Cosmetic Dentistry |5 min read

How to Avoid a Cosmetic Dentist Scam

You know those articles out there like:

“Things I wish I knew before XYZ!”

Where bloggers share their experiences to spread awareness and prevent their problems from happening to innocent people like you?

Well, this blog is like that.

You see:

There’s some very crucial information you should know BEFORE getting any cosmetic dentistry done.

And in this blog, we’re going to discuss probably the most important part:

The cosmetic dentist!

Starting with…

Dr. Griffin with text, "What Makes a Real vs. Fake Cosmetic Dentist?"

What is a cosmetic dentist?

Unlike dental specialists (periodontist, endodontist, or orthodontist):

There is no board certification process to become a cosmetic dentist.

Technically, any dentist can call or advertise themselves as a “cosmetic dentist.”

As you can imagine, this is problematic and borderline unethical.

So, how do you avoid a scam?

The difference between a cosmetic dentist and a regular dentist

When searching for a qualified cosmetic dentist, here are seven credentials you need to review:

1. Education & training

A proper cosmetic dentist will have the education and training that’s specific to cosmetic dentistry. Otherwise, they’re just like every other dentist who graduated dental school.

One notable institute for cosmetic dentistry training is Las Vegas Institute Global… This text opens a new tab to the LVI website….

2. Affiliations

The closest thing to board certification in cosmetic dentistry is being a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD)… This text opens a new tab to the AACD website….

The AACD is the world’s leading and largest organization for cosmetic dental professionals and encourages the highest standards.

Any dentist who treats cosmetic dentistry as a specialized field and wants to be recognized as a qualified cosmetic dentist is an AACD member.

3. Comprehensiveness

Technically speaking:

Cosmetic dentistry pertains to certain types of dental treatments that improve your smile’s appearance. It doesn’t necessarily factor in your oral health and function.


A trustworthy cosmetic dentist will not overlook your oral health or function.

They’ll follow the AACD’s standard that:

“… esthetic dentistry must complement the overall general and oral health of the patient and do no harm.”

This is something we take seriously at WildeWood Aesthetic Dentistry.

Watch this quick 1-minute video for proof:

When done right, your new smile won’t just look good, but it’ll also:

  • Last for as long as possible
  • Help you prevent dental problems
  • Maintain or improve your oral health
  • Not compromise your bite and function
  • Potentially save you money in the long run
  • Alleviate and prevent oral or facial pain

Ways to know if your dentist is providing comprehensive care is if they:

  • Take x-rays and intra-oral photos
  • Examine your teeth, gums, bone, bite, and overall health
  • Spend one-on-one time with you, listening to your goals and concerns and answering your questions

When in doubt:

Get a second (or third or fourth) opinion from another cosmetic dentist. It never hurts, and most dentists offer complimentary consultations!

4. Experience

How long has the dentist provided cosmetic dentistry? Or better yet, how many times has the dentist performed the procedure you need?

Is cosmetic dentistry the practice’s focus or additional service?

Keep in mind:

A dentist’s experience may not be entirely dependable if they haven’t kept up with the times, which leads us to the next point.

5. Technology

Does the dentist use modern technology to make your cosmetic dental procedures more accurate, comfortable, and natural looking?

A real cosmetic dentist will have the latest dental technology (CEREC, digital x-rays, intra-oral camera, etc.). They’ll use it every day, are trained to use it effectively, and will offer you the best experience and outcome.

6. Services

Here’s a dead giveaway if you’re getting scammed!

An actual cosmetic dentist will offer a majority of (if not all) cosmetic dentistry procedures, including:

And if you get a quote or find a deal that looks too good to be true, it is.

It’s highly unusual for any dentist to offer steep discounts or promotions.


Because the fees are a reflection of the quality and value you’ll receive.

7. Proof

3 real patients' case photos with text, "Always ask to see real patients' before-and-after photos."

Would you buy an expensive, new house sight unseen? Doubt it.

The same goes for your smile makeover.

Look at the dentist’s smile gallery of before-and-after photos to gauge their style and skill.


Cross reference with their Google reviews… This text opens a new tab to our 5-star Google reviews…. What are actual patients saying about the dentist?

A real cosmetic dentist will check all 7 of these boxes.

What qualifies Dr. Griffin as a cosmetic dentist?

Well, let’s just say Dr. Griffin exceeds our list above. Here are some of his credentials:

Need we say more?

Contact our dental office to book a consultation with Dr. Griffin today!



Or you can:

WildeWood Aesthetic Dentistry is conveniently located in Columbia, SC, and proudly serves surrounding communities, including Irmo, Lexington, Camden, Blythewood, and Elgin, SC. He also serves patients from out-of-state!