As with any new undertaking, a little research beforehand makes a big difference. It helps you address the questions that you have about the subject and makes the decision-making easier. Choosing an orthodontist is an important health-related decision and similarly requires prior research to make an informed decision. Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry which focuses on diagnosis and correction of bites, malpositioned teeth and jaws. It is a long-term and stressful process; hence requires the patients to have full knowledge of the treatment and a feel of the time it requires before they start addressing their orthodontic concerns. This article enlists six common questions, which upon addressing, will help you make the right choice and make your treatment process productive and comfortable.
1.Orthodontist’s Qualification and Experience
It is perhaps the most important question that you could ask before choosing your orthodontist. An orthodontist is a specialist dentist who completes another 2-3 years of training after graduating from a dental school. It is important to ensure that your orthodontist has received all the necessary education and is well versed in the field. It is also pertinent to inquire about the practical experience of the orthodontist and ask about examples of his or her previous work. Testimonials of patients can offer you an insight about the orthodontist’s work and help you in the decision to whether or not use his/her services. It is necessary to check that the orthodontist is registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) and is in good standing to be a member of professional bodies like the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Another crucial question you should ask is whether the orthodontist does all the orthodontic work personally by himself or keeps other associates to do some of the treatment. If so, it is necessary to know about everyone who will be involved in your care; ask about their qualification and the experience they have in their fields? Take out your time to make sure that the team (orthodontic therapists, nurses, hygienists, etc.) is highly professional because they all will have an important role in your treatment process.
3.Treatment options and length of treatment
A new range of treatment methods is made available due to the constant development in orthodontic technology. It is important to know how the available options can benefit you and which option best suit your case. You can look your potential orthodontist’s website for the treatment options and the procedures they offer. Do a little research about the scope of each procedure, so that you can ask the right questions at the time of initial consultation. It is also critical to ask about the length of time every treatment method will take to show results and the number of visits you will make each year. Though the answers will be different for each patient, it will give you an idea about the amount of time you will spend with the orthodontist.
It is particularly important to ask about the office hours of your orthodontists. If you anticipate frequent check-up visits to your orthodontist, make sure that the timing is flexible and doesn’t clash with your working hours. Some orthodontists keep odd hours and often makes you miss a class or work which may not be ideal for you. Hence, it should be ensured your orthodontist works around your busy schedule, and an appointment does not interfere with your school or work hours. It will also ensure that your treatment gets the attention it needs.
Cost of treatment is the ultimate decision-maker in the case of many families. Since orthodontic treatment requires significant finance, it is important to ask about the treatment cost and the payment plans of the orthodontist. Different orthodontists charge differently, but often the price has nothing to do with the quality of the treatment. If an orthodontist charges less, it does not imply that he/she is a bad dentist. Ask how they qualify the reduced cost. Equally important to know are the payment options that the orthodontists offer and whether or not they accept insurance. Moreover, inquire about any additional charges like an additional fee on each visit, etc. The decision should be taken wisely so that the overall treatment cost fits your budget.
The orthodontic treatment is a long-term process and requires checkup visits every 6 or 8 weeks. Hence, it becomes imperative to consider the location of an orthodontics’ clinic. I’d prefer an orthodontist near me over the one whose office is located 100 miles away. Asking about other office locations is also important, as some orthodontists have more than one office locations, and perhaps s/he might have a clinic at a convenient location for your treatment.
Choosing your orthodontist is an important decision and needs to be handled wisely. Before making this decision, one must ask questions to know the credentials of the orthodontist and the team assisting him or her. One should be wary about an orthodontist’s working hours and ask about the treatment options, the scope of each option and the cost associated with each option. Besides, it is necessary to question your own self regarding the location of the clinic, its environment, and the staff behavior so that the overall treatment experience is spent in ease and comfort.