There is no "one size fits all" approach to cosmetic dental procedures. Your dentist will consider several contributing factors, such as your current oral health, before deciding on the best approach. If you show signs of tooth decay or gum disease, have them treated before getting any cosmetic dental work.
Although you may have a particular treatment in mind, you can better determine what will work best for you after a thorough examination by your dentist or orthodontist, who will recommend the most appropriate treatment. New treatments are being developed constantly, allowing patients more choice.
Write down a list of questions or reservations before booking a consultation with a cosmetic dentist. Be open and honest about what you hope to achieve so that your chosen dentist understands your goals.
Don't be afraid to ask a dentist about his or her previous work or experience. Your dentist may also be able to show you the proposed changes that can be made to your teeth via computer imaging. Look at photos of their completed work and request referrals so you can talk with patients who have had similar procedures done by the dentist.
Your dentist should explain the risks associated with any chosen procedure. For example, teeth whitening can lead to heightened sensitivity. Ask what alternatives are available for each recommended treatment. If you already have sensitive teeth, for instance, your dentist may recommend a gentler whitening treatment.