Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

Dr Dotsch With PatientShoreline, Edmonds, and Seattle, WA

Whether you’re a teenager or raising one, it’s your smile that projects who you are to the world. But what makes a beautiful smile? The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) set out to answer this and other questions in a recent poll on the importance of a smile.

Here’s what they found:

  • Virtually all Americans (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) believe an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success.
  • The qualities most often noticed in a person’s smile are straightness of teeth, whiteness and color of teeth, cleanliness of teeth, the sincerity of the smile, and missing teeth.

With recent innovations in cosmetic dentistry, a beautiful smile is more achievable than ever before. Plus, with today’s advanced technology, many procedures can be completed in as few as two visits with your dentist.

Here are just a few common dental concerns, and what can be done about them:

Yellow, discolored, or stained teeth

Dentist-supervised whitening processes range from in-office procedures requiring as little as one hour, to take home solutions that whiten teeth while you sleep. In-office treatments offer the quickest results, while the take-home processes generally offer longer lasting results with less tooth sensitivity. Both methods are safer and more effective than over-the-counter products.

Crooked teeth

If you are living with crooked teeth because you don’t want the burden of metal braces, Invisalign® may be the solution. Invisalign straightens teeth with a series of clear, custom-fitted aligners, changed approximately every two weeks until you have a more beautiful smile. Unlike traditional braces, these clear aligners can be removed so you can eat the foods you love and brush your teeth normally.

Misshapen, stained teeth, or unattractive gaps

A combination of art and science, veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made laminates that are affixed directly to the teeth. They are a great option for closing gaps or disguising discolored teeth that did not respond well to whitening procedures. In one of our most dramatic makeovers, we used veneers to help a patient who had been missing a front tooth since he was eight years old. In only two visits, we constructed the missing tooth and created two matching teeth. Quite a transformation!

Unsightly metal fillings and crowns

A dramatic improvement over traditional metal mercury fillings, composite resin, or tooth-colored, dental fillings require less removal of healthy tooth structure and can restore the strength of a decayed tooth almost to the level of an unfilled tooth. Likewise, the most beautiful crown for a tooth is, without question, an all-porcelain or all-ceramic crown. Only with pure porcelain or pure ceramic can you mimic the translucency of natural teeth. Today’s leading cosmetic dentists have received extensive training in color manipulation and sophisticated bonding techniques.

Missing teeth. If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be aware how difficult it can be to chew, speak and even smile. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants, a stronger and more attractive option to dentures. With a dental implant, an anchor is placed and a life-like ceramic restoration is built around it and matched to the original tooth color.

If you identify with any of these dental concerns, it may be time to find a qualified cosmetic dentist in your area.

Here are a few criteria to look for when making this important selection:

  • AACD Membership. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the largest international dental organization dedicated specifically to the art and science of cosmetic dentistry.
  • Continuing education. Be certain that your dentist has taken continuing education courses to keep him or her up-to-date with the latest techniques in clinical cosmetic dentistry.
  • References and Testimonials – Get a sense from other patients as to what type of quality care the dentist provides.
  • Before and After Photos – Examine the dentist’s treatment results on other patients to make sure his or her work fits your dental needs.

With today’s advances in cosmetic dentistry, you could have the smile you’ve always dreamed of sooner than you think. There’s truly no reason to hide your smile any longer.

Dr. John Hoag and Dr. Michelle Dotsch attended dental school at the University of Washington where they each received their Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1994. They are members of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Washington State Dental Association, the Seattle-King County Dental Society, various professional study clubs and the Academy of General Dentistry. Both Dr. Dotsch and Dr. Hoag regularly attend continuing dental education lectures and hands-on courses to update and expand their knowledge and have accumulated over 1000 hours of continuing education in esthetic and restorative dentistry.

Hoag & Dotsch provide full-service cosmetic and restorative dental care in a relaxing, state-of-the-art dental facility. The practice is located at 17900 Linden Ave. North, Shoreline, WA 98133. The practice is currently accepting new patients. New patients may book their appointment by calling (206) 542-4344. The practice is open Monday – Thursday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.