How to Compare Cosmetic Dentists
– Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is a science. But all dental problems are unique to the structure of the individual patient's mouth. And there are a myriad of different cosmetic dental procedures which are available. The success of many of these procedures depends upon the skill of the cosmetic dentist applying them. So, in a way, cosmetic dentistry isn't just a science, it's an art!

This is why you want a dentist who absolutely specializes in cosmetic dentistry. Unfortunately, not all dentists are trained in cosmetic dentistry. The American Dental Association does not yet issue special certifications or licenses indicating which dentists are cosmetic dentists and which are not. The dentist you go to for twice yearly check-ups is probably not going to be the same dentist you go to for cosmetic enhancement.

Fortunately, dentists who specialize in cosmetic dentistry are easy to find. Cosmetic dentists obtain additional training and certification from cosmetic dentistry organizations and universities. For cosmetic dentistry procedures, you want a dentist who has taken courses at, or belongs to, a cosmetic-dentistry-specific organization such as the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, PAC-Live or the America Society of Dental Aesthetics. By looking into the credentials of a specific dentist you are assured that your cosmetic dentist has training in the most up-to-date, safest cosmetic dentistry procedures available.

How do you find a cosmetic dentist? There are four initial steps that will put you on the right track:

  1. Ask your friends and family for references.
  2. Ask your dentist and/or doctor if there's anyone she recommends.
  3. Check with the aforementioned accredited cosmetic dentistry organizations:
  4. Refer to directories, commercials, web sites and other advertising.

    (This step should only be used as a very basic starting point as, obviously, the information contained within can be biased towards the person or organization being advertised.)

Once you've found a cosmetic dentist you feel will be right for you, there are several steps you can take to insure that she is a qualified professional:

  1. Check with the dental licensing board in your state. (This varies by state – an internet search regarding the medical licensing board in your state is the best place to start.)
  2. Check for any medical malpractice suits filed with the clerk of the county or circuit court in the area(s) where your cosmetic dentist has practiced. At minimum, consider three medical malpractice judgments against a doctor within five years to be a warning sign.
  3. Verify credentials and training. Typically, you want a dentist who is exclusively a cosmetic dentist, or at least one who devotes the majority of their practice to cosmetic dentistry. Ask your dentist questions about how long they've been practicing cosmetic dentistry, what organizations they belong to, what specific cosmetic dentistry training they have (not just dental training), and ask to see some before and after photos of previous patients.
  4. Ask the dentist how many times she has performed the specific procedure(s) you want done, and what the rates of complication are.
  5. Ask the dentist for references.

If any of these steps result in what you feel is an unsatisfactory answer, it's probably safer to continue your search elsewhere.

"Dr. Naini and her staff are amazing.

They make you feel so comfy and relaxed, I forget I'm at the dentists!"


–Reza Nikakhtar,
Owner, Moby Dick restaurant

If you live in the Vienna area, contact Dr. Alex Naini today. She is a graduate of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, and, as such, is specially trained in a full range of cosmetic dentistry services. She has specialized training in cosmetic dentistry techniques and can help you achieve your ideal smile.

Cosmetic dentistry –
it truly is something worth smiling about!

Alex M. Naini, DDS
Aesthetic Dental Spa
703.827.8270
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