Advice for Cosmetic Dental Treatment
This article is for those people who are considering having any form of cosmetic dental treatment done. There are quite a few things one should seriously think about before having any form of cosmetic dental treatment carried out. The worst thing to do is to barge straight ahead into the course of cosmetic dental treatment without knowing all the background details that you should be aware of.
There is a saying: ‘make a decision in haste, but repent at leisure’. This is very true of cosmetic dental treatment, but unfortunately most people do not really get all their facts gathered before they make an important decision such as having cosmetic dental treatment carried out.
We are going to look at a few important factors that one should consider before having any cosmetic dental treatment carried out for themselves.
Number one: why do you want cosmetic dental treatment?
At the top of the list should be some careful thought given as to why you want the cosmetic dental treatment carried out in the first place. There are valid reasons and there are also reasons that we consider are not good reasons for having cosmetic dental treatment carried out, also there are some reasons which fall in between and you should obviously give a lot of thought to these reasons.
A common reason for having dental treatment carried out is to mimic a person that you know or a celebrity that you have seen was a nice smile; or who has had dental treatment carried out. This is it not usually a good reason, in my view, for having cosmetic dental treatment carried out.
The reason for this is that you are trying to copy, or be like someone who has something that you want; for example you might see in a newspaper a celebrity who has had braces to straighten their teeth and now has perfectly bright white straight teeth. The main problem with copying someone is that no two people are the same. You may think that the treatment that they had will be successful on you, but even if that treatment were to work on you and you were to get bright white straight teeth; you then after a few months get used to your new smile so it no longer has that wow factor for you.
The danger is you then start to look at another celebrity who has had a different form of cosmetic treatment; they may have had some Botox or fillers, for example, you then feel insecure and have Botox and fillers done to yourself. After a while, a few months passes by and the treatment that you had done no longer gives you that wow factor because you have got used to it. You then look for another cosmetic treatment which you think will give you the confidence or make you happy. To attempt to improve your confidence levels in this way is a waste of time and pure folly. There are a number of reasons why this approach does not work; but one of them is that there will always be someone who has got a better smile and has better skin or has a better body than you – the list goes on. You’re trying to grab something that once you’ve got it, you are then looking for the next thing to grab and it’s a never ending game.
So back to the original question of why you want cosmetic dental treatment in the first place, we would strongly urge you to think about this question before you start any form of dental treatment because you may be having it done for the wrong reasons.
We are not saying that all forms of cosmetic dental treatment are for the wrong reason, because there are lots of other reasons why cosmetic dental treatment is a good thing to go for.
A good reason and a valid reason for why you might want cosmetic dental treatment is where you may have discolored teeth at the front which you have been conscious about for quite a long time. In the past it may not have been that important for you to treat that discolored tooth, but now you for example may have some extra money or you may have got a promotion at work where you are working more closely with people or at a higher management level and therefore appearances are more important.
You may think that worrying about appearances or what other people think of you is shallow; but unfortunately it is a fact of life that in the world that we live in, appearances do matter. Of course you can go overboard, and this is where each person is different and each person has to realize for themselves how far to go.
Number two: Finding the Right Dental Practice.
Once you have decided that you do want cosmetic dental treatment, the next place for you to do research is whether the dental practice that you have chosen, or are going to choose, is the right dental practice.
We have already covered this in a different article, on how to find the right dental practice and the right dentist; so it would be prudent to visit the link.
The right dental practice is actually not that easy to find even though there will be many dental practices in your area that you can go to. You have to look at all sorts of factors before you decide if a particular dental practice is the one that you want to go to for your cosmetic dental treatment. You need to consider things such as opening hours, how nice and efficient the staff are, the availability of appointments, their finance policy, their reviews, their CQ reports and their independent assessments.
Number three: Finding the Right Dentist.
The next thing that you need to look at is to see if you have found the right dentist who will be doing your cosmetic dental treatment. It’s just not true that all dentists are the same; all dentists are required to have a minimal standard, but cosmetic dental treatment involves a dentist having extra experience and qualifications.
One of the ways in which you can tell if you have found the right dentist to carry out your cosmetic dental treatment, is to look at real-life examples of their work. A dentist who does a lot of cosmetic work will usually take before and after pictures of their work. Although looking at before and after pictures is helpful, it could be – and it usually will be – the case that any work that hasn’t gone well, the dentist will obviously not have before-and-after pictures in their portfolio.
You can’t always ask the dentist how often cosmetic dental treatment doesn’t go according to plan and see how they respond. If they say that they never have any problems and every single case just is plain sailing, we know that is just not true. So gauge very carefully their answer when you ask them about cases that haven’t gone well.
As well as looking at the dentist’s clinical skills, it is important to feel confident and comfortable with your particular dentist. The only person who can gauge that is you, because a particular dentist might be good for one person but not good for another person so it’s quite an individual choice.
Number four: options available.
So once you have decided that you do want to have cosmetic dental treatment for the right reasons, you have found the best dental practice for your needs, and you have found the right dentist, then the next step is to have a full examination carried out (which will probably involve x-rays, photographs and impressions of your teeth).
Your dentist will then sit you down and should give you the different options available. One of the options is always having no treatment done, so your dentist should advise you that one of the options is having no dental treatment. Depending on what the exact needs are, there may be a number of options available to you. You should always ask if there are any other options apart from the ones that have been given to you, even if they are unlikely but nevertheless still could be considered an option.
Number five: the right option.
So, once you have a list of all the possible options, you need to then find out what is the right option for you. You would think that this is quite easy, but often it is not clear-cut at all; and often the dentist cannot decide for you because it depends on what angle you look at things.
To give an example, a front tooth could be polished up quickly and at a low cost; but that discoloration may come back within a few months and you then have to have the procedure repeated. The other option to this could be, for example, having a cosmetic veneer carried out; but that involves more visits, it is much more costly, and more things can go wrong as well.
We suggest that with each option, you look at the disadvantages and advantages before deciding on the right option for you.
Number six: the future.
You always want to have some time to think about your options. Once you have decided you want to go ahead, you also want to think about the initial cost, future costs when things go wrong, and maintenance. We’ll go through each of these factors in turn.
- Costs between different dentists can vary absolutely massively, and it’s quite right for you to think how costs for the same treatment can vary so much. An important reason is that all dental practices work independently, and so they will have different overheads and different expenses. It’s not necessarily the case that the most expensive dentist will be the best and also on the other hand that the cheapest dentist will be the worst. You will also want to have a written treatment plan with the costs and how you are expected to pay for the treatment. Some dentists do demand a full payment up front , but you should be wary of that because once you have paid that amount it can be difficult to get that back if you suddenly decide the treatment is not going as planned, or it’s taking longer, or you are just not happy about the treatment. Most dentists will expect you to pay a deposit to secure your appointment and then pay each visit until the all the treatment is carried out.
- On the subject of costs, you also need to know what your future costs will be. All cosmetic dental treatment will at some point need further maintenance or even replacing and you need to know what those costs are. It could be that you normally go and see the dentist every 6 to 12 months, but once you have had some cosmetic dental treatment, you may be required to attend every three to six months. You also need to know what happens if the treatment goes wrong, and how your dentist will deal with this. All dentists at some point need to refer to a different, or a more senior and experienced, colleague when things go wrong. So you should be aware of that, and also be prepared that if things go wrong you may be referred to a different dentist for continuation of the treatment.
- Finally, the maintenance aspect is one of the most important factors that will make sure that the cosmetic dental treatment that you have had carried out will last as long as it possibly can.
There’s nothing wrong with having cosmetic dental treatment done, and it can often make a huge and massive difference to a person’s life, confidence and cosmetic improvement. Having said that, it is important to look into the reasons and how you are going to have the work done. Hopefully, we have given you some initial advice on factors to consider before having any form of cosmetic dental treatment.