I think I would like to get some cosmetic dentistry work done. I really have been unhappy with my smile for years. I have met with a couple dentists and each has different recommendations to get the results I’m after. The first dentist recommended Invisalign and teeth whitening. The other dentist couldn’t stop raving about porcelain veneers. I noticed that one is a D.M.D. and the other is a D.D.S. Does it matter their designation if I’m pursuing cosmetic dentistry? I’d like to choose the best treatment option, by the best dentist if I can figure out which one is better and why.
-Susan in Georgia
You are doing the right thing by seeking out multiple treatment options. Far too many patients take the first recommendation and trust that they will deliver. Cosmetic dentistry is different. It is like an art and requires extensive training beyond dental school, in order to deliver beautiful results. So, it may be worth your while to seek out their credentials and see if they have additional training and where it lies.
As far as their recommendations go, it’s difficult to say which one is the best cosmetic dentist without having seen your case in person. It is possible that both of these approaches may work. Another thing you can do is to ask about their portfolio of work, so you can see their work firsthand. If you go the porcelain veneers route, you definitely want to make sure that the dentist has a background in cosmetic dentistry and a proven track record. You are looking for an artistic eye with a focus on aesthetics versus a mentality of fixing things. Not just any dentist can create beautiful porcelain veneers.
In regard to your inquiry about D.D.S versus D.M.D. – this is not going to be the deciding factor. There is no difference. D.D.S stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery and D.M.D stands for Doctor of Medical Dentistry. Both of these designations indicate that the dentist received instruction from an accredited dental school and that each underwent at least three years of undergraduate training, in addition to four additional years in dental school. Each one of these degrees carries equal value to state licensing boards and they can each provide similar dentistry services. So, looking at their degree alone will not give you any indication as to which is more gifted at cosmetic dentistry.
Hopefully, this information is helpful as you continue to research the right dentist for your needs.
This blog is brought to you by Vero Beach dentist Dr. Rick Root.