Five Important Questions To Ask A Cosmetic Dentist

This year, my staff and I have been doing a lot of “extreme remakeovers” . What I mean is that we have had to redo many smile designs because of improper care or that the dentist didn’t meet the patient’s expectations. All of these patients-and their loved ones–are very upset that there is no governing body to protect consumers from these tragedies that are costly in time, emotions,finances, and worst of all, tooth structure. Unfortunately, there are political forces beyond our control and self prevention is needed.

As a resuIt I am a firm believer in educating our patients and the public on the importance of “doing your homework” before making a big decision like getting a new smile or rebuilding your mouth with implants, etc. Here are some great questions to ask when your are making your decision:

  • What training and credentials do you have in performing these procedures?
  • Can I see photos and testimonials of some of your most recent cases?
  • Which lab will you use or my case and what type of training and materials do they have and use?
  • What can you do to help me preview my results before and during my treatment?
  • What can you do to help my treatment be conservative and last a long time?

This is a good start. I invite you to share your questions or experiences with me.

If my staff or I can be of assistance, call or email us.

Keep smling right,


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Posted in: Dentistry


  1. It is heart breaking to see people suffering from the poor dentistry that they have received before coming to Dr. Flax.Most people have spent a lot of money and time only to be extremely disappointed by the results. I’m glad we can help them, but is very frustrating to them that they didn’t know to “do their homework” before having their dentistry done by unqualified dentists. In this day and age it is extemely important to know the right questions to ask!

    Comment by Edi Sprouse on February 15, 2010 at 6:02 am

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more.
    That is why we have spent so much time loading up the website with helpful information. Furthermore, as incoming AACD President, one of my goals is to help the consumer even more. Our new position as the preferred cosmetic dental educator in Dear Doctor magazine will be a nice step in the right direction. It’s never enough and always open to suggestions.

    Comment by Dr.Flax on February 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm

  3. As a dental assistant, as well as a past recipient of “esthetic” dentistry, I can truly relate to the frustration and down right embarrassment caused by not doing your homework first or not being more involved in the process. I am so grateful that this time I am more educated and have complete confidence that the result will be what I’m looking for. I think another helpful tip for people might be to not only request photos and testimonials but take it one step further and see if it would be possible to actually speak with another patient that has gone through the same procedure. This is one of the many great things that Flax Dental can provide.

    Comment by Tracey Crider on February 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

  4. Before I decided to become a dental assistant I would have never thought to ask a dentist these questions. When you see a dentist advertising a beautiful smile on a billboard , you tend to think “I want that smile”. Automatically you assume it’s one of their patients. For some reason., people never ask to see pictures of existing patient photo’s or testimonials.

    It is very heart breaking when patients come into our office after just having their smile done and the porcelain is chipping or the veneers/crowns is falling out. They are experiencing jaw pain that they weren’t feeling before…I can go on. This article is just a start of how to educate yourself like shopping for a car. When you are at the dentist and they ask “Do you have any questions?”, sometimes we have a “brain freeze” and forget to ask certain questions until you get in the car/home. Dr. Flax suggests to all “New Patients” that they start a “JOURNAL”, write it down and bring to your next appt to make sure all of your questions are answered.

    Comment by Annette Johnson on February 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm

  5. @Annette Johnson
    Great suggestion Annette
    There is alot of details that patients experience during their care. Anything that takes the mystery out of dental care will always help in the long run. We are happy to help.

    Comment by Dr.Flax on March 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

  6. Good post. Always do your part when undergoing treatments. Its never wrong to ask questions. I do what I can to answer patients questions as long as its related to the problem at hand.

    Comment by Gilbert Emergency Dentist on May 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

  7. @Gilbert Emergency Dentist
    Absolutely agree with you
    Honesty and respect lead to open collaboration.
    It’s a shame that is not more pervasive.

    Look forward to hearing from you again


    Comment by Dr.Flax on May 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

  8. Very excellent as always . thanks

    Comment by Homer on June 7, 2010 at 12:30 am

  9. I believe I had heavy metal toxicity from dental amalgams so I had all my silver fillings replaced by white fillings and I do feel better. I had it all done in one visit. It was a lot of work but I just want them out.

    Comment by jack on June 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm

  10. Hi,

    I need some advice or a second opinion. How much does genes/hereditary play into dental hygiene? Or what other factors other than poor brushing/teeth care could play into decay?

    My oldest child went to the dentist yesterday and had 4 cavities, has to get 1 tooth extracted and have a spacer put in. Mind you, this is after over the course of 2 ½ – 3 years she has already had I believe like 8 other cavities. We brush her teeth twice a day, floss, use topical fluoride rinse, and she has a fluoride supplement since we have well water. I am just sitting here scratching my head. Her dentist says it could be residual decay (she drank a lot of juice before her first dental visit at 3 ½ years of age). But we cut that out immediately. She drinks no pop, limited candy—only milk and water to drink. I just feel terrible.

    My second child, on the other hand, has been to the dentist twice (no ex-rays yet because he didn’t cooperate) but he has only had 1 cavity.

    I am worried that she is going to grow up with rotten teeth.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank You.

    Comment by Marlene on July 10, 2010 at 5:54 am

  11. @Marlene
    Great question Marlene! Variability in genes and their expression are critical in teeth-and many other body functions.

    Genetics can definitely affect the mineralization and formation of teeth.Nevertheless, creating an environment of plaque free teeth AND higher pH ( less acidic) saliva can minimize the effects of heredity. Using products like MI Paste, Recaldent, Cari-Free, Cavity varnish, Fluoride sealants are very helpful in making sure the enamel becomes more mature and decay resistant. Furthermore, microscopic examination and utilizing a Diagnodent by a dentist can catch cavities while they are smaller and more easily managed.

    Hope this helps. Please give us a call at 404-255-9080 if you have further questions.

    Best regards

    Hugh Flax

    Comment by Dr.Flax on August 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

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