Choosing the right orthodontist is as important as finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. OK, maybe not quite THAT important. But you’ll certainly want nice teeth to help you in your search for that special someone, and not all orthodontists are created equal. Their approach to treatment, experience, and skills are just some variables that make an orthodontist truly extraordinary. So, let us share the top nine things to consider when searching for a top-notch orthodontist.
1. Experience and Background
It may be worth your while to take a glance at an orthodontist’s credentials and ask how long they’ve been practicing. The longer they have been providing treatment and the more training they have, the better you can expect their service to be. This doesn’t necessarily mean that orthodontists fresh out of school can’t be great. Many of them have had extensive training with internships and residencies. With that being said, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their background in orthodontics.
Convenience is a key factor for anyone with a busy schedule, especially parents. Orthodontic treatment can be demanding and require regular weekly or monthly appointments. You will thank yourself for choosing an orthodontist office close to your home. This makes it easier to take kids out of school to run them to appointments or leave work a little bit early for an appointment. It will be the best of both worlds if you can have a wonderful dentist right in your neighborhood. If you can’t decide between two orthodontists, choose the one that is closer to your home.
Invisalign treatment opens up even more options for convenience. Without the physical brackets and wires of traditional braces to adjust, follow-up appointments may be virtual, saving you a trip into the office altogether.
One of the best ways to find out information on any provider is by word of mouth. Ask your friends and coworkers who they like for themselves or their children. Ask what their experience was like. People are usually pretty vocal about both exceptionally good experiences and exceptionally bad experiences, so asking around can be the best way to get the details on every orthodontist in town. Each orthodontist has a reputation; be sure to pick someone who has a good one.
4. Office Environment
Visiting different orthodontist offices will give you a feel for what your overall experience will be like. Usually, your first impression will be a pretty good indicator of how an appointment will feel. Are the receptionists friendly and helpful? Did they greet you right when you came in and make you feel welcome? Is the office clean? Are the instruments being used wrapped and sterilized for each patient? Do the other waiting patients seem content with their experience so far? Observing the experiences of others can be very telling.
Do you have to wait several months every time you need an appointment because the orthodontist is always going on fishing trips and has limited appointment availability? That must be the life — for the orthodontist — but not for patients. This is very important information to know before establishing care with someone. Avoid the frustration and choose someone with very open availability.
An orthodontist should always be personable and kind. Period. No exceptions. We know that people often have anxiety coming to orthodontist appointments, and it is our job to help each patient feel comfortable in our care. If your orthodontist seems grumpy and unkind, cross them off your list. Treating patients well is very important. Never feel obligated to stay with an orthodontist who doesn’t have a good bedside manner. There are plenty of orthodontists who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated at every visit.
In this day and age, it’s the norm to check website reviews before scheduling any service or purchasing any product. Most orthodontic offices have a website, and most websites have a section where patients can leave an honest review. Are the reviews generally good or bad? A couple of bad reviews is OK because some people are never satisfied, but it is a red flag if the website is flooded with only negative comments and one-star ratings.
8. Treatments Offered
It may sound obvious, but make sure your orthodontist offers the treatments you need. Some orthodontists specialize in something very specific, so do your research. Inquire with the office and find out what each orthodontist is known for. There are different methods for teeth straightening and whitening, so if there is a specific service you’re set on, make sure your orthodontist offers what you’re looking for.
Pricing is a significant consideration when choosing an orthodontist. First and foremost, do they take your insurance? If you don’t have insurance, what are the out-of-pocket costs? If you are paying out-of-pocket, you may want to make sure they have financing or offer payment plans. Cost is a big thing to consider when looking for an orthodontist for you or your child.
Whether you’re looking to straighten your teeth or whiten that beautiful smile, these nine factors are important to consider when looking for an orthodontist. It may not be as important as finding that special someone to spend your life with but achieving a beautiful smile is still pretty high on the list for most people. At Quick Smiles, we pride ourselves on hiring skilled and caring orthodontists who have extensive experience. We provide a friendly and uplifting office environment and some of the lowest prices for Invisalign clear aligners in the nation.