Career Compass

So you want to be a cosmetic dentist?

A smile is the gesture we use to express happiness, and it assists us in being confident both personally and professionally. Cosmetic dentistry is the area of our profession primarily driven by smile enhancement and, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), is “aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and to your smile.”

The American Dental Association (ADA) does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a specialty. Therefore, all general dentists can advertise themselves as being one. Practically speaking, since there is no standard of cosmetic care set by the ADA, skills can widely vary amongst practitioners. The AACD was established in 1984 to set the standard of care in cosmetic dentistry, and accreditation by the AACD distinguishes dentists as being trained and skilled in cosmetic dentistry.

So what do you do if you’re considering focusing on this area of dentistry after graduation?

Get accredited
Start by distinguishing yourself as a cosmetic dentist. Build up experience so you can get accredited through AACD. The organization offers hands-on courses that can increase your skill level and teaches you how to use new materials in the market.

Finish reading this article in the October 2019 issue of Contour magazine.

~Esther Oak, New England ’20

Esther Oak

Esther Oak is a fourth year student at University of New England College of Dental Medicine.

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