Whether you’re seeking braces for children or adult orthodontics services, you’re going to have to find the right orthodontist for your needs. Orthodontistry is becoming a more and more specialized field, with some specialists focusing on one or two specific treatments. This is a good thing for you and your family, but it does make it more difficult to select the right orthodontist. Typically you decide you need to see an orthodontist one of two ways, either you see your crooked smile and desire to have it fixed, or your dentist recommends that you see someone. Crowding and other issues can lead to medical complications in the future, so it’s wise to address them.
Once your dentist refers you to a specific orthodontist, you should definitely consider them. Your dentist is very familiar with your teeth, and they often work with orthodontists over the course of your treatment. However, a recommendation shouldn’t be the be all end all in your search. Keep an open mind and explore your other avenues as well.
The most common reason you will be seeing an orthodontist is to correct your “bite.” When things don’t align properly it’s termed a “bad bite”, though the technical term is “malocclusion.” It’s an umbrella term for a variety of issues that you may be facing. The goal of your orthodontist is to correct this malocclusion by aligning your teeth and allowing them to fit perfectly in your mouth. They want to alleviate overcrowding that may be present, and they’ll also be sure to correct an underbite or overbite. The best orthodontists keep you involved every step of the way. They’ll inform you of the plan for your teeth, and allow for you input when possible. You may have several different options when it comes to braces such as Invisalign or lingual braces (behind the teeth) that you hadn’t even considered in the past.
Now that you have a little bit of information on orthodontists, you should be ready to schedule some consultations. But what should be looking for during these meetings? Here are a few traits of top orthodontists that you’ll want to look for:
1) They are experienced
The more experience your orthodontist has, the better. You want somebody who has seen a wide array of patients and cases. That why they expect the unexpected. It will be hard for your necessary course of treatment to shock them, they’ve seen it all.
2) Find a trusted and establish practice
Look around for an orthodontist who is established in the community. You want somebody that people trust and value. Find out how long their practice has been around, and look online at some of the reviews. Doing business with somebody who is viewed as an asset in your community is a wise choice.
3) Proud of their results
When you head in for a consultation, you should plenty of before and after pictures around the office. This shows you that the orthodontist does good work and is proud of their results. Make sure the results seem good to you too though!
4) Keeping up with the tech
As with any field, orthodontics makes use of technology to grow, change, and develop better methods. You want to ensure that the orthodontist you select make is a point to be constantly learning and improving.
5) Do they offer a wide selection?
As a consumer, you’re used to the power of choice. Make sure your orthodontist is able to effectively treat with wide selection of braces. You want to offer a few different things other than just traditional braces. They should offer things like clear braces, discreet lingual braces for teeth straightening, and the aforementioned Invisalign.
Focus on these areas first and go from there. With a little bit of research and guidance, you can easily find the best orthodontist for you and your family.
One more important thing I want to mention is the AAO. The AAO, or Association of Orthodontics, is the governing body for all orthodontists. They established and maintain a database of all licensed orthodontists that is available for you to search online. The AAO has stringent standards for membership, and you can feel comfortable if the orthodontist you’ve selected is a recognized member. They maintain the ethical and training standards for the profession, and require that members keep up on continuing education.
Correcting your crooked smile can not only help you feel better about yourself, but it may be medically necessary. When it comes time to consult with an orthodontist, do your research and ask around. Make sure you’re going with the best person to meet your needs.