What You Should Know

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Cosmetic dentistry is not recognized as a dental specialty by the American Dental Association. The term “cosmetic dentist”, however, is widely used.

In choosing a dentist for your cosmetic dentistry, you should familiarize yourself with their relevant training and experience.

Visit the doctor’s Web site and don’t hesitate to call their office and ask questions. The more you know about their credentials, the more likely you are to make an informed decision that will leave you with a smile.

Ask to look at the dentist’s sample photographs showing examples of his or her work to see if the size, shape, and color of the restorations look attractive to you.

However, an all-important factor in determining whether or not the restorations have been completed properly is the appearance of the gums around the teeth. Discolored and puffy gums will not only detract from the appearance of the final restorations, they are a sign of inflammation, and they can lead to serious problems including bone loss and tooth decay. Recent research has shown an association between gum inflammation and cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and pre-term births.

Many dentists’ photo galleries have pictures of patients smiling, but don’t show the gums around the teeth. You need to view photos of restorations with the gums visible and you should ask to see them.