How to Find the Best Family Cosmetic Dentistry Practice in St. Louis

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How to Find the Best Family Cosmetic Dentistry Practice in St. Louis

family cosmetic dentistry

If you or your family are looking for ways to perfect your smiles, you’re in the market for a cosmetic dentist. 

And you’re not alone. Cosmetic dental procedures are becoming so common, they’re credited in part with boosting the job growth of dentists in the U.S. 

But how can you find the best family cosmetic dentistry practice in St. Louis? Read on to find out. 

When should you look for a cosmetic dentist?

While there are definite health benefits to some cosmetic dentistry procedures, they are more concerned with improving the quality of life for patients. Most patients seek out a cosmetic dentist when they need extensive, complicated procedures that will improve the look of their smile. 

Family cosmetic dentistry practices may offer: 

  • Tooth whitening: There are seemingly countless options available to whiten your smile. Some procedures have side effects, like temporary tooth sensitivity, while others might not be as effective at getting your teeth pearly white. Check with your dentist to find the right procedure for you and your family.
  • Teeth straightening: Braces fall under this category. These days there are fewer metal options available to straighten your or your child’s smile, like invisible braces, tooth-colored ceramic set ups, and braces placed behind the teeth.
  • Composite fillings: Composite fillings use a tooth-colored material to discretely repair cavities. They’re a more natural alternative to the shiny, metalized fillings of the past. 
  • Dental bonding: Bonding uses a hard resin to repair and fill chips, cracks, gaps, and other minor imperfections in tooth shape. 
  • Veneers: Veneers are thin shells placed over damaged or problematic teeth. They’re used to straighten up smiles by correcting misshapen or poorly spaced teeth.
  • Crowns: Where veneers may only cover the front of your tooth, a crown covers the entire thing. They’re a more involved option for tooth repair since your dentist will have to file down the offending tooth before installing a crown.
  • Tooth implants: In the event of a lost tooth, you and your family may opt for an implant. This procedure requires a fully developed adult jaw, however, so check with your dentist for other alternatives if one of your children has lost a permanent tooth. 
  • Gum reshaping and grafts: Gum reshaping may sound a little out there as a dental procedure, but it’s a common request for people who want to reduce the amount of gum showing when they smile. Gum grafts are used to correct areas where the gums have receded and exposed the base of the tooth. 
  • Dentures and bridges: Dentures can either serve as a replacement for a partial section of a patient’s mouth or as a full set of brand new teeth. Bridges are another alternative for patients who are missing several teeth. An important distinction between the two: Dentures are removable, while bridges are not. 

How do you find the best family cosmetic dentistry practice?

So you and your family have decided that you need the services of a cosmetic dentist in St. Louis. How do you choose the right one?

Weigh the cost against the quality

Cosmetic dentistry procedures can run the gamut in price depending on the services you need. Tooth whitening, for instance, can be a fast, affordable procedure. Dental surgery, on the other hand, will be much more costly and complicated.

Be sure to ask for price estimates on all services before you decide on a cosmetic dentistry practice.

Keep in mind, however, that some cosmetic dentistry procedures will be expensive, no matter how much you shop around. If you’re able to find a “bargain” doctor, you may be stuck with a less-than-perfect finished result.

It’s also important to check available payment options before you commit to a dentist. Cosmetic dental procedures are usually considered elective and, depending on your insurance plan, they may not be covered. 

You may be able to find a practice that offers special discounts on certain services or is willing to establish a payment plan. Don’t be afraid to ask about the dollars and cents before you come in for a consultation.  

Check their credentials

While there is no formal accreditation available specifically to cosmetic dentists, those offering the service may elect to join an organization like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, or AACD. Check for a membership or certification that designates them as a cosmetic dentist. 

Also be sure to ask about any postgraduate studies your cosmetic dentist has taken on. Cosmetic dentistry procedures change all the time, so look for a practice that stays ahead of new technology. 

Look for a practice with a highly trained and talented cosmetic dentist on staff and ask how many years they have specialized in the field. Look for an experienced veteran, not a novice.

Find out how many different treatment options they offer

Depending on the issue you have, there may be several different ways to correct it. Your dentist should be able to provide you with a list of the different options available and make a recommendation on the best fit for you and your family.

Ask to see their work

Check their website for a photo gallery of before and after shots showcasing their work or ask your dentist for examples. Chances are, a successful family cosmetic dentistry practice will want to show off their achievements. 

Schedule a consultation

Cosmetic dentistry can involve stressful, sometimes painful procedures, so it’s important that you and your family feel comfortable with the dentist during the entire process. 

The best way to check for a good match is by scheduling a consultation. Your prospective dentist can take a look at your problem and make recommendations, while you pay attention to how you and your children feel in the office. 

Take the time to ask detailed questions about every step in the process. If your cosmetic dentist is unable or unwilling to answer your questions, they may not be a good fit for your family. 

For more information on family cosmetic dentistry practices in St. Louis, or to schedule a consultation, contact Forest Park Dental today. 

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