How to Choose the Right Orthodontist: Top Factors to Consider

When you or your child needs an orthodontist, the professional you choose must meet your needs in a variety of ways. The decision should be based on the type of orthodontia you need, the qualifications of the orthodontist, and your budget. 

Give yourself time to research each orthodontist you are considering and take advantage of any who offer free consultations. Remember, orthodontic work isn’t a quick fix, you will be working together for many months or even years. So make sure you are comfortable with the one you choose. 

In this article, we dive into the important factors to consider when choosing an orthodontist. 

How To Choose The Right Orthodontist Confidently

When you need heart surgery, you consult a cardiologist. Skin problems are handled by dermatologists. Children are seen by pediatricians. All these specialists complete their general medical training and then spend additional years training in their specialty. 

Orthodontists are no different in that. They are dentists who then went on to spend more years of study in the specialty of moving teeth and aligning jaws so you can bite, speak, and chew effectively

Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you research and consult with several orthodontists to find the right one for your family:

#1 – Education and Experience

How long has the orthodontist been in practice and where did they get their education? As with any other professional, the more training and experience they have had, the better you can expect their treatment to be. You can often find this information on their website or don’t be afraid to simply ask them.

If you are searching for an orthodontist for your child, ask about their pediatric training and experience. Do they have any other specialties and where did they get their training for those?

#2 – Types of Treatments Offered

What is it you are looking for? Ceramic braces, Invisalign, lingual braces? Whatever it is, you must be clear with the candidates you interview. Let them know what treatment options you are considering and ask if they offer it. Most orthodontists offer different services but don’t assume anything. Ask!

You may need to have other dental work done, such as the removal of wisdom teeth, before braces. Make sure the orthodontist can do that or will your dentist need to handle it?  You want to have a choice of products and decide which treatment best fits you and your lifestyle.

#3 – Office Location and Hours

During your treatment plan, your visits to the orthodontist will be regular and more often than to your dentist. Depending on the type of braces or device used, there will be appointments to tighten the braces or check on the progress of the plan. There may be unexpected issues with the braces that will need your orthodontist’s attention.

You will need an office that is close to your home (or work) and convenient to visit. Ask also about the availability of evening and weekend hours. Both the location and the hours will make it more convenient to schedule appointments around work and school. 

#4 – Cost of Treatment

As you compare orthodontists, the costs of the treatment you are seeking can vary. Make sure you are looking at all the costs upfront so you are comparing the same services and you won’t be surprised by the bill at the end of treatment. 

Inquire about their acceptance of your dental insurance if you have any. Call the insurance company, also, to ensure you have all the facts about your policy and coverage. Ask the orthodontist’s business manager about any financing or payment plans they may offer.  Also, some offices offer reduced rates or discounts on orthodontic treatments if you don’t have insurance, so make sure you ask.

#5 – Reputation of the Orthodontist

Ask the orthodontist for reviews from current or previous patients who have spoken about their experience. Search out others in your community who may have used the orthodontist. Read online reviews from Google, Yelp, etc, too. These reviews have become a well-established source of information about any business or professional you intend to use. 

Pay attention to the orthodontist’s business ratings and certifications from related organizations, like the American Association of Orthodontists or others. 

#6 – Office Environment

What is the atmosphere of the office? Is it a welcoming place? If you are looking for an orthodontist for your child, is the office appealing to kids or is it a sterile, cold environment? Are the waiting room and restroom areas clean? Are the instruments in the patient areas wrapped for each patient? Is hand-washing protocol followed?

Are you greeted when you arrive? Is the waiting room full of patients who appear restless, maybe due to overbooking? Are there toys and kid-friendly books available? Is the office staff abrupt or helpful? Do they listen to you? How do they answer the phone?

#7 – Are Free Consultations Available?

Most orthodontists offer a free initial consultation where they will assess your goals, examine your teeth and jaw, and then make a recommendation that includes the expected cost and duration of treatment. You should be able to ask all the questions you have at that time.

Based on the outcome of these meetings, you will then have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Choosing an orthodontist is a big decision and should be done with patience and careful research. By following the tips we’ve covered above, you can find a local orthodontist who offers expert, professional treatment that meets your dental and financial needs.

Finding the Right Orthodontist for You & Your Family Is Critical

Choosing an orthodontist for your family isn’t something to rush or undertake without due consideration. It’s an important choice. You should investigate factors like cost, location, training, education, and office environment and then consult with several orthodontists to compare everything you have learned. 

If you are looking for a good orthodontist that you can trust, look no further than White Plains Orthodontics. Our experienced and compassionate team can meet all of you and your family’s orthodontic needs, from braces to Invisalign and everything in between, all in a calm and relaxed space. We’ll help you achieve a straight, beautiful smile you are proud to show off.

Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation!