Raleigh Cosmetic Dentistry – What Mix Should You Look For?

If you’re looking for Cosmetic Dentistry service providers, you may not know which provider is best for you. The American Dental Association (ADA) does not recognize “cosmetic dentistry” as a specialized field of practice for dentists. And like most other state regulatory boards, the NC Dental Board doesn’t have special regulations in place to govern those who provide cosmetic dentistry services.

You should, however, realize that education for obtaining a doctorate of dental surgery (DDS) does include training on the discipline and technologies associated with providing cosmetic dentistry services. In providing that training, dental schools aren’t necessarily advocating for the provision of cosmetic dentistry – many techniques used in cosmetic dentistry are also crucial to restoring dental health and function. The educational programs also take into account a shift that has occurred over the last few decades towards providing services to those who seek smile enhancement, in addition to those who seek assistance for functional or very noticeable concerns with appearance.

The following points can help you come to a better understanding of which provider to select for your Cosmetic Dentistry needs.

The Technology and Services

Without going into too much detail or subcategories, most cosmetic dentistry treatment plans will involve the use of one or more of the following services:

  • Veneers and cosmetic bonding
  • Tooth whitening treatments
  • Orthodontics (e.g., braces and aligners)
  • Bridges and crowns
  • Composite/tooth-colored fillings
  • Dental implants

As with nearly any professional service, the quality of the service you receive can be affected by the equipment and processes being used; newer technology often (but not always) lends a superior outcome because it often promotes better precision and results.

The Aesthetics or Art

In some ways, you also want to choose your cosmetic dentist because he is an artist of sorts – assessing what your teeth and mouth look like today, and having a vision for what they could look like. The artistry is essential (and may not be completely teachable) from the standpoint that everyone has a different starting point. Much like a home interior designer, you must begin with the basic structure and develop a vision that is based on that. Skilled dentists, just like skilled designers, know how to work within a budget to maximize results. And they realize that personal preferences must be factored into the “design” – in this case, the cosmetic dentistry treatment plan. The aesthetics of the dentist’s office space might provide a hint at the dentist’s artistic ability. (On the other hand, a good interior designer can work wonders on that, too.)

As with other aesthetic endeavors, function should never be sacrificed for form in cosmetic dentistry. Great care must be taken to create and/or maintain a good bite for your comfort as well as making chewing easy. More factors than you might imagine must be considered for you to have a good result. Your teeth cannot be viewed as a set of isolated entities to be repaired. Other facets – such as a positive or negative impact on lip closure – must also be evaluated. What works for one patient may not be a good solution for another patient.


Because there are no special certifications for cosmetic dentistry you should consider your dentist’s experience if you’re interested in Raleigh cosmetic dentistry. You may not know how to compare dental schools, but you can inquire about additional experience your dentist may have.

Beyond investigating how long the dentist has been providing cosmetic dentistry services, look for additional experience gained in clinical environments such as large hospitals. That type of environment can transform traditional dental school training into valued experience because knowledge is “put to the test” for some of the most difficult cosmetic restorations. This is particularly true for experience in hospitals that have departments that specialize in orthodontics and craniofacial restoration. Not only is the volume of patients high, but more challenging cases often appear here. Dentist who gain experience in these settings are receiving hands-on training by leading experts in restorative cosmetic approaches. Cases handled in these settings make many elective cosmetic dentistry procedures seem simple by comparison.

Budget and Insurance

Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about what cosmetic dentistry procedures are or are not covered by your specific insurance plan when you are being evaluated for cosmetic dental treatment. Many procedures performed today are elective, and insurance may not apply. A highly experienced cosmetic dentist can understand your goals and devise the best treatment plan possible within your budget – a plan that will also preserve your oral health. Some dentists provide payment plans that let you have the smile you want but pay for it over time.

Other Considerations

If you or a family member may require extensive cosmetic dentistry procedures, or simply have a busy schedule, you may want to also look for certified providers of sedation dentistry. With sedation dentistry, it is often possible to combine what might normally require two or three appointments into a single appointment. Ask about whether your dentist is certified by the NC Dental Board to provide sedation, and whether the needed procedures might lend themselves to being combined without compromising your health or the quality of your results.