Sometimes when we talk about choosing a cosmetic dentist, we refer to the need to select one that is talented in addition to one that is well-trained and experienced. Talent is something that can’t be taught, can’t be learned, and is crucial to getting great results from cosmetic dentistry.

But what does “talent” mean in a dentist? It’s kind of inscrutable, made up of many subtle characteristics that combine to give you better results. Here are a few elements that you should consider in finding a talented cosmetic dentist.

A Keen Eye

You know how some people can listen to music once and either play it or tell you the time signature, key, and instrumentation? Or how some people can splash wine on their tongue and identify not just the type of wine, but the vintage, the vintner, and more details about the wine? Well, some dentists have a similar visual sense when it comes to teeth.

These dentists can identify colors and shades that don’t quite match, immediately identify proportions that aren’t ideal, and see small misalignments between teeth. This allows them to make precise judgments about smile makeovers that will give you subtly better results.

A Steady Hand

Cosmetic dentistry depends on numerous tiny movements made by your cosmetic dentist. Preparing teeth for porcelain veneers, for example, requires the removal of perhaps 0.5 mm (2/100ths of an inch) from a tooth. A dentist without a steady hand may produce an uneven preparation that may remove too much or little from the tooth, which might make it harder to get good impressions, good fit, or good results.

And there are dozens more places where this can have an impact, from anesthesia injections to seating restorations.


Intuition is the ability to have an “educated guess” about the solution to a problem that isn’t immediately clear. Some cases are cut and dried, it’s easy to find the answer. In other cases, it’s hard to know which is the best solution, and this is where intuition comes in. It seems magic, but it’s the ability to draw accurate conclusions by better retention and understanding of the lessons of training and experience.

How to Gauge a Cosmetic Dentist’s Talent

When you are considering which cosmetic dentist is right for you, there are a few methods you can use to gauge the talent of a cosmetic dentist:


Obviously, results are the best gauge of a cosmetic dentist’s talent. Look at as many before and after pictures from each dentist as you can. And ask to talk to previous patients so you can know whether these results were achieved on the first, second, or third try!


Read reviews of a cosmetic dentist. Look for descriptions of your potential dentist’s technique, which should refer to things like their visual judgment or their ability to get things right the first time.


Before you commit to working with a cosmetic dentist, get an exam. Watch how they handle their dental tools. If you don’t get enough information from an exam, consider getting a small procedure, such as a white filling, before committing to a smile makeover.

Remember, nothing makes more of a difference in your results than your choice of dentist. If you would like to evaluate our practice, please call 949-238-6755 for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.