Restorative and cosmetic dentistry can be a life-changing procedure for many. However, there are plenty of considerations and questions that go along with choosing to move forward with any dental procedure. To learn more about how to get started with pursuing a cosmetic procedure or dentist, we sat down with Dr. Betsy Bakeman, cosmetic dentist and accredited fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Dr. Bakeman is included in an elite group of less than 300 dentists worldwide who are accredited by the AACD, and is one of 50 dentists worldwide and the first dentist in Michigan to have achieved the distinction of being an accredited fellow in the AACD.
What should people consider when choosing a cosmetic dentist?
It's important to seek a dentist that approaches cosmetic dentistry as a specialty. The more extensive the need, the greater level of skill is required to ensure long-term success. Tips for finding someone who can meet your individual expectations:
- Search the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (aacd.com) website for a credentialed cosmetic dentist.
- Consult with dental professionals you trust. Dental and medical specialists (oral surgeons, orthodontists and plastic surgeons) see plenty of dentistry from many different offices.
- Browse the websites of dentists recommended to you. Make certain you like what you see, and the images are not stock photographs but actual before and after images of patients treated in the practice.
- It's vital to feel comfortable with the knowledge, experience and artistic sense of the provider. The dentist should be skilled in a broad range of solutions and be able to individually customize treatment plans to responsibly serve each patient.
What aesthetic options are there for enhancing a smile?
Patients may have worn, uneven or discolored teeth, gummy smiles, crowding or spaces. Solutions include whitening, orthodontics with clear aligners, veneers, bonding, porcelain crowns and implant-supported restorations such as crowns, bridges and dentures. Aesthetic gum lifts can be accomplished to correct gum height asymmetries or lengthen short teeth. Even new dentures can provide a natural and stunning smile enhancement.
How does one get started?
A consultation to discuss concerns and available options is a good first step. Often, a "trial smile" can provide a preview of the possibilities. It's important to review before and after images of patients that had similar challenges and solutions. The great thing is with current materials and techniques, a beautiful, confident smile is available to everyone.
What would people be surprised to learn about you or your practice?
Patients travel from all over the state and beyond to seek cosmetic dentistry in our practice. Whether from near or far, my staff and I are honored by the trust each patient places in us. We strive to do our absolute best for each and every patient.
Learn more at micosmeticdentist.com.
Courtesy of Betsy Bakeman, DDS.
Photo Courtesy of Betsy Bakerman, DDS.