Cosmetic dentistry is a synchrony between artistic aesthetics and scientific advancement. With a modern age centered around promoting your best self, cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular. Cosmetic dental treatments such as dental implants, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and others allow dental patients to correct their smile imperfections to obtain beautiful smiles.
With such a large demand for cosmetic dentistry, many dentists now market these cosmetic services. But, with so many “cosmetic dentists” out there, how do you find the right one? To find an experienced and ethically-responsible cosmetic dentist that is committed to using the latest cosmetic dental technology, it is recommended to seek a dentist who holds credentials from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
But, what exactly are ACCD credentials and why are they important? First things first, let’s take a look at what the AACD is. The AACD is an organization whose mission statement is “dedicated to advancing excellence in the art and science of comprehensive cosmetic dentistry and encouraging the highest standards of ethical conduct and responsible patient care”(AACD). To accomplish this mission, the ACCD offers educational opportunities, promotes a rigorous credentialing program, serves as a forum for the exchange of dental knowledge, and provides information to the public and to professionals alike.
The AACD was founded in December of 1984 by Dr. Jack Kammer and co-founder, Dr. Jeff Morley with 60 initial members. Currently, the ACCD has more than 6,000 members from 70 countries, consisting of dental professionals, laboratory technicians, educators, and researchers. The AACD also offers the most stringent postgraduate certification in cosmetic dentistry to dentists and laboratory technicians. For these reasons, the AACD is the leading cosmetic dentistry organization in the entire world.
In addition to their stringent accreditation program, the AACD promotes the practice of responsible ethics. When applied to cosmetic dentistry, this means that AACD members are devoted to providing cosmetic dental procedures that complement the overall health of the patient and do no harm. Because of this notion, AACD dentists base their treatment decisions off of evidence-based protocols and sound clinical judgment. This allows them to provide the best cosmetic dental treatment that yields the best aesthetic and overall health results.
The AACD sets extremely high standards for its accredited members and the road to becoming an AACD accredited or fellowed dentist is not an easy one. Only the most dedicated dentists can achieve this feat. in fact, in the history of the academy, only 404 dentists and 52 laboratory technicians have earned AACD accreditation.
The first step to earning an AACD accreditation is to be a dentist (recent graduate, faculty, or resident) or a dental laboratory technician. However to become a dentist, one must first complete the following:
- Four years of science-based undergraduate work
- The Dental Admissions Test (DAT) prior to applying to dental school
- Two years of biomedical science courses (anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, immunology, and pathology)
- Two years of dental clinical practice
- Obtain their DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree
- The National Board of Dental Examinations (NBDE) two-part written examination
- Regional clinical licensing examination
After earning the title of dentist, the AACD accreditation process can begin. This process starts with a written examination that tests a dentist’s understanding of specialized cosmetic dentistry. Once the participant passes the written examination, they have five years to complete the accreditation process. Within the five years, they must attend one accreditation workshop and one criteria workshop at an annual AACD Scientific Session. Only after completing the exam and the two workshops can they move to the next step, which is to submit their clinical cases for evaluation. This can only be done twice a year and five specific types of clinical cases must be submitted.
After the clinical cases are submitted, the participant will undergo an oral examination in which they are asked about their case selection, diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment materials, or techniques. During the oral exam, participants should demonstrate familiarity and understanding of their cases. In addition, they will be tested on their ability to come up with a treatment plan for a pre-selected case.
Once the written exam, workshops, clinical cases, and oral examination are passed, the participant will receive their accreditation award at the next AACD Scientific Session. Once members have earned their accreditation, they can apply for an ACCD Fellowship, which is the highest level of achievement for AACD members. To be eligible to earn an AACD Fellowship, accredited members must submit 50 cosmetic dental cases from different patients.
Once earning the title of accredited member or accredited fellow member, active status must be maintained through the completion of certain activities. First, the accredited dentist must be continuously practicing, must uphold their practice to the AACD code of ethics, and must keep up to date on technological advances in their field. This last step must be accomplished by attending an AACD Scientific Session, serving as an editor to a cosmetic dental publication, authoring an article in an established dental publication, participating as a coordinator or lecturer at a cosmetic dentistry continuum, attend a criteria workshop, serve as a board member for AACD, or attend an examiner calibration.
Overall, the AACD accreditation and fellowship accreditation programs function to promote the highest quality of cosmetic dentistry. By evaluating cosmetic dental cases, hosting educational events, and promoting a high code of responsible ethics in the practice of cosmetic dentistry, AACD accredited dentists provide their patients with the best cosmetic dental care available.
Dr. Sam S. Sadati of The Sadati Center for Aesthetic Dentistry in Wellington, FL has accomplished the highest level of accreditation from the AACD and holds the title of AACD Accredited Fellow. Currently, Dr. Sadati is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in all of South Florida. He has also won several gold medals in the AACD’s International Smile Gallery Competition and offers his patients world-class, quality cosmetic dentistry. For the best cosmetic dental services in Wellington and all of South Florida, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sadati today!