What to Expect from Your First Visit With a Cosmetic Dentist

Most of us have visited a general dentist for regular checkups at some point in our lives, but if you’re thinking about visiting a cosmetic dentist for the first time, you may be wondering how the experience will differ. The short answer is: parts of it will seem very familiar to you, but you will have an opportunity to partner with your cosmetic dentist to take the look and function of your smile to a new level.

Laying The Foundation: Your Cosmetic Dental Exam

The part of your first visit to a cosmetic dentist, which may seem familiar, is a thorough dental health examination. It is important for your provider to understand your overall oral health situation so that any cosmetic improvements also bolster the function of your teeth and gums. This part of the visit could include:

  • Taking dental X-rays or other imaging techniques to evaluate your underlying tooth structure
  • Conducting an oral cancer exam
  • Evaluating your risk of tooth decay, root decay and gum disease
  • Checking the status of your “bite” and examining your teeth for signs of bruxism
  • Determining if you need to have any dental restorations placed, such as crowns
  • Assessing your need for fluoride treatment

Dr. Carol Ford

Building A Whole New Smile: Discovering Your Options

The “new” part of the cosmetic dental exam comes when you and your cosmetic dentist discuss what you would like to do to improve your smile. You may be asked to share some of your smile goals – brighter teeth, fewer gaps, or a less gummy smile, for example – and you may look together at before-and-after photos to help clarify what is possible for you. This part of your visit is crucial for establishing what cosmetic and restorative procedures your cosmetic dentist will perform for you, and in what order, if a number of procedures are desired.

“Your first visit with your cosmetic dentist is a time to focus on understanding the state of your oral health, and envisioning how to create the smile of your dreams,” says Dr. Carol Ford, the founder of Dr. Carol Ford & Associates in central Phoenix. “Our practice is happy to discuss how we can help shape a smile you will be proud to show off.”


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