Finding the right cosmetic dentist can put you on the road to obtaining the smile you’ve always dreamed about. Cosmetic dental problems can leave you feeling embarrassed, leading to social anxiety and poor work performance. With the right cosmetic dentist, you can leave those feelings behind knowing you have a beautiful smile that projects confidence and capability.

However, it’s not always easy to find a great cosmetic dentist in the Boston area. Here are some tips for tracking one down.

young adult man smiling

Ask for Referrals From Other Dental Patients

You should start by asking anyone you know who’s had cosmetic dentistry about the Boston cosmetic dentist they worked with. You might not think you know anyone who’s had cosmetic dentistry, but probably more people have had it than you think. The best cosmetic dentistry looks natural, so you might ask close friends who have “naturally” beautiful teeth if they’ve had work done. Make sure you are good friends, though–some people might be offended at the suggestion.

You can ask your normal dentist for recommendations, but be aware that many general dentists might be happy to perform cosmetic dentistry, even if they lack experience and are not well-trained at it. Assess your relationship with your dentist first. If you think they will give you honest advice and won’t be offended if you work with another dentist, then they might be a good source.

Search Online Reviews For Your Dentist

Whether or not you get referrals, it’s time to take your search online. If you have referrals, do an Internet search on every recommended dentist. To make sure you’re getting the right person, add “Boston dentist” to your search.

You should find the dentist’s website, but likely other relevant results will pop up, too. Among the results, you’ll see a dentist’s online reviews. Read these and consider them alongside anything people have told you about the dentist. Sometimes you might encounter red flags, like a disgruntled patient or a disciplinary action from the Massachusetts Dental Board. Don’t let a single upset patient sway your mind, any more than a single positive review should.

You’ll also likely find other results that can influence your decision, such as scholarly publications, society awards, community involvement, and more that can help you decide when a dentist is right for you.

Check Your Dentists Credentials

On a Boston cosmetic dentist’s website, look for their profile page. See if they have dedicated training in cosmetic dentistry. For example, LVI is a leading institute for cosmetic dentistry. A person who achieves the rank of LVI Fellow (designated LVIF) has completed extensive training in cosmetic dentistry. Certification in cosmetic dentistry technologies like Invisalign also matters–a dentist should utilize advanced technology that helps them provide quality, attractive results for patients.

Membership in professional organizations speaks to a dentist’s commitment to their patients and skills. Look for organizations with “cosmetic” or “aesthetic” in their names (such as the International Association of Physiologic Aesthetics).

While you’re here, make sure a dentist offers payment plans, since most cosmetic dentistry isn’t covered by insurance.

While you’re here, look at before-and-after photos. In some ways, this is the most important credential of all–the ability to make a beautiful smile.

Schedule A Consultation

You want to talk to several dentists before making a decision about your Boston cosmetic dentist. Many cosmetic dentists offer free consultations but don’t skip a dentist who charges for an appointment. Their time is valuable, and the best cosmetic dentists have the most demand for it. Many cosmetic dentists will credit your initial consultation toward any treatment, too.

During a consultation, ask a dentist how much of their practice is cosmetic. Just because a dentist advertises cosmetic dentistry, it doesn’t mean they have a lot of cosmetic patients.

In addition, you should ask to see before-and-after photos. Sure, you looked at some online, but dentists often have more recent ones in their office that haven’t made it on the website yet. In addition, the dentist might give you a narrative description of what they did in each case and why. They might even compare the pictures to your smile, giving you a better idea of what treatment they propose for you.

Finally, ask if you can speak to previous patients. Many cosmetic dentistry patients value their privacy. However, it’s a red flag if a dentist doesn’t have a single patient who’s prepared to talk about their work, especially if they claim to do a lot of cosmetic dentistry.

Choose a Boston Cosmetic Dentist That Makes You Comfortable

After talking to a few Boston cosmetic dentists (and calling their references), choose the one that makes you feel comfortable in their skill at giving you the results you’re looking for.

If none of the dentists make you comfortable, start again. Your smile is too precious to trust someone you don’t have full confidence in.

If you find multiple cosmetic dentists you trust, you might consider the location to make a final decision. It’s worth it to drive across Boston to get the results you’re looking for, but why do it if you don’t have to? If you do want to factor in cost as a consideration, make sure the estimates you get can be compared apples-to-apples. If not, ask for an explanation of the discrepancies.

Consider Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy

If you live in or around Winchester, Massachusetts, and are considering cosmetic dentistry, please contact Divine Smiles today by calling cosmetic dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy at (781) 396-8558 to schedule an initial consultation.