Choosing the right orthodontist is almost as important as deciding to get braces to treat your beautiful smile! That’s because you’ll be working with your orthodontist for as long as you’re going through the treatment process, so you want to be sure it’s someone you trust.
When you visit with a potential orthodontist, you should follow this list of questions to ask when choosing an orthodontist so you can be sure you pick the professional that will give you the best smile possible. Keep reading to learn more!
Did you graduate from a 2-3 year residency program after dental school?
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Shifting your teeth in line is an extensive process that requires years of training beyond dental school, so when you’re choosing an orthodontist to work with, you need to be sure they’ve graduated from a 2-3 year orthodontic residency program.
To become an orthodontist, your doctor needs to get an undergraduate degree, attend dental school, and participate in a residency program. During dental school, they’ll learn the basics of general dentistry, including treating your teeth with crowns, preventing tooth decay, and extracting teeth.
As in-depth as dental school is, however, orthodontists need several years of additional education to be able to move your teeth. The average orthodontist spends between ten and eleven years learning about jaw growth and tooth development. During their residency, an orthodontist in training will work alongside other orthodontists to learn valuable skills that a DDS won’t necessarily have, including:
- Biomechanical techniques to move the teeth properly
- Growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
- How to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
Just like with any other medical field, you’ll want to work with a specialist to treat conditions like bite problems or crowding. You wouldn’t go to your general practitioner for surgery, right? When it comes to restructuring your jawline or altering your teeth, you’ll need to visit an orthodontic specialist with the training to back up their work.
What treatment options do you offer?
Knowing which treatment options the orthodontist specializes in is a critical factor in deciding on the practice you want to work with. Getting braces is a lengthy process that requires years of work in some cases. Because of the duration of the process, you should carefully consider the methods that would become available to you at the orthodontic office in question before you commit to working with them.
RiverView Orthodontics offers three orthodontic treatment options for all ages, including:
Invisalign: This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without wires or brackets. Because they are clear, this option allows you to straighten your teeth with an almost invisible look. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time.
Metal Braces: As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first that come to mind when considering orthodontic treatment. These braces work by tightening the wire attached to a bracket glued to each tooth. With gentle, continuous pressure, your teeth are aligned over a period of 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.
Clear Braces: Clear braces work the same way as metal braces. The difference is that clear braces use white ceramic brackets that blend in with the color of your teeth and provide a less noticeable appearance.
How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist?
While your exact follow-up timing will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our expert team determine is right for you, we will schedule most patients’ adjustment appointments every four to eight weeks. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but regardless, these appointments are crucial for your overall orthodontic process!
The average process will take anywhere from 8 to 36 months to achieve your perfect smile, but visible results are evident as early as the first few months with most treatment plans. We know you’re busy, and we value your time. Just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule, but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as meaningful.
What financing and insurance options do you offer?
Your smile is an investment, and you deserve to understand the financial commitment that comes with it. Be sure to ask your treatment coordinator about financing options, payment plans, and insurance policies before you move forward.
At RiverView Orthodontics, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to receive the best orthodontic care whenever you need it. Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance policies, and we offer flexible payment plans and automatic bank drafts for your convenience. Our goal is to provide outstanding value for a reasonable price. Treatment fees vary depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, but our team is here to work with you every step of the way so you can afford the beautiful smile you deserve.
Do you offer a free consultation?
When you’re choosing an orthodontist to shape your new smile, the easiest way to decide whether you want to move forward with treatment is by attending a free consultation. This appointment gives you the opportunity to meet the orthodontic team you’ll be working with, learn more about the available treatment options, and talk with your treatment coordinator about financing and insurance. With a free consultation, you won’t feel pressured to stay with an orthodontic team you aren’t sure about.
Discover Your New Smile at RiverView Orthodontics
Your smile is your confidence-booster, first impression maker, and the best way to show your happiness to the world. You deserve a team that understands the importance of your unique grin – and how to straighten your teeth with the most modern treatments available. If you’re ready to discover your new smile, schedule your free consultation with Dr. Upton today!