Dear Dr Hall
The root of great cosmetic dentistry is empathy. You want to look good and the dentist identifies with your desire and wants to help you feel good about your appearance. From that empathy springs the dentist’s desire to learn how to deliver beautiful dentistry and to hone his or her skills so that you can walk out of their office eager to show everyone your beautiful smile. Empathy also drives the willingness of the dentist to listen to you and to believe that your opinion of the appearance of the work is what really matters.
Some in the profession see cosmetic dentists as overly concerned with what the patient thinks, and they consider that pandering to the patient. They try to assert that because of their education dentists know what is best for the patient and to be too concerned with what the patient wants is a betrayal of the ideals of the profession. It’s a very different view of the doctor-patient relationship.
You can’t get around that fundamental problem with a dentist unless the the dentist has some type of “awakening” on the order of a spiritual conversion. That’s not to say that such a dentist can’t be an excellent dentist. It’s just that their priorities make them unsuited for appearance-related dentistry. So you have the right idea here–you need to find another dentist to get this to look right. You should have no problem switching in the middle of the procedure.
You’re up near Liverpool. I haven’t been able to find any really good cosmetic dentists in your part of the country, but there are several excellent ones in and around London. The one I think is the best and the one I recommend there is Dr. Tim Bradstock-Smith. He does beautiful work and is AACD-accredited. You’re going to have to live with this smile for a long time–I’d take the trouble to make the trip to get this done right.
I wish you well.
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.