There are lots of myths out there.
The Lochness Monster, Bigfoot, etc.etc.
Mine is the myth of the cosmetic dentist.
There is no such thing as a cosmetic dentist.
Here is a list of the specialties that are recognized by the ADA. Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Endodontics, Dental Public Health, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics.
Each one of these specialties is strictly regulated. Each doctor that practices in one of these fields must go through advanced licensure requirements and advanced schooling even beyond dental school. These doctors carry with them advanced knowledge that is strictly regulated by the ADA.
If you noticed none of those specialties that I just mentioned was called the specialty of cosmetic dentistry. That's because it doesn't exist. And as a matter of fact it is illegal to advertise yourself as a cosmetic dentist.
The idea of being "cosmetic" simply means that you try to make things look better. Well, there isn't a dentist, or specialist, out there who DOESN'T do this. Everyone in the dental field has the goal to make things look better. Its what we do.
Now, is it true that a dental professional can go to courses, after dental school, that focus solely on cosmetic procedures? Absolutely. And I have been to many of them. But that does not mean that I am a specialist in cosmetic dentistry. Because, once again, no one can be. It doesn't exist.
If you have things that you would like to see changed about your teeth then ask around. Find a dentist that has a good reputation for that kind of thing. Then when you meet him/her ask to see some of their work. If it looks good then you are probably at the right place.
Here is a case that we did in our office.