It can be challenging to know which orthodontist in your area is the most qualified and experienced. With so many options to choose from, it helps to know what to look for. Here are some essential questions you should ask when searching for an orthodontist.
WHAT’S THEIR REPUTATION?
The best orthodontists should have a solid track record of providing quality service. Considering reading reviews from previous patients or speak with a friend about who they go to for orthodontic work. Top-notch orthodontists often receive awards or accolades for their dedication to patients as well. Try to find an orthodontist that has considerable experience and a strong reputation in the community.
WHAT INSURANCE PROVIDERS DO THEY ACCEPT?
Be sure to ask about the types of insurance plans supported by the orthodontist. Without insurance coverage, the costs of orthodontic care can be substantial. Many leading orthodontists support a range of today’s most popular providers.
DO YOU PROVIDE PAYMENT PLANS FOR SERVICES?
Inquire about payment plans or if flex spending accounts are available to help spread out costs over time. Your orthodontist should provide flexible financing options for treatment based on your income and ability to pay. Paying monthly installments can make out-of-pocket obligations much easier to manage. You may also want to ask about the cost of emergency visits and follow-up appointments.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS SHOULD MY ORTHODONTIST HAVE?
Orthodontists must receive extensive education to become certified. After four years of dental school, a prospective orthodontist needs to spend several years in a residency program. Next, he or she must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the American Board of Orthodontics to be considered a board-certified orthodontist. Exams are retaken every ten years to keep the certification in good standing.
DO YOU TAKE ON PATIENTS OF ALL AGES?
Not all orthodontists accept patients of every age group. Some practices focus on orthodontic care specifically for children or adults while others are happy to help anyone, regardless of age. Consider selecting an orthodontist who specializes in helping individuals in your peer group.
WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR STRAIGHTENING MY TEETH?
An orthodontist should offer several different approaches to giving you a brighter smile. For older individuals, the two most common treatments are traditional metal braces or Invisalign®. An initial consultation is needed to determine the best option for you. Invisalign is an increasingly common choice for adults because clear aligners are barely visible when you smile and are easy to remove when needed.
ARE THERE EXAMPLES OF THE ORTHODONTIST’S PRIOR WORK?
Ask to see before and after photos of patients that the orthodontist has helped in the past. Orthodontists that have established a successful practice will proudly share examples of their work. Seeing examples will also give you a better idea of the results you can expect to get from treatment.
HOW LONG WILL THE TREATMENT TAKE?
Everyone is different when it comes to length of treatment time. Simple fixes take about a year, and more complex cases can take 24 to 30 months. An experienced orthodontist will be able to give you a fairly accurate estimation of your treatment time and how often you will need to schedule appointments.
WHAT IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Be sure to gather all your questions together and bring them to your initial consultation, and don’t start your treatment until they are all answered. Your treatment will be more effective and your results better when you can approach it with confidence!