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6 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

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6 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

Your children are getting older and you need a recommendation for an experienced orthodontist. Or maybe you have been considering getting your teeth straightened. Orthodontics for all ages has become common so it’s important to know how to choose the best orthodontist for you and your family.

This article will provide the top six factors to consider when choosing an orthodontist. 

How to Choose an Orthodontist You Can Count On

Now that it’s time for you or a family member to visit an orthodontist, here are the key factors to help you make a good choice:

#1 – Get Recommendations from Trusted Sources & Look At Reviews

Ask for recommendations for an orthodontist from family and friends or your regular dentist. Personal referrals from people you trust are a great starting point. Be specific when you ask questions. Is the orthodontist good with children? How was their experience with the kid’s orthodontics, both from a parent’s perspective and the child’s? If the recommendation relates to orthodontic treatment for you, what is important to you when dealing with a professional like an orthodontist?

Don’t forget about online reviews, too. Businesses of all kinds have learned to pay attention to what their clients are saying about them. Orthodontists are no different. Read as many reviews as possible about any orthodontist you are considering. One or two negative comments out of dozens of good ones are to be expected from any business. Be watchful for repeat negative comments about an orthodontist or their office, though.

#2 – Education, Experience, and Qualifications

To become an orthodontist, they not only have to complete dental school but also study several additional years in the field of orthodontia. And since they focus their practices specifically on moving teeth and aligning jaws, the longer they are successful in practice, the more experienced and effective they become.

The orthodontist’s education and experience are definitely something you want to consider when selecting one to go with. Much of this information can be obtained from their website. Check their training, experience, and qualifications before meeting with any of your top choices. Then, feel free to ask questions about any of these factors during your consultation, too. 

Also, make sure that the orthodontist you choose belongs to one or more professional organizations, like the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). This indicates that the orthodontist adheres to the highest professional and ethical standards. Members also have access to continuing education opportunities, enabling them to stay current with the latest advances in orthodontic treatment.

#3 – Do They Offer Free Consultations?

After you have narrowed down your choices from the recommendations and referrals you received and looked at their websites, schedule a consultation appointment with your top selections. Look for orthodontists who offer a free consultation during which they will thoroughly assess your objectives, look at your teeth and jaw, and then make a recommendation that includes cost and length of treatment. 

It’s critical that you get all the information you need from each orthodontist as you make this important decision. During this meeting, ask if each offers the treatment you need and the type of orthodontia you want. (More on this below.)

#4 – Office Environment and Location

During your free consultation, you will have the opportunity to observe the staff and doctors, as well as the office environment itself. How was the process for making an appointment? Was it relatively fast and free of long wait times on hold? Was the paperwork made available to you before arriving? How did that go?

Keep in mind that you will spend anywhere between 12 and 24 months, maybe longer, visiting the orthodontist’s office. You want to feel comfortable in the office and with the way you are treated there. Are you treated on time or is there a long wait time once you arrive? Are you greeted by name? Is the front office staff pleasant and helpful, especially if there is an issue or you have a question? 

What about the office itself? Is it clean, welcoming, and comfortable? Check the treatment area. Are the instruments wrapped for sterile use for each patient? Does everyone wash their hands between patients? Does it appear that this orthodontist uses the latest technology?

And, finally, is this location convenient for you and does the office have convenient hours for your schedule? You will be going there regularly for several months, so it is important that distance isn’t an issue. At first, it may seem like it’s not a big issue, but as the months go by, it will be very helpful if you can get there easily. 

#5 – Types of Treatments Offered

It’s important that the orthodontist you choose offers a range of orthodontic treatment options that include the services you need. If you are interested in braces, there are several options: metal, ceramic, lingual, and self-ligating. Clear aligners, like Invisalign, offer an even more discreet option for straightening teeth. During your free consultation with the orthodontist, ask about the options of treatment that may be available to you. If you have a clear preference, don’t hesitate to tell them that.

The orthodontist can outline the pros and cons of each if you are open to any of the types of braces. Some braces, like traditional metal braces, are most effective if you have complex orthodontic issues. Clear aligners are a much more discreet option and might better fit your needs. 

There may be a need for other services before braces or aligners. This could be the removal of wisdom teeth or other supporting dental work for the braces. In this case, make sure to ask if that work will be done by the orthodontist, your dentist, or another specialist. 

#6 – Cost of Treatment and Payment Options

Orthodontic treatment can put a dent in your budget so it’s important to know before starting what that cost will be and how you can pay for it. It’s a good idea to meet with at least two orthodontist practices to compare the costs. 

Another concern is insurance. If you have dental coverage already, find out if the practice takes insurance. If you do have dental insurance, call your insurance company and ask for specifics about orthodontic care. If you don’t have insurance or the orthodontist’s office doesn’t take yours, inquire about payment plans or other financing options. Ask about self-pay discounts if you can pay the cost upfront. You need to know all of this before you commit to any work being done.

Bernstein Orthodontics Wants To Be Part of Your Dental Care Team!

There are several factors to take into consideration when it comes to selecting an orthodontist who is the best fit for your family. By following the six top factors outlined in this article, you will be assured that your orthodontist meets your needs in a professional way and at a cost that fits your financial situation.

Dr. Bernstein and the rest of our team here at Bernstein Orthodontics in Cary, NC have one priority: Providing you with the best orthodontic care in the area. We are experienced and compassionate and are committed to meeting your orthodontic needs with a personalized treatment plan. 

Contact us today to set up your consultation now!

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