If the saying “You’re never fully dressed without a smile” is true, then cosmetic dentists of today are some of the most important wardrobe consultants around. Research seems to bear that out. According to a survey conducted by Beall Research & Training of Chicago, eight subjects who had mild to major cosmetic improvements to their teeth were judged as more attractive, intelligent, successful, interesting, and wealthy by a group of 528 respondents. Thanks to the recent advances in dental technology, dentists are now able to provide patients with cosmetic restorations such as porcelain veneers, which not only improve the appearance of theirteeth but, at the same time, make their teeth stronger and healthier. Cosmetic dental work, which enhances the overall appearance of a patient’s teeth and smile, is increasingly gaining popularity as an elective procedure. The options also are more varied. The latest trends, by far, are whitening veneers, porcelain crowns, and invisible orthodontics. Among the most popular and common procedures to enhance smiles—veneers—are offered in various options. Veneers are ultra-thin coverings made of plastics, porcelain, or laminates that are bonded directly to the tooth to cover broken, chipped, or cracked teeth. The latest trend in veneers is called lumineers. This is a type of veneer that requires very little, if any, drilling and rarely any numbness. Traditional veneers require numbing and prepping the teeth, more like a cap would. But some dentists warn that the seemingly less painful route may not be an option for everyone. Not all patients are candidates for lumineers, but there are possible combinations that can be done if necessary. Be further warned. When considering porcelain veneers, don’t assume your family dentist is, by default, skilled in bonding or veneering procedures. All dentists are not created equally when it comes to cosmetic dentistry and especially porcelain veneers. Knowing how to choose a cosmetic dentist and what questions to ask is important. websites such as the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry can be a good resource for finding a dentist, but most agree that patient referrals coupled with before and after pictures are good indications of a cosmetic dentist’s abilities. Selecting a cosmetic dentist using referrals from satisfied patients is always the best. It is advisable for those considering a cosmetic dentist to ask for photographs of patients. Asking to see photos of before and after cases the dentist has done can be helpful also. It is important to ask if the pictures are actually the doctor’s patients, as pictures can be purchased. Patients should never hesitate to get a second opinion and to take advantage of complimentary consultations from cosmetic dentists. Training and experience can range from none to extensive. You must do your research.