You probably find a regular visit for a teeth cleaning to be a bit stressful. If you are considering having cosmetic work on your teeth, the process of finding the right cosmetic dentist might seem particularly intimidating. Even so, you do want to get comfortable with your choice so you’re confident the right procedure is getting done and it’s getting done correctly.

You can start by asking your friends, family members, and co-workers if they’ve have any work done on their teeth. A personal recommendation can be very valuable, especially since you can see the results of someone’s work. When getting a personal recommendation from someone, it’s helpful to know exactly what procedure they had done and which practitioner did it. A recommendation for a general clinic is less helpful as not all the people there might be of the same quality.

After you have a short list of names, you start reviewing their credentials. You can find out if they’re graduated from an accredited dental school either by calling their office or checking their website. It will also be valuable to confirm that they’ve had the relevant continuing education and training in cosmetic procedures.

The professional standing of each candidate is also important. Many states will have their lists of properly licensed dentists online. If not, you can certainly call the state office that handles licensing to confirm a valid license. Often the same office will also have the records of any complaints that might have been filed against anyone.

The more accomplished practitioners will be board certified, perhaps both at the state and regional level. You can also see which professional organizations in which they have memberships. You can confirm any information posted on a candidate’s website by checking the organization’s membership directory on its own site.

After your credential review, you can decide which candidates to meet in person. This initial consultation is another chance to learn more about them and your specific options. You won’t likely want to have any work done at this meeting. You might even decide to consult with more than one candidate.

During your initial meeting, you should ask the dentist a variety of questions. Some of your questions will cover the practitioner’s professional background. The other types of questions will focus on how this dentist can meet your needs.

One question you might consider asking is what type of procedure does this dentist most commonly perform. You can follow up by asking how long the candidate has been conducting the specific procedure you might have.

Once you’ve received a specific recommendation as to which procedure you should get, have the candidate explain why this one is the best option for you. During the course of this discussion, the candidate should be explaining why the other options aren’t recommended. You should also ask enough questions until you feel comfortable that you understand exactly how the procedure works and what results you should expect.

You can take your time when selecting a cosmetic dentist. These are medical procedures, so you might find it’s worth making that investment.