SELECTING A “COSMETIC DENTIST”

SELECTING A “COSMETIC DENTIST”

At the very least one should choose someone who has expanded their dental education and completed cosmetic dental courses along with some method of formal testing of those skills. Sadly, this is not always the case when selecting a cosmetic dentist.

Do you know what is required to be a “cosmetic dentist”? Answer: All you have to do is say you are one! No courses to take, no experience needed and no testing necessary. As a consequence there is no consistency in competence when selecting a cosmetic dentist. Surprised? Actually, the American Dental Association does not have a Cosmetic Dentistry specialty degree. Dentists who want to become a recognized “cosmetic dentist” should have some type of unbiased testing to weigh their knowledge and proficiency in cosmetic dental procedures to actually hold a degree and better serve the public.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) was established in 1984 for the purpose of earning a degree in that specialty. Accredited members and. Accredited members and Fellows of the AACD must have successfully taken board exams which mimic all other recognized specialties. There is a written examination, 5 specific cosmetic cases which must be fully documented and successfully passed. These cases are graded double-blind by calibrated examiners and there is an oral examination which follows. Fellowship status is more challenging as one must successfully pass 50 cases. There are less than 500 Accredited AACD members and less than 100 Fellows internationally since the inception of the AACD in 1984. Those degrees are well earned and genuinely represent the essence of a “cosmetic dentist”. Dr. Davis was the 64th dentist to achieve this prestigious board recognition.

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