Is a cosmetic dentist really an artist if they use a lab?
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I am looking to have some dental bonding work done and it needs to be done really well, since it is on one of my front teeth. As I understand it, many cosmetic dentists will send their porcelain veneers and crowns off to the lab to be manufactured. Although, many do the bonding in-house. Does this mean they are less of an artist? How do I find the best cosmetic dentist for bonding?
-Jeff in Georgia
That is a great question. Almost all excellent cosmetic dentists will do their own dental bonding. There is always an exception, where a cosmetic dentist isn’t skilled in doing direct bonding, but it’s probably safe to say that nearly ninety percent of excellent cosmetic dentists will do it themselves.
You bring up an interesting point about utilizing an outside laboratory or ceramist. Well, it is common practice, even among expert cosmetic dentists, to use an outside laboratory. But a highly skilled cosmetic dentist will be very picky and choose their laboratory carefully.
You may find some peace of mind in the fact that in order to do excellent lab work, it requires excellent specifications and a highly detailed prescription from the cosmetic dentist. The beauty comes from the dentist, first and foremost. The dentist plans the case, prepares the tooth, and creates the impression in-house, among other things. The dentist than writes detailed instructions, including the shading and texture information, the exact translucency, and many other meticulous details. Then, he or she submits them to the laboratory. The cosmetic dentist always has the final say and will approve the final product as to whether it meet their expectations prior to moving forward with the final placement. So even if you end up with the best ceramist around, and the dentist doesn’t have the eye for aesthetics, the case will not succeed. The skill and aesthetic eye of the dentist is critical.
You need to choose the best cosmetic dentist you can find to do your dental bonding. Check credentials, ask to see examples of similar cases to yours, and have several consultations to find the best cosmetic dentist that is focused on making your smile just perfect.
Thank you for your question.
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