It’s never too late for getting orthodontic treatment. Everyone deserves a lovely smile, and the ancient notion that orthodontic treatment is something only children can get is now, well, ancient! Many adults are now getting braces (and other orthodontic solutions), and if you feel your teeth are misaligned or overcrowded, it’s time to see an orthodontist.
The only problem? There are a lot of them out there! So how do you identify a trustworthy orthodontist — such as those as Putney Dental — who’s not only a compassionate human being but also an expert in his field? Here are some tips to help you out!
Is your orthodontist board-certified?
This is perhaps the most important question you need to answer before choosing an orthodontist. Many dentists can treat orthodontic problems but only a few have gone the extra mile to become true masters in their field, and these orthodontists are called board-certified.
After obtaining a postgraduate degree in dentistry, a board-certified orthodontist goes on to enroll in a specialized orthodontic residency, where she’s specifically trained to diagnose and treat orthodontic problems. These residencies last for 2-3 years and are often very competitive, which means only the best dentists are able to complete them and emerge as orthodontic masters.
You need to make sure that the dentist you see is a board-certified orthodontic specialist instead of a jack of all trades. Since board-certified orthodontists flaunt their certification proudly on their websites, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find one.
Did you read patient reviews?
We don’t normally consider reviews when searching for good dentists. After all, aren’t reviews something to be checked before going to a restaurant?
Well, it turns out that a dentist is a service-provider, and just like you consider customer reviews before choosing any other service, you should read patient reviews before finalizing an orthodontist.
Now, let us warn you that a few bad reviews are almost inevitable. Orthodontic treatment is complex and complications do arise. Sometimes, these complications result from patient negligence instead of being the dentist’s fault. But an unsatisfied patient will not hesitate to bash the doctor in the reviews section.
So instead of basing your opinion on two or three bad reviews, you should look at the overall feedback an orthodontist has. If it’s positive, it’s highly likely that the dentist is great. And if you suspect that some of the reviews have been doctored (pun-intended), don’t hesitate to contact the reviewer and verify their opinion if they’ve left their contact information!
Free consultations are a thing. Use them wisely!
Many orthodontists offer free consultations to new patients who are unsure about the type of treatment they want. But that doesn’t mean you end up going to every orthodontist you can go to — that will be ineffective.
After considering education and training and patient reviews, you should prepare a list of 5-10 orthodontists that you’re most likely to go to. And you should then claim free consultations from only these orthodontists to see how they are and how their offices operate. Often, your gut feeling will be enough to help you decide whether a particular orthodontist is right for you — make sure you don’t ignore it.
But if gut feeling is something that you don’t want to rely on, you can try asking each dentist the right questions. Your goal is to obtain information about an orthodontist’s experience in treating your particular problem, the treatment options they are capable of offering you, their timings, the cost of treatment, and whether or not they accept dental insurance.
After comparing different orthodontists based on these factors, you’ll hopefully be able to find the right one.
Don’t consider the orthodontist only.
Many people make the mistake of focusing on the orthodontist only. While the doctor is the most important factor behind how good your orthodontic treatment will be, a doctor is helped by assistants and office staff.
The competency and niceness of these assistants and staff will make a huge impact on your overall experience, so when you visit the office, make sure to notice how it’s run. Your ideal orthodontist office should be clean, modern, and staffed by compassionate people. A modern office generally means the orthodontist offers the latest treatments and is aware of the newest guidelines.