What percentage of general dentists have had the training to perform cosmetic dentistry? 10? 15? 25? It’s hard to say. What is not hard to say is that not all dentists have had extensive cosmetic training to give patients the attractive, durable, and comfortable cosmetic results that really count as cosmetic dentistry. Yet a recent survey of nearly 2400 general dentists revealed that nearly all dentists offer cosmetic dentistry services, which means there are many dentists out there offering cosmetic dentistry procedures who may not have the experience or training to do it well.
Cosmetic Dentistry Is among the Most Common Services
The survey results were published in BioMed Central’s Oral Health imprint, showing what types of procedures were popular among general dentists and which ones were avoided. Not surprisingly, the survey showed that almost all (96%) general dentists performed non-implant restoration dentistry on a regular basis. This is expected. Restorative dentistry procedures like dental crowns and fillings are almost as important as routine checkups to the practice of general dentistry.
Surprisingly, the next most common procedure performed was extractions, which were performed routinely by 64% of dentists.
But cosmetic dentistry is a close third, with 59% of dentists routinely performing them. In addition, there are 36% of dentists that say they “occasionally” perform cosmetic dentistry. That’s 95% of dentists offering cosmetic dentistry procedures. That is to say that essentially all general dentists offer cosmetic dentistry procedures, even though the percentage of dentists truly trained and capable of performing quality cosmetic dentistry is likely much less.
Of particular concern is the 36% of dentists who “occasionally” perform cosmetic dentistry procedures. Cosmetic dentistry is not an “occasionally” type of dentistry. It takes experience, talent, and training to be able to consistently deliver quality results to patients. Dentists who occasionally perform cosmetic dentistry likely lack one, two, or all three of those qualifications.
The problem is even worse when we look at dental implants. According to the survey, 39% of general dentists occasionally perform implant procedures. Dental implant success depends heavily on the experience of the dentist. A dentist who only occasionally performs dental implant procedures may not have the experience necessary to do it right.
Make Sure Your Dentist has Cosmetic Training
This survey stands as a good reminder that, just because your dentist offers a service doesn’t mean he’s had extensive training to do it well. If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, or other complex procedures, check your dentist’s educational background. Ask to see before and after images and to talk to previous patients.
A dentist who can’t provide examples of previous work and references you can talk to may not be the right choice for you.
If you are looking for a San Diego dental practice that includes a skilled cosmetic dentist and a specialist to ensure dental implants are performed right, please call (619) 299-5925 to schedule an appointment at Strober Dental today.