Everyone knows that a smile can reveal a lot about a person. A beautiful smile can indicate health and happiness. Unfortunately, the majority of adults will experience some form of tooth decay, damage, staining and discoloration as a result of aging, lifestyle, genetics and poor oral hygiene. Tooth or gum problems can quickly lead people to be self-conscious and hide their toothy grins. Luckily, the field of cosmetic dentistry has made unparalleled advances, and almost any type of tooth dysfunction, decay or damage can now be corrected. Many people choose cosmetic dentistry to not only look better, but to ultimately have healthier teeth and gums and prevent further tooth damage and decay. Cosmetic dentistry can be a quick and easy alternative to living with cracked, discolored or unhealthy teeth and gums. Below we’ve listed some popular treatments that Dr. Rimes can provide.
- Tooth Whitening, Porcelain Veneers
- White Fillings
- Dental Implants
- Bridges & Crowns
- Sleep Dentistry
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder treatment (TMJ)
So how do you choose a dentist?
Today more than ever, the choice of a dentist is a critical decision that should be made with the utmost care. Selecting a dentist can be a difficult and confusing process. In the end, it is a personal decision that each person must make for themselves. We can, however, offer some advice, which our clients have found helpful during the selection process. We believe the most important of these tips include the following:
1. Post Graduate Dental Training
To perform cosmetic dentistry at a high level, technical skill, an artistic eye, and a rigorous program of post-graduate training in cosmetic dentistry is needed. It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of dental schools do not teach any courses in cosmetic dentistry. For the few that do, they are usually limited to only a few introductory courses. Your mouth is not the place for on-the-job training. Therefore, it is crucial that the dentist that you select has completed an American Dental Association accredited specialty program and continually attends continuing education courses in cosmetic dentistry.
Presently, there is not an ADA recognized specialty in cosmetic dentistry. Why then do we have so many dentists who constantly advertise themselves as “cosmetic Dentists” or specialists in “Cosmetic Dentistry”? The answer is that this is a pretty successful marketing ploy used to convince the unwary that one dentist’s dental restorations will make them look better than another’s. Prosthodontists are actually the only dentists who have gone through advanced training in designing and developing the most artful aspects of a person’s smile. Much of the three year Post Graduate training program that a Prosthodontist undertakes has to do with properly evaluating a patient’s appearance and planning and executing ways to improve that appearance in such a way that the patient will have a dental condition which will be consistent with what we all feel “looks good” for that patient. This involves more than slapping on some ceramics or plastic to change the shape and color of teeth. It requires definitive applications of principles that are difficult to learn and even harder to master.
The field of esthetic dentistry 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.
2. Professional Credentials
In dentistry as in medicine, specialties exist that indicate a higher level of education, knowledge, and expertise in particular areas of focus. Prosthodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the ADA. Dr. Rimes not only completed his three years of additional training in prosthodontics, he is a nationally board certified prosthodontist, a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontists, and a fellow of the American College of Prosthodontics.
3. Extensive Smile Design Experience
Before you randomly select a dentist out of the phone book or rely on your 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 a “smile makeover”, for example, you should ask exactly how many smile rehabilitations the dentist has completed. Dr. Rimes has not only restored many patients smiles, but he has lectured to dentists all over the country on the basic and complex skills necessary to design the perfect smile. You will not find a better practitioner of cosmetic dentistry in Sugar Land.
4. Make Sure You Review Before and After Photos of Work Performed by the 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 also cases similar to yours.
5. Other Things You May Want to Consider
References from other clients, a tour of the office including sterilization areas, and asking about technology and materials used in the practice are all things you may want to look into. You may also want to check with the state to verify that the dentist does not have a history of complaints or adverse State Dental Board action. In Texas, you can do this by logging onto the Texas State board of Examiners website at http://www.tsbde.state.tx.us/ .
Dr. Rimes invites you to come in for your smile 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 Dr. Rimes does accept many clients for corrective cosmetic dentistry of prior procedures, his primary focus is to ensure that his clients have safe, precisely executed cosmetic dentistry consistent with the highest standards of artistic and technical excellence.
If you think your smile has room for improvement, see what Dr. Rimes can do for you!