5 Things to Look for in an Orthodontist
While orthodontic treatment can properly align the teeth and bite for a functional, more aesthetic smile, it is not only the orthodontic appliance that is important. When it comes to perfecting your smile with orthodontic treatment, choosing the best orthodontist for your needs is key to obtaining a wonderful smile. This is because your orthodontist is ultimately in charge of making the adjustments on your orthodontic appliance to obtain the desired results. Your orthodontics will monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed to gradually move each tooth into the most optimal position.
Therefore, if you want a great smile, you will need to choose a great orthodontist. However, chances are you’ve never had orthodontic treatment before and have no idea what to look for. When deciding on an orthodontist in your area, here are five things to look for:
First things first, you will want to make sure that your future orthodontist is qualified. While many dentists offer orthodontic services, it is recommended to visit an orthodontist for the best treatment. This is because orthodontists have an additional 2-3 years of orthodontic specialty training that general dentists do not. An easy way to distinguish a dentist from an orthodontist is to ask them what services they provide. If they mention cleanings, fillings, or dental maintenance and restoration, they are a dentist.
Many orthodontists offer free consultations to evaluate your smile and provide a quote on treatment cost, length, and the final proposed results. These consultations also provide you a chance to interact with the orthodontist to determine if you are a good fit. During this time, you will want to pay special attention to how they act around you, whether they can easily answer questions, and whether or not they make you feel at ease.
Attending a few different orthodontic consultations can also give you a better idea of what orthodontic treatment will cost you. While the cost of orthodontic treatment can vary for a number of reasons, if the treatment plans are similar, the costs should also be relatively similar. If one orthodontist sticks out as being much cheaper or much more expensive, you may want to question them on their costs. Ultimately, you want to make sure your money is going towards your treatment and not a flashy office.
Since some types of orthodontic treatments can last a while, you will want to find an orthodontist who has an office that is convenient for you to visit. As mentioned before, a key element of orthodontic treatment is having your orthodontist regularly evaluate your progress and make adjustments. In most cases, these adjustments can take place about every 6-8 weeks, however some may be more frequent or spaced out. Nevertheless, you will want to find an orthodontist with an office that is local and that has office hours compatible with your schedule.
You may also want to ask your future orthodontist if they can show you past cases similar to yours to reference treatment results. If an orthodontist was recommended to you by someone, you should also ask them about their experience with the orthodontist, office staff, and overall treatment. Finally, you should pay attention to the other patients in the office and how the orthodontist interacts with them.
To find the best orthodontist for your smile, you should look at an orthodontist’s qualifications, mannerisms, cost, convenience, and references. Evaluating these five things will help you to make a better decision about which orthodontist to choose. Ultimately, you want to find an orthodontist who can transform your smile while also making the experience a pleasant one.
Dr. Massih attended UCLA, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in psychobiology. She then went on to earn her DDS degree at UCLA’s School of Dentistry, where she was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, and was in the top 10% of her class. She has received her certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at the University of Pittsburgh and is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, & American Dental Association.