How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist
It seems like everyone is a cosmetic dentist these days and in some ways that is a positive thing. The more dentists that offer cosmetic dentistry the more patients are going to be able to enjoy the benefits of a beautiful smile. There have been significant advances in the materials and techniques available to us, likely as a result of the dramatic increase in public interest since the Smile Makeover shows aired.
But just saying you are a cosmetic dentist doesn’t make it so. It is without question one of the most challenging aspects of dentistry. The best dentists are those that can offer a mix of artistry and science to the procedure. And the ever important “attention to detail”.
Dr. Paul Peterson has a practice that has focused on cosmetic and more advanced dental procedures for over 12 years. Each year he attends over 200 hours of continuing education. He has been awarded Fellowship status with the Las Vegas Institute for Advance Dental Studies. As the dental profession changes and adapts he is able to be on the cutting edge of the new techniques and materials.
The first step to a smile makeover is the smile analysis. It is vitally important to find out what the patient is concerned about and would like to change. Through detailed analysis and digital photography Dr. Paul Peterson is able to discuss with the patient the details of their situation and all of the different options for achieving the results he or she wants. There are many different ways to improve a smile and it is possible that Invisalign, tooth whitening and even prepless veneers could be alternatives.
Once the patient has selected the option that is right for them, that’s when the fun starts. Impressions are taken of the teeth for more in-depth analysis. This is not something Dr. Peterson will delegate to anyone. Dr. Paul Peterson will prepare the casts similar to what he believes will be done to the teeth in the mouth. He then will do a detailed wax-up of what the final result will be. That means that the first time he touches the teeth he is already very familiar with the situation and has a clear idea of the final result. It also means that he will be able to keep any alterations to the teeth themselves to an absolute minimum.
After that first appointment the patient will leave with temporaries that look as close to the final result as they can. This gives the patient and their family a chance to see what the final smile is going to look and feel like.
After a few days, or a week, the patient returns to the office. This gives the doctor and the patient a chance to discuss the aesthetics of the case and make any changes that need to be done. Once the temporaries are finalized, photographs and models are sent to the Ceramist for fabrication of the final restorations. This helps remove the guesswork out of the case and eliminates surprises. The final results are going to look very much like the temporaries.
Once the ceramist has created the beautiful works of art, Dr. Paul Peterson will examine them in detail in the laboratory. He is making sure that all of his directions have been followed and everything looks great. Fortunately with the level of ceramist that we work with, there are seldom any problems.
Finally the big day is here and the final restorations are ready for placement. After the temporaries are removed the restorations are placed on the teeth with try-in gel. This gives the doctor and the patient the chance to check them out before they are placed permanently. Once everyone has given their approval, the porcelain is carefully bonded on the teeth. When done with the proper precision and technique, the bond of the porcelain to the teeth is very strong. With proper care these restorations should look great and provide great service to the patient for many years. Just imagine, you could be just a few weeks away from the smile of your dreams!