Expert Contribution

Things that Matter the Most

When Selecting an Orthodontist

Whether you are a child, teen, or adult, getting braces can be a daunting task. The most important first step is to find the right doctor. After all, you’ll be entrusting your doctor to perfect your most dazzling feature—your smile. Here is advice on how to find a talented orthodontist along with other important initial steps to take before selecting your doctor.

Seek out recommendations on where to begin. Ask your dentist, friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors who they know to be an excellent orthodontist. If a particular orthodontist’s name comes up multiple times, that is a good place to start. Also ask your dentist why they recommend that individual and if there are others they also would recommend. Online tools can also provide immediate recommendations based on experience and location. Make sure to also browse the doctor’s website and Yelp pages to review testimonials and gauge patient satisfaction.

When talking to people find out their experiences and ask them pertinent questions. How friendly is the staff? Evaluate every action you have with the staff of the office, from the first phone call to the second you walk out the door. Are they helpful? Did you feel like they were too pushy?

How accessible is the orthodontist? When you go in for the exam, watch the office run. Can you even find the orthodontist? Is he/she interacting with the parents and patients? Do the patients and parents feel comfortable with the doctor? You should feel that the doctor is available to you at every appointment to explain what is happening in treatment and to listen to any of your concerns.

Other aspects to consider include asking, what are the office hours and number of days open during the week? Does the office accept your insurance plan? What does the practice charge for addition services? Are there extra charges for extended treatment? Ask who sees patients if there are after hour emergencies? Also, review the qualifications of the doctor. In the end, you are choosing an orthodontist—not an office, orthodontic technique, or particular bracket system. It takes technical skill and to produce an optimal result. Review the doctor’s education (especially dental school and orthodontic school) and experience.

Do not forget to smile. The process of finding the right orthodontist should be a stress free one. Relax and follow these recommendations in order to guarantee you’ll be happy and confident throughout the process!

By Richard Anthony, DDS MS, APC, Blackhawk Orthodontics