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How Do I find the Best Cosmetic Dentist?

Video transcript provided below.

Dr. CATRISE AUSTIN:  Maybe you guys out there are wondering how exactly do you go about finding the right cosmetic dentist?  Well, I’m here to tell you it’s very, very important that you do your research. 

The No. 1 way is to ask for a referral.  If you know someone that’s gotten them and you like the work that they’ve done, or you’ve been scrolling on Instagram and you see a dentist that’s doing great work, definitely look them up.  But I think referral is, like, the No. 1 way. 

But if you don’t have a personal referral, I personally belong to the AACD, which is the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.  They kind of set the standards and teach dentists how do cosmetic dentistry properly.  So you can always look for a member of the AACD. 

You can just scroll and go on Yelp.  You can go online, do some research, Google.  But, most importantly, don’t be afraid to interview your cosmetic dentist.  Find out what kind of experience do they have?  How many CE, or continuing education, courses?  I personally was just taking a porcelain veneer course at the Greater New York Dental Meeting.

GIL VILLAVECER:  Nice. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Because I still want to know what’s hot.  How can I make any job easier?  What new materials are out there?  So a dentist that’s continually investing in their craft is someone you want to do.  I know cheap sounds good. 

If the price ‑‑ if a dentist is doing veneers for under $1,000, it’s really enticing, but you need to know their skill level.  So do your research, and there’s resources out there that can help you. 

And you even have a website with your dental lab that you refer to cosmetic dentists. 

GIL:  We do.  And I’ll address cosmetic dentistry for a moment here.  We work with cosmetic dentists all across the country.  Would it be a fair question for them to ask their dentist, “What lab to you do you use?”

Dr. AUSTIN:  I think so. 

GIL:  It probably is; right? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yeah. 

GIL:  Because not all labs are created equal, not all dentists are created equal. 

So from our perspective, what we see in cosmetic dentists ‑‑ and if I was a consumer or if my mom wanted to get veneers, the question I would have her ask the dentist is “Please tell me your experience when it comes to cosmetic dentistry.” 

Anybody can call themselves a cosmetic dentists.

Dr. AUSTIN:  A cosmetic dentists.

GIL:  Right?  If you provide whitening, you can call yourself a cosmetic dentists ‑‑

Dr. AUSTIN:  Exactly. 

GIL:  But you may not be a member of the AACD. You may not know how to do you do veneers and that kind of thing. 

So, for us, what I would look for is the experience of the dentist, how long they’ve been doing it, the type of patients that they do. 

And, again, I think it is a fair question, “What lab do you use?”  Because, a lot of times, the lab is the one that ‑‑ I shouldn’t say “a lot.”  We’re the ones that have to make it under the dentist’s strict recommendations and specifications.

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yeah.  You’re really the hero here. 

GIL:  No. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  A lot times ‑‑

GIL:  You’re giving me too much credit. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  You guys think we do all the magic.  It’s the lab, their skills, their artistry.  You guys are the heroes.  You make us look good. 

GIL:  We ‑‑ we work together. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yeah.

GIL:  We’re really a team.  We couldn’t do it without them.  And so, once again, on a cosmetic dentist, like Dr. Austin said, look for credentials.  Look for education, but, most importantly, look for experience. 

It’s a lot like finding who’s a good pilot?  Somebody that just piloted a plane ten times, or somebody that piloted a plane 1,000 times, and may have had trouble with one or two times; right? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  Yes.  Yes. 

GIL:  What cosmetic dentist would I want to go to? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  I’m going with the experience. 

GIL:  The one that’s done 1,000 cases like Dr. Austin has. 

Dr. AUSTIN:  And people don’t know, it’s a little insider secret, cosmetic dentistry is not an official specialty of dentistry.  So a lot of times the dentist is not really taught as much as they could be in dental school.  It takes those extra courses, the extra investment to get the skills. 

GIL:  Absolutely.  And same thing for the lab perspective.  Not every lab can do the cosmetic cases that we do.  We do dozens and dozens a day, where another lab may only do a couple a month.  Once again, a pilot that’s flown a plane ten times or 100 or 1,000 times? 

Dr. AUSTIN:  That one.

GIL:  Good one. 

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