Finding a Cosmetic Dentist in the Chicago Area (Part 2)

In our previous article we described the little bit of research you could easily do on the Internet to find a well-trained and skilled cosmetic dentist in the Chicago area.  To truly get the entire picture of what a particular dentist could do for you, you would need to schedule a consultation.

The Consultation

Perhaps nothing is more important than to meet the doctor. Choosing the right doctor for you is essential. Patients are rightly concerned with fees, though obtaining the right skill level and personality match is of greatest importance to avoid disappointment.

Dr. Ivan receives and restores at least one patient per month who was disappointed with their cosmetic dentistry and choice of doctor. As a consultant, Dr. Ivan teaches other dentists and speaks to the public regarding aspects of cosmetic dentistry. Get educated about your doctor.

The consultation is a great way to see the office and the staff, and to see if the office is clean, advanced, and friendly. You must feel this office and doctor is competent and the place you want to go for this important cosmetic treatment. You must feel you were listened to and that your concerns were addressed. This appointment may be complimentary with staff or doctor. Doctors whom are in demand and value their skills would most likely charge a fee for this appointment.

Veneers

These thin layers of porcelain are “bonded” to the outer surfaces of the teeth to reshape, whiten, lengthen, straighten, reduce aging, and overall greatly enhance one’s smile. Cosmetic dentists are highly knowledgeable and skilled in using these materials and understand how form and function apply to smile design to create a strong, healthy and harmonious result. Inadequate training and experience can result in chipping, discoloration, gum irritation, popping off of these veneers, phonetic problems, as well as less obvious, but serious issues such as bite problems resulting in ear congestion, teeth grinding, insomnia or interrupted sleep, vertigo and even migraine headaches.

Take caution when six veneers or “No-drill” veneers, sometimes called Lumineers or other names, are recommended. We greatly advise against these two techniques, as they create aesthetic and gum problems. While patients may not like “drilling,” only a minimal amount is needed for most veneers.

Photography

One of the best methods to distinguish a cosmetic dentist is demonstrating his/her own beautiful work with photographs. Most cosmetic dentists are proficient photographers. You will most likely see photographs of patients proudly displayed in the office and on their web site. These photos will be of actual patients of this doctor who possesses photo releases for these patients posing. The camera does not lie! The artist’s talent must translate into fabulous smiles!

Advanced Technology

Does the office look esthetic and have the feeling of being very advanced? Cosmetic Dentists are technologically advanced.  To adequately beautify a smile, treatment lasers and advanced computer functions are required. A cosmetic dentist will also normally have an attractive web site with photos of actual patients.

Fees

You can find a range of fees for your services during the consultation, however, no estimate of treatment can be given without a thorough examination. “I find it amazing how many doctors quote fees on the phone!”

This is an important decision, one that when done well, will reward you for many years to come. The cost of a smile makeover can vary from a few hundred dollars to as much as a very nice automobile. The typical “smile makeover” with veneers, is much more valuable than a car, however, and will last longer. Don’t shop for the most “reasonable” fee. Remember, the right doctor is the most crucial part of this decision and you don’t want your doctor cutting corners. You want the doctor and you to be proud of the fees. Most doctors also work with financing companies to help you finance your care.

Some other clues to be aware of:

  • The look and feel of a cosmetic office will be different and should reflect more quality. From business cards (without dancing teeth), print material, décor, and from the initial phone call to your visit, team members are personable, professionally dressed, more customer service oriented, and very knowledgeable about procedures. They would be on time, awaiting your arrival, often with a refreshment.
  • Treatment is personally tailored for each patient, and not one of many patients “checked” as in a typical dental office, for example. With this level of quality and service, patient volume in a cosmetic practice is usually lower.
  • Consider if the dentist practices solely cosmetic dentistry, or as a part of a general practice, such as “Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry?” There are only a handful of highly trained “niche” cosmetic dentists so get a feel for how much Cosmetic Dentistry and training is done.
  • A cosmetic dentist might be on radio or TV, and in professionally designed ads in magazines.
  • Cosmetic treatment is an elective procedure not a benefit of insurance. So cosmetic practices will not handle insurance as your family dentist might customarily do.
  • Cosmetic dentists will most likely practice “non-metal” dentistry, meaning no mercury/silver fillings, not even the porcelain covered metal crowns that so often create those unsightly black lines along the gum line. Cosmetic dentistry is “adhesive” dentistry that is bonded rather than cemented. Metal-based, cemented restorations have little place in a cosmetic practice.
  • Cosmetic dentists are the most advanced dentists and will often lead study groups, author and be published in journals and speak publicly to educate and teach skills.
  • Hours of operation will be tailored to individual patients and normally without evening, weekend, or emergency hours.
  • When seeking a cosmetic dentist, consider if the dentist has an attractive smile. Does his/her smile reflect cosmetic dentistry? You must feel the doctor has demonstrated proficiency.

In summary, with a little homework you can find a cosmetic dentist in Chicago that is qualified to entrust with your smile. Finding that highly trained cosmetic dentist is essential to protect perhaps your greatest asset: your smile! Congratulations on your decision!