Selecting an orthodontist may seem like a daunting task when you have never been through it, so it’s a smart idea to ask for a recommendation from someone who has. Whether it’s a friend, coworker, or family member, your source will probably be more than happy to share his or her first-hand experience.
Your general dentist is also a great resource to get a recommendation. If your dentist’s children have had braces, ask which orthodontist they used.
Is The Doctor A Specialist?
A general dentist is similar to your family doctor, who provides excellent care for your well-being and aids in disease prevention and treatment. Dentists are great for checkups, preventive care, filling cavities, and performing cosmetic procedures. An orthodontist is a specialist who has two to three years of additional education and training beyond dental school and is an expert in designing smiles by gently straightening your teeth. Orthodontists are the experts at choosing the treatment option that’s best for you. Here is an interesting fact: all orthodontists are dentists but only about 6% of dentists are orthodontists.
Does The Office Have A Great Reputation?
Do your homework! Check social media sites such as Google, Facebook, and HealthGrades to see what others are saying about the office. Ask your friends and neighbors what they have heard about offices in the area. It may be worth your while to drive a little farther to get higher-quality treatment and better customer care.
Is The Office Up To Date With The Latest Technology?
The world is changing rapidly. So too is the field of orthodontics. Advances in braces technology, clear aligners, and accelerated treatment make treatment more comfortable, efficient, faster, easier, and less noticeable than ever. Braces can even be placed behind your teeth, but only if the orthodontist spends considerable time, energy, and effort investing in learning and mastering the latest techniques. If any doctors suggest extractions, headgear, or more than two years of treatment, make sure to do your homework and get another opinion.
Are There Affordable Payment Options?
Braces — even with the best doctors — can be affordable. Zero-down, no-interest payment plans should be available for those who can’t afford a large down payment. Extended payment plans should be available for people looking for lower monthly payment options. Also, many offices will accept and file your insurance to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses as well as work with flexible spending or health savings accounts that can allow payments to be made pre-tax.
Consider Education And Experience.
Once you have a list of a few orthodontists, do a little research. Find out about their educational background, where they went to school, and what kinds of continuing education or specialty training they’ve had. Before you set up a consultation with an orthodontist, make sure he or she is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontists. This ensures that the doctor remains up to date on the newest and most effective clinical procedures.
Does The Office Feel Fun?
Orthodontics should be fun! Unique office perks such as contests and rewards should make going in to your scheduled visit something to look foward to. Staff that makes you feel like part of the family can turn something fearful into a welcoming experience.