How To Choose An Orthodontist: An In-Depth Guide
It’s important to choose the right orthodontist, and you should do it before you think your kid needs braces. Children should be checked no later than age seven to see how their teeth are coming in. Adults can also benefit from orthodontic practices. We know you want the very best care and results but choosing an orthodontist can sometimes seem challenging. The entire process of orthodontic treatment is long, so you need to make sure your child (and you) are comfortable with both the doctor and his or her staff. Read on for some suggestions.
1. Get a listing of orthodontists in your area
Ask for recommendations from family members, friends, and your dentist. The Ontario Association of Orthodontists can also help using your postal code or address to find nearby orthodontists.
2. Research your options
This involves the verification that the recommendations are Orthodontic Specialists and not general dentists who offer orthodontic treatment and services. Look at each option’s website and any reviews you can find online. Verify that each orthodontist is board certified. Find out where each went to school and what kinds of specialty training or continuing education they have each had.
3. Narrow down your choices
Do this by weeding out those with bad reviews and those who are too far away for you to want to travel to on a semi-regular basis. You should be able to narrow down your list to five or fewer options.
4. Meet with orthodontists for a consult
Ask to see before-and-after photos of cases they have worked on, if this information wasn’t available on the website. If not, ask at reception for these, along with any testimonials they may have from past patients. There are many questions you should ask that will help you make a well-informed decision. Some of these questions include:
- How many orthodontists work here?
- What is the scope of your plan?
- When exactly is it the best time in my child’s life for treatment?
- What are my options?
- What exactly has to be done?
- What will happen if we choose not to do this treatment now?
- How long will it all take?
- How frequent will our visits be?
- What are your office hours?
- How long have you been practicing?
- How much will all of this cost?
- Do you take payment plans?
- How do you determine treatment cost?
- Does this quote include all costs?
- What follow-up care, like retainers, are included?
- Are there any other fees during treatment that I should know about?
- Do you offer references from current or past patients?
There are some things to consider:
- Is the office near your work, school, or home to make appointments as convenient for you as possible?
- Who will oversee the treatment, the orthodontist or his or her assistants?
- What kind of financing does the office offer?
- Does the doctor offer extended office hours before or after school and work?
- Do the doctor and his or her staff appear to be interested in making your experience personalized, or do you feel like just another patient who will bring in money to the office?
Most orthodontists will offer a free consultation where they will look over your medical history, talk to you about your objectives, assess your needs, take x-rays and photos, and give you a treatment plan. This should include the type(s) of treatment you would benefit from in addition to the duration and cost.