Top 10 Things You Should Know Before Choosing a General Dentist Who Performs a Lot of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

Looking good and feeling good is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle and today, almost any aspect of Dentistry involves some form of cosmetic procedure or another (whether it be a new denture, replacement of an old silver mercury filling, new porcelain crowns, veneers, a dental implant or a neuromuscular rehabilitation of a bad bite). But its not just about improved looks because with today’s adhesive bonding technologies, composite and porcelain systems, improved structure and function now go hand in hand with almost any cosmetic dental procedure.

Cosmetic Dentistry is therefore an important investment in the future of your smile.  And, like any investment, you’ll want to do a little research before making a final decision. These guidelines can help you choose the practitioner who’s right for you.

1. Check your Dentist’s credentials

Your Dentist should also be licensed through their provincial dental board and a member of the Canadian Dental Association. Unlike other dental specialties (Oral surgery, Orthodontics or Endodontics etc.), cosmetic dentistry is not recognized by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) as a specialty. However, dentists who perform a lot of cosmetic dental procedures can receive post graduate training through a number of organizations, so be sure to ask your dentist where he or she have sought their additional training in cosmetic procedures.

In the past 5 years, Orthodontic tooth movement (without braces) has become extremely popular with patients who are seeking a cosmetic alternative to veneers or crowns. The Invisalign system is the most widely used, so if you are considering a cosmetic make-over with Invisalign clear aligner trays then be sure to visit the Invisalign website ( where you can investigate the credentials and experience level of the Dentist who is recommending Invisalign treatment. You can also check out the American Academy of Cosmetic Orthodontics and search for Dentists with orthodontic aligner experience in your area (

2. Investigate your Dentist’s training

General Dentists that perform numerous cosmetic procedures didn’t just go to dental school; they also completed extensive post-graduate training programs that focus specifically on cosmetic dental issues. In addition, you may choose to seek out dentists who regularly attend continuing education classes and seek out multiple post graduate designations – this allows them to stay up-to-date on the very latest clinical procedures and materials. Ask your Dentist how many CE hours he or she have accrued in the past 3 years.

3. Start with a consultation

Going in for a consultation is a great way to learn more about a dentist and their dental practice. Consultations are generally inexpensive, and are sometimes even offered for free. Talk to the dentist before you commit to anything. If you are considering extensive crown and bridge work then often times an experienced general dentist will provide you with a wax or computer mock-up of what your teeth could look like after the procedure.  A visual “before and after” is often times very helpful to the patient in rendering his or her decision to proceed. Remember, you should be given the tools and information necessary to make an informed and educated decision.

4. Look for smile design experience

Cosmetic dentistry is as much art as it is science. In general, the more smiles a dentist has designed, the better that dentist’s work will be. Smile design is about more than just your teeth; the dentist should also consider your lips, gum line, mouth shape, facial structure and symmetry.

5. Communication is key

It’s essential that you be able to talk to your dentist – and that your dentist will listen to you! There’s a lot of dialogue that needs to go into an individual long-term treatment plan. If you feel bullied, pressured, or rushed, then that’s probably not the right dentist for you.

6. Look at before and after photos

Take a look at the dentist’s portfolio before you make up your mind. Pay specific attention to cases that are similar to yours. Make sure that the photos are of actual work done by the dentist, not just stock photos.

7. An honest Dentist sets realistic expectations.

Watch out for doctors who promise more than they can deliver. You want a dentist who will tell you what can and cannot be done for your smile. You need to know how long the process will take, what you’ll have to do, and any complications that could occur.

8. Laser Dentistry.

The vast majority of experienced General Dentists will agree that the use of a Dental Laser will improve the esthetic outcome for almost any cosmetic case so, be sure to ask the Dentist if they use a Laser and if the answer is yes then ask what type of Lasers they use and for what procedures.

9. Technology is cool, but it’s not the only thing.

A dentist with high-tech modern equipment is more likely to be up-to-date on modern techniques. At the same time, however, don’t let yourself be dazzled by a dentist’s fancy tools; what really matters is if the dentist knows how to use them properly.

10. A good lab technician is a valuable asset

The dentist might decide on the treatment plan, but it’s the lab technician who’ll actually fabricate the porcelain veneers or crowns that will be gracing your new smile. Great dentists are proud of their lab technicians and the materials they use. If you decide to have a cosmetic make-over done by the Dentist be sure to review a lab fabricated wax-up of your new smile with the Dentist before proceeding with the finished porcelain units as its easy to change the shape and or length of the teeth in wax but not so once the new crowns or veneers have been bonded permanently to place.

Our Services

Your comfort and safety are our primary concern. The services we provide include:

  • General and Restorative Dentistry
  • Cosmetic Dentistry with natural results.
  • Dental implants (CT Guided surgery & Prosthetic Restoration)
  • Implant supported dentures with or without Titanium Milled bar
  • Neuromuscular Full Mouth Rehabilitations
  • Neuromuscular orthotics to help treat TMJ and bite Disorders
  • Cosmetic dentistry including bleaching and porcelain veneers
  • Extractions, bone grafts and Laser assisted Periodontal surgery
  • Removal of wisdom teeth and most other forms of dental surgery.
  • Advanced Teeth whitening systems
  • Botox ® cosmetic treatment for headaches, clenching and wrinkles.
  • Sleep apnea treatment and snoring prevention with Mandibular Repositioning Devices
  • TMJ Therapy and Headache relief
  • Mercury-free white (composite) fillings
  • Esthetic porcelain crowns and bridgework with no metal framework.
  • Esthetic porcelain veneers, inlays and onlays.
  • Invisalign® orthodontic clear aligner trays
  • Root canal therapy
  • Laser re-contouring of gums with tissue diode lasers
  • Cavity repair with Erbium Dental Lasers – No drills or Needles!
  • Bite corrections
  • Face Lift Dentures
  • Precision Attachment Dentures
  • Combination tooth and Implant over-dentures
  • iTero optical impressions for gaggers
  • Children’s Dentistry including Bio-Functional Orthodontics
  • Functional appliances for pre-teens and teenagers.
  • Highest Infection Control Standards
  • In office CT Scanner to assess TM Joints and airway.
  • Sports guards and nite guards
  • Oral Sedation
  • Assignment of Insurance benefits
Call us Today!

“We know that selecting a family dentist is not easy. We want you to know that you can call me and I will be happy to arrange a time when you can speak to Dr. Willoughby personally with any questions or concerns.”

Treatment Coordinator

Contact & Location

Find Dr. Willoughby at his offices in South Surrey and Prince George BC.

“Change Your Smile, Change Your Life”