If you’ve chosen to have cosmetic dentistry, your first step will be to find a cosmetic dentist you can trust to provide you with exceptional results. If you’ve found a few potential candidates, it’s important to learn how to select from them. There’s much to consider when choosing a professional. To find the right dentist for you, consider these key areas.


Objective Criteria

Objective criteria are things you can prove to be true. These are skills and verifiable details about the cosmetic dentist. This is where you want to start in your search.


Credentials & Association Membership

Most importantly, be sure the professional you select has the skills and experience necessary. You can verify their training and skill level in various ways. You most certainly want to choose a certified professional, licensed to operate in this capacity. Consider their credentials and association memberships first. To check a cosmetic dentist’s credentials, be sure they are a member of the American Dental Association (ADA). They should also be a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Also, note if the dentist has any notable accomplishments. Have they published any papers in a respected dental journal? Are they a member of a research or development program?


Years of Experience

The length of time a dentist is working is very important. Someone fresh out of college has limited experience. And, while this may be okay in a traditional dentist setting where the skills and tasks are very standardized, it is not the same in cosmetic dentistry. Because this field requires such a significant learning curve, you will want to choose a professional with experience, often 5 to 10 years’ worth. This ensures the dentist has learned the best methods for the procedures and has developed outstanding skills.


Commitment to Continuing Education

Cosmetic dentistry is a constantly evolving area of expertise. Those who are best suited for this field have not only experience but have a strong background of continuing education. A dentist who continues to learn is one who tries to provide the latest and best dental care to patients. Because dentistry technology will constantly evolve, you want a dentist committed to continuing his or her education on a consistent basis.


Additional or Related Skills & Interests

Another key and often overlooked area to consider has to do with the dentist’s overall ability to craft a very fitting type of cosmetic result for you. Just as you have a stylist who is capable of understanding a person’s personality and demeanor, you need a dentist who can do the same. This ensures he or she is not overselling or underselling the services available. It’s important to look for a dentist with a background in the arts and visual skills. They need to have good hand/eye coordination, too.


A Dentist That Promotes Dental Health Above All Else

Select a dentist who puts your dental health first. In some situations, cosmetic procedures are not ideal for the patient. But, a dentist who puts dental health first is one capable of protecting your teeth long term. If a patient comes in asking for the same procedure his friend has had done, and the dentist immediately agrees, avoid this individual. He or she is not putting your dental health first. It’s important the dentist have a strong understanding of the patient’s needs.


A Dentist That Explains the Procedure from Start to End

Dentistry is not a long-term solution. Veneers or other products do not last forever. It is important to consider every step of the process, including those aspects that are irreversible to ensure you understand what the short-term and long-term outcomes are going to be.


Positive Patient Testimonials and Results

Review all of the patient testimonials and reviews you can find both online and in person. Be leery, though, of molds and showcases in a dentist’s office. These are often purchased and do not show the workmanship of the professional. Rather, you want to see this particular dentist’s skills throughout his or her career. You want a recommended, reputable provider with a solid rating about their skills. A good provider will get these naturally.


Does the Dentist Specialize in Your Chosen Procedure

For cosmetic procedures, you will want to choose a cosmetic dentist. Then, look at the type of cosmetic procedures that particular professional offers. Does he or she specialize in this area? If so, it means the dentist has more experience than most in this area. For example, many dentists provide both bonding and veneers but they might spend 95% of the time placing veneers and get little practice developing the craft of bonding. If you want bonding work then look for a dentist who has both experience and regular exposure to bonding procedures. These dentists tend to have more access to the latest technology as well. You do not want to choose the dentist who can do your procedure but the one who handles procedures like yours on a routine basis.

There is significant overlap in cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics with many of the same treatment options available – after all, a healthy smile is often an attractive one. A dentist who regularly performs orthodontic work would be an added bonus, not just in possessing the technical skills but in understanding how the two relate to each other. Orthodontics can often lay the foundations for effective cosmetic work, for example. 


Is Cosmetic Dentistry Prominent on Their Website

Take a look at the company’s website. Is it specific to cosmetic dentistry? Does it specifically talk about the types of procedures you plan to have? If it is basic and lacking details, or doesn’t make cosmetic dentistry the focal point of the practice, move on. At Bunker Hill Dentistry we focus on both general and cosmetic dentistry and our website reflects this with detailed information on general and cosmetic procedures which filter into specific pages on each treatment.



Cost is important but not just based on what you can afford. You may not want to pay a dentist who charges the highest fees. But, you also do not want to choose a dentist with very low prices. This will mean the dentist has less experience and may be more likely to use inferior materials or laboratories to cut costs.


Subjective Criteria

Subjective criteria are factors relying less on fact, but more on aspects you or someone else may feel. Still, they are very important to consider.


A Dentist Who Makes You Comfortable

Always select a dentist you feel good working with and feel comfortable talking to about your needs and goals. Consider how you feel during the consultation. Is the dentist friendly, polite, positive, and likable? Are they knowledgeable? Pick the best provider for you based on whether you trust this person to help you.


A Clean, Welcoming Practice in a Suitable Area

Seek out a dentist in a modern, upscale area if possible. In these areas, there are more people likely to have obtained cosmetic dentistry. As a result, the dentist in these areas has more experience. You also want to be sure the practice is clean and welcoming to you. While you may feel choosing the nearest dentist is enough, this may not be all to think about.