A cosmetic dental lab isn’t something that you wouldn’t deal with directly if you’re a patient, not the dentist. But if you’re the one handling the patients, you will definitely be in touch with them.
A cosmetic dental lab is the place where all cosmetic items related to restoring smiles and appearances are made. These include fixed dentures, dental caps, and implants. These products can either be made of ceramics, metal and composite material. When you go to the dentist’s clinic, the dentist will make a case profile and then send your profile to a cosmetic dental lab.
A case profile contains specification on the product that needs to be made, and a cast of your mouth. Although there are many cosmetic dental laboratories across the country, you can find a cosmetic dental lab or two in China. In other words, the making of dental restoration products is also being outsourced. Don’t worry because these laboratories are known to use only international standard materials for patient safety.
You may feel uncomfortable about your denture coming from China, but there’s no doubt that outsourcing will make your smile a few hundred dollars cheaper. As for quality of the product itself, the work is done by experienced lab technicians.
However, if you prefer to have your dentures done by dental labs in the United States, you can do so by insisting that your dentist to send your case to a lab in the country.
Cosmetic dentistry is big business in the United States with Americans spending $2.75 billion dollars every year on dentures, dental caps and other products. Dental veneers are another cosmetic dental product that over 600,000 Americans have every year and spend over $371 million for.
You might think that cosmetic dentists have special training but the truth is that any general dentist can himself or herself a cosmetic dentist and not be sued for misrepresentation. There are however, training programs for advanced dental procedures. It’s your job as the patient to search for doctors who are experienced and have the credentials to perform cosmetic dental procedures.
The most meaningful credentials include accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the Kois Center or the Spear Education Center, the Dawson Academy, Advanced Dental Studies and the Pankey Institute.
As it is right now, less than 350 dentists and lab technicians in the US enjoy AACD accreditation and only 53 of them hold the highly-esteemed credential of Accredited Fellow.
A dental lab is just as important as the dentist. Veneers, dentures, dental caps and other dental products are not made in the dentist’s clinic. They’re sent to dental laboratories. As with anything else, not all dental labs are created alike and there are labs that are more experienced than others.
In an ideal situation, you should only work with a dentist who has AACD accreditation because chances are, they also work with dental labs that are AACD-certified. Most dentists, however, use their accreditation as an excuse to charge higher prices to their patients.
If money is an issue for you, you can use a general dentist to fit you your dentures. Whatever you do, however, make sure that that dentist is experienced and uses a lab that uses only world class material and is manned by highly-skilled lab technicians.
If you don’t know of any dentist in your area, just search online on Google for “cosmetic dentist” plus the name of your area. As we said before, cosmetic dentistry is NOT a specialized branch of dentistry. It’s just a clever marketing strategy that dentists have been using.