According to the American Association of Orthodontists, more than 1.4 million adults in North America were seeking orthodontic treatment in 2014.
Considering that just under three-quarters of people having this type of treatment are under eighteen, the overall numbers are huge.
If you are thinking about having work done, then you’ll want to be sure you find a great orthodontist. But with so many options out there, how do you even begin to choose?
Well, we’re here to help. Read on, as we take a look at some helpful tips for how to choose an orthodontist.
Referrals and Reviews
One of the best ways to find a great orthodontist is through recommendations and referrals.
If you know someone who was very happy with their orthodontic treatment, then speak to them about the work they had done and their experience. Conversely, if you know people who are unhappy with the work they had done, you will know who to avoid.
If you don’t know anyone who has had orthodontic treatment, then try having a look at online reviews. Keep in mind that extremely positive and extremely negative reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt. But if you find someone who has a large number of mostly positive reviews then they may be a good choice.
Orthodontist or Dentist?
Both orthodontists and dentists go through the same training initially. Dentists then stop their training and take up their practice, but orthodontists continue to train for several years.
This is so that they can become specialists in the alignment of teeth. So if you need orthodontic treatment, it is always recommended that you see a fully qualified orthodontist rather than a dentist that also offers orthodontic services.
Do They Take Adults?
With the vast majority of orthodontic patients being under the age of eighteen, some practices will only accept children.
So if you’re an adult seeking treatment, you need to verify that the practice you are considering is actually willing to take on adult patients. Most will make this very clear on their websites, but if you are unsure you can always confirm it with a quick phone call.
What Treatments Do They Offer?
Orthodontics covers a wide range of different treatments.
Some practices will specialize in only one or two specific options and will have little experience in other areas. So take a look at their website and see what treatments are available. A practice that only offers a limited number of choices may not be the best option, as they may not provide the treatment most suited to your needs.
Compare different practices to give you an idea of what the majority can offer.
Get a Consultation
Once you have narrowed down your list, it is a good idea to get a consultation.
This is a great opportunity to find out exactly what issues you have, and what treatments they recommend. And it’s also the perfect chance to check out the practice and see if it’s one you would consider choosing.
Most good practices will offer your consultation for free. If a practice is charging you for your consultation then it’s a sign that they are not confident that you will use them for your treatment.
Do the Staff Put You at Ease?
You’re likely to be spending a fair amount of time at the practice you choose. So you want to feel comfortable.
And that starts from the moment you walk in the door. Do the reception staff help to put you at ease? Do they keep you informed about your appointment? Do they make you feel welcome?
And then there are the people that will be doing your treatment. The orthodontist and their assistants should all be people who you feel comfortable with and have confidence in. If you don’t feel that way, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Are They up to Date with the Latest Practices?
Orthodontics today is vastly different from ten years ago. And in ten years’ time, it will look completely different again.
So you want to be sure that your orthodontist is someone that keeps up with all the latest practices and advances in orthodontic treatment. You are well within your rights to ask about what kind of continuing education they use to keep up on all the latest developments.
If they don’t provide you with a satisfactory answer, then they may not be the right choice for you.
Find out Costs
One of the most important questions you will have is about the costs of your treatment.
And costs can vary quite significantly from one practice to the next. Depending on your treatment, the costs could easily reach several thousand dollars, although dental insurance will often cover orthodontic treatments. Most good practices will also offer financing options and payment plans.
Remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. And conversely, the most expensive option isn’t necessarily the best either.
What Hours Do They Open?
The final piece of information that could influence your decision is the opening hours.
Many orthodontists will operate during usual business hours. This means that to attend appointments you will need to take time away from work. And if your child is being treated, they will need to be taken out of school.
Good practices will either open early or run late, in order to allow people to schedule appointments around their working days. Speak to your orthodontist to see what options they can offer in terms of appointment times.
Now You Know How to Choose an Orthodontist
Now that you’ve learned how to choose an orthodontist, it’s time to go out there and find one.
If you’re looking for a high-quality orthodontist in the greater Detroit area, then we’re here to help. We aim to provide innovative orthodontic care in a state-of-the-art environment. Our doctors are leaders in the digital orthodontics industry, with the expertise you need to give you the best care and the best smile.
Schedule your complimentary consultation today.