Education and training
Please be aware that although Dental schools offer good training in general dentistry they offer very few courses in cosmetic treatments at anything other than basic level. A good cosmetic dentist will regularly attend workshops, seminars and conferences in order to keep up to date with research, development and new products - including hands on training at workshops. This investment in their skills costs money; only the dentists that regularly commit time and money to their continued education have the commitment and skills required to ensure your dental satisfaction. Check your cosmetic dentist is a member of the BACD (British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry). Dentists who keep at the top of their field will be more than happy to tell you what memberships they hold and what courses they attend.
Cosmetic dentists should be using the most high-tech equipment and offering the most recent treatments available in dentistry today. Computers, intra-oral cameras, imaging and lasers are indicators of an up-to-date clinic. Check whether they have a website, if so, is it a basic one page website with very little to offer, or are they happy to share their information with all their readers and are you able to read about most if not all of the treatments they offer.
An experienced dentist will be happy to promote the laboratory that produces their work. The lab technicians who want to provide excellent porcelain veneers or cosmetic crowns are highly skilled and also need to be regularly attending seminars and courses.
Form and function
Your cosmetic dentist should explain to you how your treatment would affect the aesthetics of your mouth and your bite and gums. Your treatment should leave you with a comfortable mouth and be long lasting as well as looking good.
Before and after photos
All good cosmetic dentists should have before and after photos that you can view, these should be real patients that saw your dentist for treatment, not just stock photos.
Does your cosmetic dentist offer a finance plan? Don’t use the cheapest dentist just to save a few pounds, they are cheap because they cut corners and use inferior products. Cosmetic dentistry is for everyone, but remember, you get what you pay for.
Ask your cosmetic dentist how much experience they have in the treatment you are interested in. Ask them if they are aware of any other options available to you and whether they offer them.
Tour the facilities and take advantage of a free consultation
Have a good look around the clinic, ask about the procedures and technology available, check out the sterilization areas and general cleanliness - ask about cross infection control procedures. A good clinic will offer you a free consultation with a team member (not the dentist). This is where you can explain your wish list and discuss your requirements. Available treatment options and general costings should be forthcoming.