HOW TO PICK AN ORTHODONTIST
Your smile will be with you for all of life’s major events from prom and college graduation to your first job interview and your wedding day. That’s what makes choosing the right orthodontist an important decision. Here’s what you should consider:
Pick a certified orthodontic specialist. Both dentists and orthodontists are doctors who provide oral health care for children and adults, but they do so in different ways. Dentists focus primarily on tooth, gum and jaw health. Orthodontists are dentists with two years of additional schooling. They specialize in straightening teeth and improving bites by using devices that correct crooked or overcrowded teeth, under bites, over bites, spaces between teeth, and jaw problems. They have achieved board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics, the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association.
Make sure the orthodontist you pick is a certified orthodontic specialist.
Discuss the specifics of your individual case with the orthodontist at the consultation appointment. This will ensure the orthodontist is qualified to treat you, because each orthodontic case is unique and requires different techniques and experience.
Ask to review before and after photos of cases similar to yours. That will help you envision what your treatment outcome may look like.
Ask about treatment options. Talk to the orthodontist about treatments he or she specializes in. These may include any of the following:
- Self-ligating brackets
- Traditional Braces
- Clear/Ceramic Braces
- Clear aligners
If you’re looking for a particular treatment, discuss your thoughts with your orthodontist at your consultation.
Look for convenience. As time is our most valuable asset, the office should be convenient to the patient in both location and hours. Early appointments are valuable to students who can’t miss school. Discuss office hours before you begin treatment.
The office should be clean and comfortable, and the staff should be well groomed and pleasant.
Finally, consider the cost of orthodontic care. Two offices in the same area may charge hundreds of dollars difference or more for an identical treatment plan. Make sure you feel comfortable about the expense and how insurance will influence the total cost of orthodontic care.
Orthodontic treatment is a big decision for families. By considering a few critical factors such as credentials, experience, convenience, comfort, and cost, you will successfully embark on a life-changing experience you can enjoy for a lifetime.