What Everyone Should Know About Selecting an Orthodontist

Selecting the right orthodontist does not have to be as painful as pulling teeth! The key to choosing the right provider for your situation involves careful questioning BEFORE agreeing to treatment. Fortunately, many orthodontists offer a free consultation, allowing patients to “interview” them. Take advantage of such offers and shop around. Plan to get consultations from at least three orthodontists. Trust me, after having braces three times (twice as an adult), I have streamlined the process of choosing an orthodontist.

Decide what your desired result is. Do you simply want a nice straight smile when you are finished with treatment, or do you want that smile to last forever? Some orthodontists are lenient with their recommendations about wearing retainers after treatment. This is a red flag. It often means you might require repeat treatment in the future (which ensures them a steady supply of customers). After investing $3000+ in braces, you will want your straight smile for life! Any diligent orthodontist will insist on a lifetime approach to wearing retainers (even if only at nighttime eventually).

Ask your orthodontist about how he or she plans to address your needs AFTER treatment. This will give you a clue about how concerned your orthodontist is with your satisfaction as a patient. Also, ask your potential orthodontist what his recommended treatment would be for a person who presents with problems such as a slight lisp or issues with swallowing improperly. Some people have these difficulties, and it is often the very reason they need braces. However, many orthodontists fail to address these issues because they lack the information and contacts to make appropriate referrals when necessary. If the orthodontist simply views these issues as unimportant and does not recommend additional treatment, lifetime guaranteed results will not occur. Any orthodontist can move teeth around and straighten them just enough to take your braces off. A conscientious orthodontist will ensure that you receive a proper referral to the appropriate healthcare provider such as a speech therapist, when necessary, if it means that the odds of your treatment success are increased significantly.

Don’t forget to ask about availability of appointments. Some orthodontists only offer appointments at one of their many locations on a particular day of the week. How convenient will that be for your schedule? Will you always be able to schedule your appointments on the same day? Consider the orthodontist’s availability when choosing the right provider though don’t use this as your sole basis for choosing your orthodontist.

The above suggestions are important to consider when choosing the right orthodontist. With careful questioning BEFORE beginning treatment, you can ensure successful treatment and a gorgeous smile that will last a lifetime.

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