It seems to be prevalent in that most dentists these days are calling themselves ‘cosmetic dentists’, but there is no cosmetic specialty in dentistry. And quite frankly, all dentistry is cosmetic. I don’t know anyone who took the ‘ugly’ teeth class in dental school, because it doesn’t exist. Regardless, the fact remains that the majority of dentist are general dentist, but press the envelope of ethics by calling themselves ‘cosmetic dentists’. They all have undergraduate degrees with either a BA or BS and at least four years of dental school with either a DDS or a DMD as the result. But not one of them has an American Dental Association sanctioned ‘cosmetic specialty’ in dentistry. Those dentists who choose to make the claim do so by virtue of deciding to focus on cosmetics in their general practices. The American Dental Association (ADA) only has nine recognized post dental degree specialties and cosmetic dentistry is not one of them. These specialties range in one to six years of advanced training beyond dental school. At the end of their post doctorate dental degree, these dentists receive additional certifications in their respective specialties, thus becoming what should be considered experts within their fields of dentistry. Some are either board eligible or board certified. These ADA specialties are:
Dental Public Heath, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology and Surgery, Orthodontics, Endodontics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and the least known, Prosthodontics.
Prosthodontics: (crown, bridge, and implants) A Prosthodontist has a dental specialty license pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes. Most dentists are not trained prosthodontic graduates of a dental school – rather they take short continuing education and utilize trial and error experience to be able to understand how size, shape, color and symmetry all work together to create what a prosthodontist is trained in their post graduate work. Contrary to this hit or miss self-anointment, the prosthodontist is trained at an ADA approved university to create the smile that implements the use of veneers, crowns, bridges and the increasingly more common procedure of dental implants to ensure that the right smile is achieved, both functionally and aesthetically. If anyone has a specialty in cosmetic dentistry or the right to call themselves a ‘cosmetic dentist’, it would be the ADA sanctioned prosthodontist. Of the 170 thousand dentists in the U.S., less than two (2%) percent are trained prosthodontists. So when you are seriously looking for a cosmetic dentist, look for a prosthodontist.
Dr. Scheinfeld received her prosthodontics degree from Emory University School of Dentistry in 1988. Her prosthodontics’ instructor Dr. E. Neal Kopp practiced with her for 14 years until his passing in 2008. In addition, Dr. Sidney Tourial, an adjunct Emory Prosthodontic professor and next year’s GDA President has been in the practice for over 19 years.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
- Dentist in Sandy Springs – A Prosthodontist is your ADA cosmetic dentist. (therightsmile.wordpress.com)
- Dentist Sandy Springs – ADA Accredited Prosthodontist is Your Cosmetic Dentist (therightsmile.wordpress.com)
- The future of Implant Dentistry is here now. (therightsmile.wordpress.com)