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Finding a Good Cosmetic Dentist

I need some advice from someone not in my area so it will be an unbiased opinion. I want to get porcelain veneers and teeth whitening done. Every dentist in my area claims to be a cosmetic dentist. Is there some way of knowing who does good cosmetic work and who doesn’t?


Dear Peter,

Woman smiling in the dental chair with her dentist behind her

Certain procedures require you find the best dentist.

This is an important question. Patients who haven’t thought to ask this are usually the ones who end up with cosmetic dentistry horror stories. Let’s keep you from being one of them.

Imagine for a moment there wasn’t such a thing as a medical degree. No board exams. No required training. Anyone who wanted to could hang a shingle outside their door and call themselves a doctor. How would a patient know who was safe to go to and who wasn’t? I guess you could see where the coroner ends up the most and avoid that practice. What a disaster, right? Well, that’s sort of what we have in the cosmetic dentistry world. Yes, a prospective dentist will have to get a degree to be a dentist, but after that, it is up to them how much they study about things like cosmetic dentistry, TMJ, dental implants, etc.

Finding the Best Dentist to Do Your Cosmetic Dental Work

This puts the patient in a difficult place. One thing I recommend is making sure they have done some post-doctoral study in cosmetic work. Smile makeovers aren’t taught in dental school. Then, you would want to look at their smile gallery to see what kind of results they get. You would want to be blown away by the before and after images. Though, you may want to call and check that it is the dentist’s work and not just stock photos.

That can give you some protection, though you wouldn’t know the technical things to look for such as: emergence profile, gingival health, an understanding of color and translucency, an artistic sense, passion for beauty, and attention to detail.

I can tell you there is a dentist, no longer in practice, who does just this for patients looking for the best dentist to do their cosmetic work. He runs the mynewsmile.com website and has a find a cosmetic dentist link. You can search there to find someone qualified and artistic in your area.

You’ll want to do your teeth whitening before you have your porcelain veneers done. The good news is, just about any dentist can do teeth whitening. It really doesn’t take a lot of special training. This will let you get some progress in on your smile while you decide on who should do the veneers, which will take a highly skilled dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.