Finding the right orthodontist is much more complicated than in previous years. Advances in orthodontic technology, an increase in the variety of orthodontic treatments offered, and a larger percentage of non-orthodontic specialists performing treatments can make your choice much more confusing.
It is important to do your homework before going for a consultation with an orthodontist. By researching the background and experience of your potential orthodontist and coming prepared to ask important questions, your initial consultation can greatly help you know that you have chosen the right person for your needs.
The following information will help focus your research so that you come to your consultation prepared:
- Ask your general dentist for a recommendation. Often, general dentists work closely with orthodontists and regularly view the results of their orthodontic treatments during check-ups. Your dentist can probably talk very intelligently about which orthodontists provide the best treatment.
- Ask friends, family members, and colleagues for recommendations as well. If the treatment is for your child, check with the teachers’ associations at your child’s school as well. They may be able to give you a good recommendation.
- Make sure your potential orthodontist is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontists. This will ensure that he has gone through the most rigorous training available.
At your initial consultation, be prepared to ask the orthodontist several questions about his training, background, and experience. Some important questions to ask include:
- How long have you been practicing orthodontics?
- What is your education and training?
- Can I see before and after photos of previous patients?
- What types of treatments do you offer?
- What are my best treatment options and why?
Your potential orthodontist should be able to answer all of your questions completely and in a way that you understand all of your options. If you do not feel comfortable with the orthodontist’s demeanor, experience, or recommendations, then keep searching. You are not obligated to work with an orthodontist simply because he provides you with a consultation.