Many dentists call themselves cosmetic dentists miss-representing themselves as being more qualified than they actually are. In reality a cosmetic dentist is a general dentist. To be fair to these dentists, some of them are very experienced in many difficult procedures but that is not the rule. None of these dentists went through a thorough specialty training at an accredited dental school. They might have taken some classes at random academies and institutes but nothing to the level of a 2 to 3 years specialty training. Cosmetic dentistry is not an ADA recognized specialty.
Which specialty covers cosmetic dentistry ?
Prosthodontics is the only ADA accredited specialty that deal with the restoration of smile and function of the mouth. It is a 3 year residency program. Residents learn how to restore full mouth rehabilitations, veneers, implants and other complex cases. They learn the properties of the materials they use and their limits. Prosthodontists are the most qualified to advise you about your treatment plan options.
My cosmetic dentist wants to change all my silver fillings ? Do I have too ?
It has been proven with research articles that the amount of mercury released by a silver filling are minimal. Removing the filling will actually release a larger amount of mercury compared to just leaving it alone. Silver fillings tends to stain your teeth which makes it very difficult to differentiate between the stain and decay. Also silver fillings blur the x-rays making it difficult to find decay around it. The rule I follow is that if the filling is cracked crazed, missing a piece I would replace it. If it looks fine I will leave it alone unless it is an esthetic concern for the patient.