Even perfectly aligned teeth don’t guarantee a smile that dazzles. Straight teeth can have chips and stains, be worn down from years of use or appear yellow. Broken or missing teeth, too, can affect your health as well as mar your appearance.
You don’t have to live with blemished teeth. All these flaws can be corrected with cosmetic dentistry.
Many people think of cosmetic dentistry as primarily teeth whitening. But cosmetic dentists perform a range of procedures that take your smile to perfection, including bonding, veneers, implants, tooth repair, tooth and gum contouring, porcelain bridges and crowns.
It isn’t all about beauty, though improved appearance and the self-esteem boost that usually goes along with it are important. But cosmetic treatments can be critical to improve the health of your teeth, strengthen and protect them and help them function better and last longer.
If you think you would benefit from cosmetic dentistry, how do you find a qualified practitioner?
To find a practitioner you know you can trust, you follow many of the steps you would take to choose any dentist: Listen to recommendations, evaluate the dentist’s skills and experience, and review photographs of patient results. But for cosmetic dentists, you have one even more reliable criterion: accreditation.
Though most general dental schools teach very little cosmetic work, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry offers a rigorous accreditation program to specifically train in the skill – and art – of this type of dentistry. The course includes workshops, exams and hands-on clinical lab experience as well as continuing education requirements. You can be certain when you choose an accredited cosmetic dentist that you’ll receive the highest standard of care based on the most current practices.
AACD was founded in 1984 specifically to support dentists and dental professionals dedicated to cosmetic dental work. With 6,000 members, it is now the largest and most trusted organization for cosmetic dentistry in the world. Accreditation is not required for membership but it is an important component of the organization’s mission. While many dentists who do cosmetic work are AACD members, only a small percentage have completed the rigorous requirements for accreditation.
Dr. Lamberton received his accreditation in 1992 – the first AACD member to be accredited in the Napa-Solano area and one of fewer than 400 accredited cosmetic dentists nationwide, according to the organization’s website. Dr. Lamberton now lectures in and teaches cosmetic dentistry.
In addition to technical training, AACD also advocates strongly for responsible esthetics. According to its website, the organization encourages its members to combine evidence-based treatment with sound clinical judgment, provide minimally invasive procedures consistent with the long-term health and needs of the patient and, critically, do no harm. AACD also encourages the use of innovative technology for the most up-to-date treatment.
Even a generation or two ago, perfect teeth weren’t always possible. But with today’s new procedures and materials, cosmetic dentistry can create a beautiful smile and healthier teeth for everyone. And you can be confident you’re getting the best possible care if the dentist you choose is an AACD accredited one.