Cosmetic Dentistry Directory
Information About Cosmetic Dentistry
elcome to the Cosmetic Dentistry Directory, an authoritative resource for those interested in brightening up their smile.
You can use this website (a) as a comprehensive resource for finding answers about all cosmetic dentistry procedures, and (b) to find a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist near you.
We are very interested in staying up-to-date with the latest developments in technique and technology for cosmetic dentistry. Please come here often to see what is new in these two exciting fields of dentistry. We will be adding more pages and more information on many pages as time goes by, so please bookmark this site in your browser.
To find a qualified cosmetic dentist in your area, please use the map below, or contact us and we'll respond promptly.
Las Vegas Institute
The school of choice for studying cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry is the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) in Las Vegas. It opened its doors in 1995, offering post-graduate education to general dentists, including ongoing alumni activities and seminars. The Training is intellectually rigorous and intensively hands-on. Training is given not only to dentists, but also to dental technicians who work in dental laboratories, creating restorations like porcelain crowns, inlays and onlays.
No, anybody can have cosmetic dentistry done. Good-looking teeth are healthy teeth and a qualified cosmetic dentist doesn't just make your smile look pretty. He makes it healthy first. But in doing that, he plans for their appearance too, and combines cosmetic work with repair or functional improvements.
Your insurance company will likely pay at least some of the cost of dental procedures done for health reasons, such as crowns, implants and straightening teeth. These procedures improve both dental health and dental beauty. For procedures that are done purely for cosmetic reasons, like porcelain veneers to cover small chips, stains, or gaps, there are financing companies. CareCredit and CapitalOne are two examples. If you qualify, you can get zero- or low-interest loans, low or no down payment, and long payment timeframes. Most good cosmetic dentists will work with you to make your dental goals affordable and comfortably fitted within your budget.
Any dentist can attempt it, but how good a job might they do without extensive post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training? The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) attracts dentists from around the world to its superb programs on cosmetic dentistry. An LVI graduate is a highly-trained dentist who can legitimately specialize in those two areas of dentistry. Such a dentist will also have invested in expensive, extra equipment in his office and extra tools such as intra-oral cameras which a typical general dentist does not possess.
The American Dental Association does not yet recognize cosmetic dentistry as a specialty field. If you are looking for a good cosmetic dentist:
- Look for one who displays the LVI logo.
- Look for one who has Before and After photos on his website, or on the walls of his office. Make sure they are photos of that dentist's own patients. Cosmetic dentists take a lot of photos, as it's a good way of assessing their own work.
- Ask if the dentist is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). This body sets cosmetic dentistry standards and to pass its examination you must present Before and After photos of at least five patients, along with detailed information on what procedures you performed. That's aside from passing the written and oral exams.
No, different labs often do certain jobs better than others, and a high-quality dentist might use five or six different labs, for different procedures. A lab is as good as its technicians. The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI) trains lab technicians as well as dentists. The technician program requires intensive hands-on training in how to work with porcelain to construct excellent crowns, veneers, and fillings. A graduate from that program is known as an LVI Certified Technician and a cosmetic dentist will prefer to use a lab with such personnel, knowing that they will do good aesthetic work.
This used to be true. But dentistry has traveled a long way since our grandparents' day. Computers, lasers, and other technological developments have made dentistry more sophisticated. Local anesthetic is given in two stages: a swab first numbs the area so that the syringe is barely felt. Drills are faster, less noisy, and more precise. Painless lasers are often used to remove decay instead of drills. No more must you have an amalgam filling packed hard into your tooth - now you can have a white composite or pearly porcelain inlay placed delicately and fine-tuned with artistry so that it will appear to be part of the tooth. In fact it will be part of the tooth, because it's bonded to the tooth, strengthening it, rather than weakening it as amalgam fillings do.
A good example of how this myth perpetuates itself is in the common belief that root canals hurt. Again, it's true that they used to hurt. But better anesthetics and better technology have made them simpler, faster, and far less painful.