Your orthodontist isn’t just someone who helps you get a picture-perfect smile. He or she should be someone you trust, recommend, and respect. This means doing more than just Googling “best orthodontists near me” and randomly picking the practice closest to your home or office is important. Rather than leaving your patient experience and outcome to chance, take the time to evaluate all the top orthodontists. That way, you can feel more confident moving forward with your or your child’s smile improvements.
How can you determine the best orthodontist for your family’s current and anticipated needs? Keep the following considerations in mind as you’re conducting your initial search. Each one will help narrow the field and allow you to pinpoint exactly the right orthodontist or team of orthodontists to serve you.
1. Choose An Experienced Orthodontist.
All orthodontists go through years of schooling. However, education is only part of the equation. Having real-world expertise matters, especially with pediatric or adult patients with complicated smile issues.
To ensure that your orthodontist has the skills and know-how to bring customized solutions to every patient case, look for a team with decades of collective knowledge and practice. The more imperfect smiles they’ve successfully corrected, the better.
2. Opt For a Tech-Forward Practice.
Like all medical fields, orthodontics has advanced thanks to technology. Though technology includes software, it’s not limited to computer systems. Orthodontic technology can be anything from the materials used to make corrective orthodontic appliances to the equipment used to accurately scan patients’ teeth, jaws, and gums.
What are some pieces of tech to ask about when investigating orthodontists in your area? You can always ask about the in-house tools they use. For instance, are they equipped with a 3D printer to make habits and other appliances more efficient and cost-effectively? Do they offer the latest types of orthodontic solutions like SureSmile® braces? Their answers will indicate whether or not the practice has invested in future-forward technology.
3. Look For a Variety Of Treatment Options.
Maybe you have your heart set on visiting an Invisalign orthodontist because you want to get a straighter smile discreetly. That’s fine, but try not to limit yourself to an orthodontist who only offers Invisalign. Why? Invisalign is a phenomenal orthodontic treatment but may not be the ideal answer for you or your child. If you end up with an orthodontist who only offers Invisalign, you may have less-than-perfect results.
Unless you’re an orthodontist, you can’t be sure of the right orthodontic system for your circumstances, lifestyle, or health history. It only makes sense to go to an orthodontist who offers a range of orthodontic choices, including those that move the teeth gently with clear aligners, metal braces, ceramic braces, or lingual braces.
4. When To See an Orthodontist
Most orthodontists offer comprehensive consultations with first-time patients and, if applicable, the patient’s family members. During these consultations, the orthodontist should take diagnostics and an opportunity for the patient to talk in-depth because:
- This will allow you to ask questions and discuss your options
- Your teeth and gums will be examined to determine treatment options during a consultation
- You can also ask about the orthodontist’s experience, credentials, and approach to treatment.
- You can inquire about the cost, the length of treatment, and what to expect throughout the process.
- You will understand the practice and ensure you feel comfortable with them.
A naturally straight smile can make you or your child feel more confident and less self-conscious in social situations. But orthodontics does more than just improve your smile’s appearance. When your teeth and jaw are corrected and aligned, you won’t have as much trouble caring for your mouth. Plus, you’ll lower your chance of developing problems like TMJ.