No matter your reasons for seeking orthodontic treatment, choosing an orthodontist is a very important decision. You don’t want to trust just anyone with the health and quality of your smile! While you could simply open the phone book (or perform a quick Google search), it’s generally recommended that you research orthodontists near you very carefully. Next time you search for “Orthodontists Near Me”, you will be better prepared to choose an orthodontist that is right for you and your family.
Why See An Orthodontist?
There are lots of reasons why you may be looking for an orthodontist near you; your dentist or your child’s dentist may have told you that you should look into getting braces, or perhaps you’ve wanted to improve the look and health of your smile for ages and are just now getting around to it. An orthodontist can treat a variety of issues from crooked teeth and overbites to gaps between teeth, crowding, and more.
How Do I Know Which Orthodontist Is Right For Me?
Patients will often see the orthodontist that their dentist refers them to, but it can be a good idea to do some of your own research before you settle on a care provider. One of the best ways to choose an orthodontist is to simply ask your family, friends, and coworkers if they have an orthodontic practice they recommend. A recommendation from someone you already trust can make it much easier to trust someone else with your smile.
If you’re trying to find an orthodontist for your children, you’ll want to know whether a particular practitioner is experienced at treating children and whether the office is kid friendly. No matter who you’re seeking treatment for, it’s always a good idea to ask questions about the office, the staff, and the orthodontist himself/herself!
Another great barometer for a good orthodontist is their professional reputation. There is no better indicator than being the “professional’s choice”. Do local dentists’ families receive treatment at that practice?
Taking The Next Step
Once you’ve found an orthodontist who is near you and comes recommended by your dentist and/or a trusted friend, it’s time to schedule a consultation! Most orthodontists offer free consultations for patients to see the office, meet the staff and orthodontist, and ask any questions they may have. At your consultation, the orthodontist will also examine your teeth and tell you what treatment options they recommend. Before you leave the office, here are some questions that you may want to ask the orthodontist:
- How long have you been practicing?
- What is your level of experience with cases like mine (or my child’s)?
- Do you have any before and after photos of previous patients?
- What new or advanced treatments do you offer? (3D Imaging, surgical orthodontics, TADs)
- Do you treat difficult cases such as cleft palate and syndromic cases or do these get referred to a more experienced orthodontist?
- How long will my treatment take? How much will it cost?
- If my treatment takes longer than anticipated, are there additional charges?
- What happens if my child fails to wear elastics as prescribed? Will their bite still be corrected?
- Are there fees for broken brackets or missed appointments?
- Are permanent retainers included at the completion of treatment?
- What financing options do you offer?
- Will all the teeth be aligned during treatment including second molars?
- When developing a treatment plan, do you consider both the airway of your patients and the balance of the face?
- Who will I contact in an emergency? Is someone on call, or will I leave a message and have my call returned on the next business day?
If you are interested in pursuing treatment with Invisalign, it’s also a good idea to ask the orthodontist what their experience level is with Invisalign specifically. A provider’s experience with Invisalign is the number one factor in the quality of the treatment outcome. One easy way to know if the orthodontist is an experienced Invisalign provider is to look for the Invisalign top 1% provider badge on the orthodontist’s website. You can also ask the orthodontist if they are an elite Invisalign provider at your consultation.
The key takeaway when choosing an orthodontist is to take your time. Ask any questions you may have and seek out reviews online and from friends. Orthodontic treatment is not something that anyone should rush into. If you’re ready to take the first step on the pathway to a better, healthier smile, you can schedule a FREE consultation with Montano & Cardall Orthodontic Specialists right here!