Choosing the Right Cosmetic Dentist – Tips from Dr. Ken Cirka

Today more than ever, the choice of a cosmetic dentist is a decision that should be made carefully. So how do you choose a cosmetic dentist? Wherever you look today, everyone calls himself a cosmetic dentist, but what does that really mean?

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist for you- one with substantial experience in complex cases, extensive hands-on training, and a gentle approach that compliments your needs and wants, is critical to achieving the most successful outcome- your gorgeous new smile. Selecting a cosmetic dentist can be a difficult and confusing process. We can help. Here is some advice which our clients have found helpful during the selection process. From discussions with our clients, we believe the most important of these tips include the following:

1. Ask Questions
Time spent learning about the dental procedures, different techniques and materials, and cosmetic dentists you are considering will pay great dividends in terms of your understanding and emotional comfort later. This will clarify, in your own mind, those personal characteristics that you would like your cosmetic dentist to have. Our office is happy to provide second opinions.

2. Post Graduate Cosmetic Dental Training
To perform cosmetic dental procedures at the highest level, technical skill, an artistic eye and experience in cosmetic dentistry is needed. It may surprise you to learn that the majority of dental schools don’t teach any courses in cosmetic dentistry! Therefore, it is crucial that the cosmetic dentist that you select continually completes a series of hands-on courses in cosmetic dentistry. The field changes rapidly and what was state-of-the-art five or ten years ago, is not anymore. In depth training is essential to learn the latest techniques and materials to get optimal results. The significance lies, not only in developing the dentist’s clinical judgment and technical skill, but also in demonstrating his/her commitment to practicing cosmetic dentistry at the highest level of excellence. Here at Dr. Cirka’s office, the entire staff is constantly trained in Philadelphia and often travel to Florida or Virginia for advanced courses. Dr. Cirka has been trained in Philadelphia, Boston, Florida, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Utah, Washington DC, Germany and West Africa.

3. Integrity
Find a cosmetic dentist who has a good reputation and can meet your expectations. You want to have your treatment completed by a skilled practitioner, but also someone who is personable. Dr. Cirka has been known to do “house calls” to answer questions or send e-mail before/after photos to patients. Dr. Cirka does treatment that is ethically sound for his patients. His reputation is built on this.

4. A Caring Approach & Great Communication
Find a doctor with a good chair side manner who conveys to you that he or she cares about you as a person as well as a client. Find someone with whom you can talk easily. It is just as important that he or she understands what you desire, and that you understand what they are describing. To accomplish these goals, the first thing that a cosmetic dentist should do is listen and make sure he or she understands all your concerns, needs and desires as they relate to your dental health and the look of your smile. Only then should they spend time diagnosing and consulting on the recommended treatment plan, which should be individualized for each client.

5. A Sense of Perfectionism
Find a dentist whose plan is in alignment with your requests and tells you what to expect. Find one who makes a definitive plan with set fees. That way you are not given a treatment plan that constantly changes and you are stuck with a bill that is higher than the original proposal. Although, perfection is in the eye of the beholder, this doctor will do whatever it takes without cutting corners, not only to satisfy you, but also to meet his or her own personal standards of excellence.

6.An Artistic Eye
When Dr. Cirka completes a makeover, he takes everything into consideration- his client’s skin color, height (this affects the angle which people view you), length of teeth, eye color and shape, symmetry, and other facial features. Excellent cosmetic dentistry demands a highly sophisticated artistic sense. Make sure that your dentist is evaluating your face and symmetry, not just your teeth! Ever wonder why we take so many photos of you for the veneers? That is why!

7. Extensive Smile Design Experience
Before you randomly select a dentist out of the phone book or the internet, or even rely on a long-time family dentist to give you the smile design of your dreams, think again. Great cosmetic dentistry is an art. The fact is, many dentists are generalists who simply have not performed cosmetic smile designs very many times, or with a regularity that leads to mastery of this art. So, if you are considering veneers, for example, you should ask exactly how many veneers the dentist has placed. Dr. Cirka has placed not just a few like many dentists, but rather, place hundreds of veneers a year. Placing this number of veneers allows Dr. Cirka to see a wide variety of smiles, and bring this experience and expertise to enhance your case.

8. Make Sure You Review Before and After Photos of Work Performed by the Cosmetic Dentist
You’ll want to look at before and after photos of cosmetic dentistry that has actually been performed by the dentist that you are considering. Beware that there are commercially available photos and albums that show the possibilities for cosmetic dentistry. But you want to confirm that you are seeing actual work of the dentist you are considering and make sure that the before photos you look at are cases similar to yours. Also, ask if the photos are “untouched” as many dentists digitally alter photos to make the work appear better. All of the photos on our website are work performed by our doctors and all of the photos are original, untouched photos.

9. Review Testimonials
A good cosmetic dentist should have testimonials to share. At Dr. Cirka’s office, we have success stories from our patients that we love to share. We will even e-mail you success stories at your request!

10. Other Things You May Want to Consider
References from other patients, a tour of the office, and asking about technology and materials used in the practice are all things you may want to look into. At Dr. Cirka’s office we invite you to see us for a consultation. Our philosophy is that cosmetic dentistry must be performed with uncompromising attention to detail so that it is done correctly the first time. While we do accept many requests for corrective cosmetic dentistry of prior procedures, our primary focus is to ensure that our patients have healthy, precisely executed cosmetic dentistry the first time.

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