It seems like there are some cosmetic dentists who are accredited and some who aren’t. Why is that and what is the difference?
Burke I.- Detroit, MI
You have asked one of the most important questions there is regarding cosmetic dentistry. Most people don’t know that cosmetic dentistry is a completely unregulated field. That means any general dentist can learn a few cosmetic procedures and call themselves a cosmetic dentist. Even the standard for acceptable care in cosmetic dentistry is really low. For instance, as long as your cosmetic work is functional, it is considered acceptable, regardless of how unattractive you may feel it to be.
This lack of regulation is a problem. Very few “cosmetic” dentists are skilled enough to create a truly beautiful smile. It takes a significant amount of post-graduate training to be able to adequately do cosmetic procedures. So, knowing this, how can you know if a cosmetic dentist is really qualified? That is where accreditation comes in.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) has an accreditation program. Dentists are not required to participate in the program. Those that do have to pass a stringent written exam, as well as a clinical exam where they have to give five case samples of their work. Only about 1-2% of dentists in the world acheive this level of qualification. You can be certain that if a dentist is AACD accredited, you are in fantastic hands.
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This blog is brought to you by Boston Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.