesn’t want to answer your questions.

Questions to ask your cosmetic dentist:

cosmetic_dentistAsk to see before and after photographs. (Some will only show the mouth itself, but many, very happy cosmetic patients will give permission for their smile to be shared.)

Make sure you add “that you yourself have done,” to procedures you ask about.

Where are the images of successful cosmetic procedures? They should be in the office and/on their website.

Will you see a 3-Dimensional model of the final product before you commit to the procedures?

Does the lab make a high quality temporary veneer or crown?

What comforts are offered during the procedure (according to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, there will often be some anxiety reduction services such as headphones, sedation, or comfort chairs.)

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