Choosing the right orthodontist to transform your or your child’s smile is a big deal. One thing to consider is that orthodontic treatment typically lasts a minimum of six months, highlighting the importance that you or your child feel comfortable at the office and interacting with the doctor and staff. Ask family and friends for recommendations and follow-up by reading reviews about the doctor. Then, schedule a consultation to get a feel for the office, the doctor, and the team.
Make sure that the orthodontist you choose is experienced, licensed, and a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. This last part guarantees that your doctor is up to date on the latest continuing education programs.
Before attending your consultation, make a list of questions to ask, and feel free to add more to the list as they come up in real-time. The best way to make an effective decision about your health is to be informed, no question is too little to ask.
A few things to consider:
- Will the orthodontist see you after your initial treatment or just assistants?
- Is the office location convenient to drive to every 4-8 weeks?
- Are the office hours convenient for your work or school schedule?
- Comfortable with the payment plan the practice offers? Do they accept your insurance and handle paperwork?
- Did you receive a personalized consultation or did you feel like just another patient in the chair?
Orthodontist or general dentist?
It is important to remember that some general dentists practice orthodontics at some level. An orthodontist is a specialist with the required level of knowledge and experience to correct your smile effectively and safely. Orthodontic treatment requires a large investment of time and money, it is best to leave that to the specialists.
An orthodontist must have an additional two to three years of training and experience after dental school and pass national board exams to become a certified orthodontist. This guarantees that this specialist can transform your smile with predictable and favorable results.