When you've made the decision to pursue cosmetic dentistry as a way to get the most out of your smile, it's exciting to book a consultation with a cosmetic dentist and find out how he or she can help you. Although you might be primarily interested in knowing just how soon you can have the procedure and how much it will cost, it's important to take a handful of other questions to the consultation to ensure you get all the information you need. Here are four important questions to ask.
Can I See Some Before-and-After Photos?
Pictures of a patient's mouth before and after a procedure serve as a portfolio of a cosmetic dentist's work, and he or she will be happy to give you some images to help you understand the process. Although general before-and-after images will give you an idea of the dentist's aptitude, be sure to specifically ask for images that reflect the type of procedure you wish to have. For example, if you plan to get veneers to give your smile a more straight, uniform look, ask to see images taken of other patients who got veneers.
How Long Have You Been Performing This Procedure?
Asking the cosmetic dentist about his or her credentials and experience isn't insulting; dentists are accustomed to giving this information to prospective new patients. Don't be afraid to ask for details on the cosmetic dentist's experience with the procedure you wish to have and ask roughly how many similar procedures the dentist has performed and over how many years. Obtaining this information doesn't just give you confidence in the dentist; when the number is high, it can help you feel less apprehensive about your appointment.
What Type of Pain Will I Experience?
Pain is on the forefront of many peoples' minds when they think of visiting the dentist, but the reality is that many cosmetic dentistry procedures lead to very little pain. If you're nervous about pain and the cosmetic dentist indicates your procedure will have some discomfort, ask about the process of mitigating the pain. For example, determine if sedation is a possibility.
What's the Lifespan of this Procedure?
It's important to get a firm understanding of the expected lifespan of the cosmetic work you receive. Obtaining this information can help you decide whether you should go through with the work and whether the cost suits your budget. Get as much information about the lifespan of the work as possible. For example, if you're having your teeth whitened, ask how long they'll stay as white as the day you leave the clinic.