The Craft of Cosmetic Dentistry

We often think of the beautiful smiles created by practitioners of cosmetic dentistry as the result of the work of the cosmetic dentist alone. But the artistry that takes common procedures performed for medical reasons and lifts them to the level of aesthetic triumph is the result of a collaboration between four parties, all of whom are often involved in a typical cosmetic dentistry procedure.

The Team Behind the Craft of Cosmetic Dentistry

  1. The patient. With no patient, there is no procedure to perform. It’s important for you as the cosmetic dentistry patient to be clear about your wants and needs. You can review a practitioner’s before and after photos to help you articulate the results you want.
  2. The cosmetic dentist. This is the team’s “quarterback.” He or she directs preparations for the procedure, acts as a diagnostician, and oversees the cosmetic and artistic aspects of the restoration, as well.
  3. The ceramicist. A ceramicist often works for a dental lab, although some are employed directly by Cosmetic_Dentistdental practices. He or she uses detailed instructions and molds made by your cosmetic dentist to fabricate dental restorations that look and function like natural teeth. In addition to extensive training in creating veneers, dentures, implants, crowns and the like, some ceramicists have advanced degrees in art.
  4. The specialist. Many patients will need referrals to dental specialists as part of a full-mouth restoration. Cosmetic dentists collaborate closely with periodontists (who specialize in treating the gums and the jawbone surrounding your teeth), orthodontists (teeth alignment), endodontists (the soft inner tissue or pulp inside of teeth), oral surgeons (extensive medical intervention) and practitioners of other recognized dental specialties, in order to return a patient to full oral health.

“Just as all the work for a cosmetic dentistry procedure is not accomplished on the day of the procedure, it takes a ‘village’ of partners and collaborators to ensure it is successful,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist in private practice in central Phoenix.



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