Questions To Ask at a Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation
If you are more concerned about the appearance of your teeth than their function, cosmetic dentistry may offer the solutions you are looking for. There are a number of cosmetic treatments available to improve the size, shape, color, spacing, and apparent alignment of your teeth. The process usually begins with a consultation, during which you should discuss your goals and ask questions of the professional performing the treatment.
Why should you ask questions at your consultation?
Even if you have dental insurance, it usually only covers treatments that are necessary for your oral health. By definition, cosmetic dentistry is elective, so you probably have to pay for it out of your own pocket. Therefore, you want to make sure the treatment is worthwhile. You also want to make sure you know what is going to happen before submitting to treatment so you can give informed consent. It is also important that you make sure to ask any and all of your questions before you proceed with treatment. Many cosmetic treatments cannot be undone once they are completed or stopped once they are started without causing issues.
What questions should you ask?
You should ask questions about any aspect of the treatment that you do not understand. Additionally, you should settle the following questions to your satisfaction before you proceed with treatment.
What treatment options are available?
There are several different techniques used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of the patient's smile. Depending on your individual situation, some may offer you a better result while others may be contraindicated. If you have a specific treatment in mind, you can ask whether it would work for you during your consultation. However, you can also ask about all your options and how the results of each would compare.
What are the risks and benefits?
To get the end result you want, there may be some risks involved. The different treatment options may involve removing more material from your teeth than you are comfortable with. They may not last as long as you expect and require frequent replacement. The cost may be prohibitive. The more information you have about the effects of the treatments you are considering, both short-term and long-term, the better equipped you are to determine whether the potential benefits of the treatment outweigh the risks.
What is the end result likely to look like?
While there is always an element of uncertainty as to the outcome of dental procedures, you should be able to look at before-and-after pictures of previous patients to see what the results could look like. It is appropriate to decline the treatment and go elsewhere if you are not satisfied with the samples you see or if you are not allowed access to them.
What special care will the treatment require?
Depending on what the treatment is, you may have to make modifications to your eating habits or oral health routine to avoid undoing the cosmetic dentistry work that has been done. For example, you may have to avoid eating certain foods that could stain or switch to a toothbrush and toothpaste that are less abrasive. Given the investment you are making in improving your smile, you want to protect it.
A cosmetic dentistry consultation is an opportunity to ask questions about possible treatments to make an informed decision. As this type of dentistry is usually elective in nature, you want to ensure that you understand exactly what you will be getting for the money you will be spending. You need to understand all of your options and the specific differences between each aesthetic choice you have. Some options may work for you and not for others or vice versa. Your dentist can help you discover what options suit you well.
You should know all the possible benefits and results that you might see from it before you agree to proceed with any treatment. Similarly, you want to make sure that you understand and are comfortable with any risks that each potential treatment might pose. Additionally, you need to ask your dentist about any special care your newly treated mouth and teeth might require. You do not want to spend money and time on treatments that you do not fully understand how to care for and then have to return for any unplanned redos or repairs. Fully educate yourself on every cosmetic dental process by speaking with your dentist beforehand and asking these questions.
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