Let’s get right to the central point of what you need to know if you are planning to have any cosmetic dentistry done. Because of the level of expertise required to do it well, it should be a dental specialty. It requires several years of intense training beyond dental school. There are special materials that are different from what general dentists use. Color and translucency are particularly difficult issues for general dentists. And the artistry of smile design requires an entirely different side of the brain. Maybe only two percent of dentists are truly artistic enough to create a beautiful smile. But it’s dental politics that will never allow it to become a specialty.
First, there is economics. Smile makeovers are big ticket procedures, and every general dentist wants his or her share of that business. But more than that, the 98% of dentists who aren’t that artistic still think that their work is beautiful. Understand that these are fine, ethical, honest people, who are simply not artistically sensitive. Dentists are some of the most ethical people in any profession. They truly care about their patients. But the vast majority of them simply aren’t artistic. And the hard part is that they don’t know they aren’t artistic. So they think they do just fine at appearance-related dentistry, and they resent other dentists claiming they are better at doing this work. My experience is that most of them are sincere in this belief.
Then there is politics. The profession is run by the vote of its members. While there is a strong, vocal minority of dentists who understand the need for special training in order to do esthetic procedures, they are overwhelmingly out-voted by the vast majority of dentists who think that cosmetic dentistry is no big deal and requires nothing more than a good basic dental school education. So there is simply no political way it can become a specialty.
With my outspoken personality, I am not afraid to say things that I believe strongly, even if they are politically incorrect. So I have received critical comments from some dentists. Interestingly, no one has credibly challenged me on the accuracy of anything I have said. But they have said that it isn’t professional to say that some dentists are much better at cosmetic dentistry than others—I should be more supportive of all dentists.
That is where I get politically incorrect. Very few dentists are good at cosmetic dentistry. Most dentists are mentally geared toward being “fix-it” engineering types. Cosmetic dentistry, on the other hand, requires strong artistic inclinations that are possessed by only maybe two percent of dentists.
This Cosmetic Dentistry Website
And so I have published this cosmetic dentistry information website to help educate you, the prospective patient, about these procedures and the artistic sensitivity and extra training required to do them well. Most dentists claim to be able to do cosmetic dentistry well. And since the profession hasn’t made this a specialty, there are no universally accepted professional standards to help guide you to the expert practitioners. There are gum specialists in the profession, oral surgery specialists, orthodontists who are experts in braces, and so forth. But they want us to believe that when it comes to appearance-related dentistry, all dentists are equal. And it’s not true.
Accredited cosmetic dentist. Dr. David Hall, the author of this site, has provided the information about the procedures and has personally screened every dentist listed. You can have confidence that the dentists we list here do beautiful work with artistic understanding and special training. We do have a disclaimer, because it is ultimately the responsibility of state boards of dentistry to insure the quality of care in each state. But Dr. Hall has personally selected and recommended those dentists he honestly believes possess the qualifications to create beautiful smiles.