Choosing the right orthodontist is one of the most important decisions you will make for your dental health. You should know that not every orthodontist will be able to meet your specific needs, even if they are highly recommended from a family member or friend.
To find the right orthodontist, you need to know the right questions to ask. Before you choose an orthodontist, consider the following five points to ensure you’re making the best possible decision for you and your health:
Determine your needs
If you are choosing an orthodontist for your child, you should choose a pediatric orthodontist, as your child’s dental needs can vary greatly from adult orthodontics. If you want to find an orthodontist for yourself or another adult family member, make sure it is someone who specializes in adult orthodontics.
Find out which orthodontic treatment your orthodontist offers. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all orthodontic treatment, which means you may need to decide between traditional braces, invisible braces, or another option.
Traditional metal braces are made of lightweight metal brackets that are adhered to your teeth with a light cement. A thin arch wire links the brackets together, and is adjusted by your orthodontist each visit to move your teeth to the right position.
Among the most popular invisible braces is Invisalign, a clear, removable aligner that looks like a mouth guard. These aligners can be removed for eating and brushing, but should be worn for the majority of the day and night. Invisalign users receive a new aligner every two weeks until the problem has been corrected, at which point you will use another clear aligner until your teeth have settled into their new positions.
Other braces options
Damon braces have risen in popularity in recent years due to its more gentle treatment methods. Instead of using elastics like metal braces, Damon braces use sliders that allow your teeth to move on their own, which results in fewer office visits for the user.
Your provider may recommend palatal extenders for overcrowded teeth or forsus appliances to correct overbites.
Once you determine what type of orthodontic treatment you prefer, you can search in your area for a pediatric orthodontist or adult orthodontist who offers the orthodontic care you’re looking for.
However, keep in mind that no matter who you choose as your orthodontist, he or she may recommend a different type of treatment than the one you want. Your orthodontic treatment should be the one that will best meet your needs, so consider your orthodontist’s suggestion if it differs from your own.
Make sure your orthodontist is a specialist
Some dentists offer orthodontic treatment, while an orthodontist’s sole responsibility is orthodontics. You should avoid choosing a provider who isn’t exclusively dedicated to orthodontic treatment. Likewise, you should steer clear of orthodontists who also offer other dental work, such as teeth cleanings and root canals.
Orthodontic specialists have more training and specialized knowledge that can help you get the most from your orthodontic treatment. They can also provide a wider range of treatments, which gives you more options for your condition.
Understand the cost of orthodontic treatments
Orthodontics costs can vary between regions. Before you settle on a provider, call around to different offices near you to understand the average orthodontics cost in your area. This way, you can find one in your budget before you go to the hassle of consultations with each possible option.
Orthodontists can charge fees in a number of ways:
Some may offer an all-inclusive price that covers the braces, office visits, and retainers after your braces come off. Other orthodontists may charge extra for retainers and other parts of your treatment.
Also, you will want to determine if the orthodontist accepts your insurance. If so, your insurance can greatly offset the orthodontics cost, which might mean you may be able to afford a better orthodontist to handle your treatment.
If you don’t have insurance or if money is an obstacle, some orthodontists will work with you to set up a payment plan. This way, you can get the dental care you need without putting a strain on your finances. You might be able to set up automatic payments through your bank or credit card to ensure you never miss a payment.
Find out if your orthodontist’s services are convenient
When choosing an orthodontist, you should consider their office’s location and business hours in regards to your own. Finding one close to your home or workplace gives you a better chance of keeping your appointments, plus it can make travel to and from your appointments quicker and easier.
There may be times when you have an emergency, such as popping a bracket, or times when you need to change your appointment with no advanced notice. It’s better to know how flexible your orthodontist is in rescheduling your appointment or seeing you during an emergency before these things occur.
Make sure you feel comfortable with your orthodontist
Orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from six months to two years (and sometimes longer), which is why it’s important to feel comfortable with your orthodontist. Think of it as entering into a long-term relationship – it won’t be an enjoyable experience for either of you if you and your orthodontist aren’t a good fit.
Orthodontists who give personalized care tend to offer better service and can help meet your needs. It’s in your best interest to partner with an orthodontist who will treat your dental care needs on an individual basis.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best orthodontist to help you correct your dental issues. You need to be certain the orthodontist you choose is capable of handling your case, but will also provide a good personal fit to accommodate your unique needs.
If you are considering orthodontic care, contact us today to see if we are a good fit for you.