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Posted by: The Probe 17th March 2020
Just fifty years ago, cosmetic dentistry was limited to invasive tooth preparation techniques that were employed to achieve the perfect Hollywood smile. Today, these unnatural-looking “tombstone teeth” are no longer the ideal, as advances in the field have extended patients’ treatment options. Dental professionals can now help patients improve the health and appearance of their smile using more conservative techniques, which often ensure that as much of the natural tooth structure as possible is preserved. With the excellent results that can be achieved from modern cosmetic dentistry, the profession can expect to see continued growth in the market as patient demand for treatment rises.
This emphasises the importance of continued learning, particularly in the face of an increasingly litigious climate. Patients are much more aware of the options available to them, but also have high demands and expectations about treatment. Dental professionals put themselves at risk of complaints and litigation unless they can demonstrate infallible record-keeping and obtaining proper patient consent. Furthermore, clinicians must show that they have the expertise to deliver consistently high standards of treatment. Therefore, the need to evidence a pathway of professional development has never been more pressing.
Continually developing skills and knowledge is especially important considering cosmetic dentistry can be challenging, particularly if patients present with multiple problems. There is no small amount of expertise and artistry involved with treatment. Having an in-depth understanding of the latest – and sometimes complex – procedures, as well as how to use materials and technology in the most effective way, is vital in order to achieve an excellent, predictable outcome.
Clinicians have to optimise dental aesthetics and function, but must also ensure that the smile is balanced with the overall appearance of the face. The modern dentist should understand and employ the most minimally invasive, long-lasting techniques to deliver the best results. This constitutes the need for practitioners to expand on their skills and knowledge within various dental disciplines, which may include restorative dentistry, prosthodontics, oral surgery and orthodontics.
Not only a leader in providing outstanding educational opportunities that support structured learning, the BACD also provides a training pathway for cosmetic dentistry through its own Wheel of Knowledge. This is designed to be a useful guide that highlights core development criteria for advancement as a cosmetic dentist. In addition, the BACD offers a chance for clinicians to achieve industry-recognised accreditation within the field. Regarded as one of the profession’s most prestigious and respected accolades, BACD Accreditation distinguishes successful candidates for their clinical excellence and improves the credibility of their cosmetic dental work among both patients and peers.
BACD members themselves are expected to ensure they continually update their skills and decision-making in the interests of patients and the Academy. That’s why they benefit from unlimited access to social and educational events such as Recommended Meetings and the celebrated Annual Conference. These events promote shared learning for the betterment of the profession overall, which ultimately embodies the BACD’s values of community, passion, innovation, collaboration, integrity and adherence to uncompromising ethical standards.
Having the platform to build on experience and develop the expertise to achieve exceptional treatment outcomes enables practitioners to improve as cosmetic dentists. What better way to do this than to join a highly inclusive and dynamic organisation like the BACD? Members of the Academy are already sought after by many patients, who recognise the BACD as a leading authority on the delivery of safe, ethical and high quality cosmetic dentistry. Furthermore, BACD members are valued for their utmost commitment to excellence and improving standards within the field.
Dental professionals ultimately have to continue adding to their armamentarium of skills and knowledge in order to stay ahead of the curve in cosmetic dentistry. This is essential if the profession is to continue meeting and exceeding patient demands both now and in the future.
For further enquiries about the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, visit www.bacd.com