Dental anxiety is not uncommon, and studies have shown that it affects around 36% of the adult population. If you’re a part of this 36%, finding a dentist you’re comfortable around is of utmost importance.
But how do you go about finding this? And how do you pick a cosmetic dentist you can have confidence that will produce an outcome you are happy with? There are several considerations to make, and we will explore them in the article below.
Build a Pool of Suitable Candidates
First and foremost, you need to identify a pool of suitably qualified dentists. In other words, you need to find and shortlist several reputable cosmetic dentists for further comparison in your area.
There are a few different ways to go about finding options for dentists. The easiest way is to get on Google and search “cosmetic dentists near me”.
This will provide you with various options, along with ratings and reviews for each. Reading online reviews is a great way to get a feel for specific dentists, as they will enable you to see both the good and the bad of what each dentist has to offer.
Carefully review these Google Reviews until you have narrowed the list to 3 to 5 dentists who pique your interest. You can then compare these dentists based on the criteria provided below.
Read Up On Experience
You now have a pool of suitable candidates. Start comparing them by reading up on their respective work experience. In particular, how long have these dentists been providing their services on a professional level?
You can generally find this information on the dentist’s website, usually on the ‘About’ page. It should tell you how long the office has been open and how long the head dentist has been practising cosmetic dentistry.
We advise choosing a dentist with a minimum of +10 years of related experience. A dentist with less experience than this is still getting into the swing of things and will likely be more prone to mistakes. It’s important to choose a dentist who’s highly experienced in every procedure you may need.
Assess Services Provided
Not all cosmetic dentists provide all cosmetic dental services. Whereas some might only work with crowns, implants, and the like, others might work with those entities in addition to things like teeth whitening and Invisalign (orthodontics).
You not only want to make sure that they offer the types of services you need but that they have plenty of recent experience in providing them as well. You want to be one of many patients who’ve undergone that procedure successfully. One way to check before you contact the clinic is to look for Before and after photos of key procedures.
All dentists in Australia are required by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) to ensure that any before and after photos displayed on their websites are from actual patients; if they are not, there should be a clear disclaimer.
Note that you can typically find a list of services provided on the dentist’s website, usually under the ‘Services’ tab. If this doesn’t exist, call up the dentist and inquire about the services you require.
Ensure That They’re Properly Licensed
In Australia, dentists must possess the requisite Australian Dental Association (ADA) and AHPRA accreditation to practice dentistry. This includes not only an accredited degree from a school of dentistry but registration with the Dental Board of Australia as well. This licensure indicates that the dentist in question has demonstrated sufficient skill and expertise and is competent enough to practice dentistry professionally.
Before going to any dentist, you should request proof of this licensure. You should see not only their dental school diploma but their Dental Board of Australia registration documents as well.
Call the Clinic
If you’re nervous about going to the dentist, you’ll likely want to get a feel for your prospective clinic’s and dentist’s personality. If so, you can call the dentist’s clinic.
In all likelihood, you’ll be answered by the receptionist at the front desk. First, gauge their personality. Are they warm and welcoming or curt and unfriendly? Do they answer your questions ready, or are they hesitant to do so?
Once you’re done speaking with the receptionist, you can ask if you can speak with the dentist. Some, but not all, dental clinics will allow you to do this.
But be aware most highly sought-after cosmetic dentists will be booked weeks in advance and, in all likelihood, won’t be able to take unsolicited calls.
Very few, if any, quality cosmetic dentists would ever provide an over-the-phone consultation and quote without ever assessing you in person.
Instead, they will require an in-person consultation to properly assess your oral and gum health, take X-Rays (if needed) and explore what you’re trying to achieve before developing a tailored treatment plan.
Just think, no motor vehicle mechanic worth their salt would provide a quote without first inspecting your vehicle to see what parts and labour are required to service or repair your car. So, why would you expect a highly sought-after dental professional to do otherwise?
So, we would always recommend investing in in-person consultations with your shortlisted cosmetic dentist to ensure that you understand what technologies and approaches they are recommending, you’re comfortable with their qualifications and experience and that they have explained the treatment plan and proposed costs involved.
Ask About Costs
Different dentists charge different amounts of money for their services.
All reputable dentists can give you a written dental care treatment plan and estimated costs after an in-person consultation (which is essential). If a dentist doesn’t give you a detailed estimate, that dentist should be avoided. After all, you have the right to know what you will pay for a specific service.
Once you’ve received estimates from a few dentists, you’ll need to compare them against one another. Note, though, that while getting a “good deal” (cheapest price) is an important consideration, it shouldn’t be your sole measuring stick for which dentist you choose.
One of the biggest problems is that patients choose primarily based on price. For instance, porcelain veneers are a popular ‘smile makeover’ procedure and can cost anywhere between $900 to $2,500 per tooth. So what do you do? Find a dentist that offers the desired service at the cheapest price and go with them.
Before you do this, you need to know that the variations in costs reflect the dentist’s experience, qualifications, how often they do a given procedure, and their reputation for doing outstanding work. Beyond these, you also need to understand the different types of materials used, including brands such as Lumineers, Digital Smile Design (DSD) etc. When it’s all said and done, would you be happy if you paid a little less per tooth but didn’t get the desired result you were looking for?
Trying to Pick a Cosmetic Dentist in Adelaide?
So, are you on the find for a cosmetic dentist in Adelaide? If so, you should consider Adelaide Cosmetic Dentistry.
We provide the ultimate cosmetic dentistry experience, putting our patients’ comfort and well-being above all else. Offering a variety of cosmetic dental procedures, we’re sure to be able to accommodate you.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!