At any given time, over four million Americans wear braces. For several reasons, improving dental health is a top priority for many.
Of course, straightening your teeth will boost your confidence. But more importantly, oral health is a gateway to overall health. Since your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, oral bacteria can lead to other internal problems, such as heart disease and endocarditis.
Yet, when you’re ready to tackle your oral health, how do you go about choosing an orthodontist to handle your dental care?
Keep reading as we explore tips on how to choose the best orthodontist.
1. Education and Experience
Orthodontists undergo additional training to perform procedures that straighten the teeth and jaws. However, not all dentists go through this training.
Thus, you first want to ensure the orthodontists you’re considering all have the proper education. When in doubt, check with the American Board of Orthodontics to ensure each orthodontist is board certified. They should also be a member of the American Dental Association.
After checking their education, you want to look into how much experience each orthodontist has. Often, you can look on the orthodontists’ websites to see their experience and testimonials from past customers.
With so many options for orthodontists available, choose someone with a stellar track record of experience. You also want someone who is up to date on orthodontic technology.
There are several types of orthodontic treatments available. Therefore, choosing an orthodontist who can offer you different treatment options is helpful.
This isn’t to say you can’t choose a younger orthodontist or a newly-established office. But, knowing their level of experience can help you determine which orthodontist can best help you with your oral health problems.
If you have a particular treatment in mind, you want to inquire whether the orthodontist has experience with that treatment before committing to them.
2. Community Feedback
Reading online reviews is especially helpful when looking for the right orthodontist. If the community trusts an orthodontist, you know you’ve made a good choice.
Through online reviews, you can see where the orthodontist excels and if there are any areas of improvement. You can also use online reviews to know the orthodontist’s experience further, especially if you read testimonials directly on their website.
However, you want to read reviews across other platforms like Google, Yelp, or Facebook to get a complete picture of who the orthodontist is and if the feedback is generally positive. Often, businesses won’t directly post negative reviews on their website.
A few negative reviews shouldn’t turn you away. If you see a negative review, see if the practice responded to the review or made any changes to overcome the problem. No one is perfect, so you shouldn’t expect an orthodontist to be.
Yet, if you see consistent negative feedback, it’s a strong indicator to look elsewhere.
3. Consultation Options
When scheduling a dental appointment with an orthodontist, you want to see if they offer a free consultation. This way, the orthodontist can assess your goals and describe the treatment plan they recommend.
A free consultation allows you to get to know the orthodontist and the practice more before fully committing. You’ll also be able to learn more about the cost of treatment before needing to put any money down. This is essential since orthodontic care can get expensive.
If an orthodontist you’re considering doesn’t offer a free or low-cost consultation, you may want to reconsider them.
Most orthodontic treatments take months (or even years) to complete and require numerous visits to the clinic. Therefore, you want to find an orthodontist that is convenient for you.
This means locating an office near your house or office so that you can make an easy commute. You don’t want to spend precious time driving hours to and from your appointments.
You also want someone who has office hours that fit into your schedule.
For example, if you work long hours during the week, it’s best to find an orthodontist that consistently offers evening or weekend appointments. For those taking their kids to the orthodontist, you may want to find someone available after school hours.
Lastly, you want the orthodontist you choose to offer convenient scheduling. Being able to schedule and cancel appointments online is much easier than always needing to call. Look to see if the orthodontist has an online scheduling system or customer portal for you to use.
5. Cost of Treatment and Payment Options
Whether you have dental insurance or not, always ask about the cost of treatment before choosing an orthodontist. Orthodontic work often costs thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
You want to know upfront how much the treatments you require will be so you can financially prepare. You can also inquire about deals and discounts, which some offices offer to make orthodontic treatments more accessible.
If you have insurance, you’ll want to ask each orthodontist if they accept your insurance. If they don’t, you’ll need to find another practice.
For those without insurance, you want to ask about payment options, including payment plans. Going on a payment plan can help you get the treatment you need without causing financial strain.
The best time to discuss costs is during your first consultation with the orthodontist.
Choosing an Orthodontist Has Never Been Easier
Using this guide, you’ll have no problem choosing an orthodontist. You can even use the tips in this article to help guarantee you receive the best orthodontic care experience possible.
For those needing orthodontics in Richmond, Texas, look no further than Sweet Tooth Smiles. Our practice has been providing the highest quality services at very reasonable prices since 2018.
So contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Khan.