Did you know that more than more million Americans are currently wearing braces, and 25% of them are adults? It goes to show how much we care about our dental health. If you have crooked teeth or an irregular bite, or you want to improve your looks, you need an orthodontist.
Orthodontic treatment can enhance your well-being and quality of life, but finding the right professional for the work is important. A quality orthodontist should be qualified, considerate, operate in a hygienic office, and talk to you about the timeline. Find out more in this article.
Nowadays, most people begin their research with an internet search, which is the fastest and simplest way to gain a broad overview of a topic. Search engines are specially designed for user experience, so simply type in orthodontists or a more specific search term.
If you type in a broad keyword term like “orthodontist,” you will find plenty of results in your local area; again, this is down to search engine optimization. However, if you can be more specific about your query or requirement, the search engine will support you with better search results.
Naturally, you want to ensure you are getting the best overview of orthodontists in your area, so consider online directories and review websites to help you decide. Customer reviews are difficult to forge these days, so you can get an idea of the service offered.
Recommendations and Referrals
Online reviews are the internet’s method of word-of-mouth advertising, and it works quite well, but traditional word-of-mouth advertising is still the best. If you want to learn about the best orthodontist in your area, you should talk to your friends, family members, and neighbors.
Another effective way to identify the best orthodontists in your area is to speak to dentists and medical professionals. Not only do dentists and medical professionals work closely with orthodontists, but they also work in local areas, meaning their reputation is also at stake.
Qualifications and Credentials
One way to ensure that you get the best dental care for yourself and your family is to run a background check on your chosen orthodontist, which is more important if you don’t know them and they haven’t been recommended. Check qualifications and experience.
It’s not easy to become an orthodontist. First, they must complete an undergraduate degree, followed by a professional degree in dentistry. After four years in dental school, they move on to a post-degree training course in orthodontics.
Some orthodontists will have their qualifications and certificates displayed in the office, but if they don’t, you can contact the state dental board to find out if they are registered. The state dental board should be able to tell you more about their credentials and when they signed on.
Testimonials and Consultations
Again, word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, so make sure you track and read a broad range of testimonials before choosing your orthodontist. If you want to narrow your search, look for testimonials for dental professionals skilled in a particular area, like aligners.
There are a few things to keep in mind when reading patient testimonials and reviews. The first is that positive reviews are more likely to be promoted, so dig a little deeper; the second is that negative star ratings don’t always stack up. Try to read the testimonials to find out if you agree.
Another way to check the suitability of your new orthodontist is to schedule a consultation. During the consultation, you have the chance to talk to them about your procedure and get to know them at the same time. Prepare some questions to help you make an informed choice.
Facilities and Hygiene
When you need dental treatment, especially long-term treatment at an orthodontist, you don’t want to travel too far, which is why location is so important. During your research, you might have some tough decisions to make, but make sure it’s convenient enough for the treatments.
Hygiene is another important consideration, especially for a medical facility. Orthodontist clinics operate independently and might not qualify for regulation standards. Why not check if the dental clinic is a member of the ADHA, and pay a visit to a clinic to experience it yourself?
Technology and Payment Options
In most industries, technology doesn’t stand still for long, and dentistry is no exception. Over the last few years, new technologies such as digital impressions, 3D images, and clear aligners have all made a big impression on the industry. Check the orthodontist is staying up-to-date.
It’s also a sensible idea to check the financial requirements at your new clinic. While most dental and medical professionals accept medical insurance, some don’t, preferring to bill the client directly. Of course, this is something you need to understand and organize right away.
Costs and Treatment Plans
Even if you have medical cover for your dental expenses, you still need a breakdown of all the costs for your itemized tax return. If the orthodontist you are considering doesn’t offer a payment plan or an itemized bill, it can make your life more challenging and expensive down the road.
A comprehensive treatment plan and timeline can also save you a lot of time, stress, and money. It’s always best to be on the same page when undergoing long-term dental treatment; a good orthodontist will acknowledge it. Discuss the timeline with your dental professional.
No one wants to be stuck with an unprofessional, ill-equipped, inconvenient, or unqualified orthodontist. While these circumstances are rare, there is always a chance you could choose a low-quality practitioner that will cost you money and deliver sub-standard results for treatment.
Dental health might not seem like a high priority to some people; after all, there are more vital health considerations. However, dental health can affect your heart and blood pressure, not to mention your quality of life. Always prioritize your dental hygiene and find a good orthodontist.
Dr. Bill Redmond is a native of Southern California, the son of an orthodontist and the husband of a general dentist. That makes family gatherings pretty interesting…if you like teeth!