How to Choose an Orthodontist

Choosing an orthodontic practice to trust with the health of your smile or your child's smile is an important decision. Orthodontic treatment can take from several months to over two years, so you'll want to make sure you or your child are comfortable with the doctor and staff. Your orthodontic experience is something you'll remember for the rest of your life, so make sure it's something to smile about. Ask someone you trust for a recommendation. Whether it's a friend, co-worker, or family member, they'll probably be more than happy to share their first-hand experience. Your general dentist is also a great resource to get a recommendation.

Consider education and experience.

Once you have a list of a few orthodontists, do a little research. Find out about their educational background, where they went to school, and what kinds of continuing education or specialty training they've had. Before you set up a consultation with an orthodontist, make sure he or she is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontists. This ensures that they remain up-to-date on the newest and most effective clinical procedures.

Ask questions.

During your consultation, don't be afraid to ask questions. After all, that's why you're there! It's important for you to understand what type of orthodontic issues you have and the most effective ways to treat them. The more informed you are about your own dental health or that or your child’s, the better decisions you will be able to make.

A few things to consider:

  • Who will be overseeing your treatment: the orthodontist or assistants?
  • Is the office located near your home or work to make appointments as convenient as possible?
  • What types of insurance does the office work with and what kind of financing do they offer?
  • Do the orthodontist and staff seem interested in making your experience personalized or do you feel like "just a number?"

Finally, are the doctors and the staff the kind of people you can trust and would like to get to know better?