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How to Choose an Orthodontist: 4 Factors to Consider First

Posted on August 6, 2019

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Would you like a beautiful, healthy, straight smile? Most people don’t end up with perfectly straight teeth naturally.

If you’d jump at a chance to have that type of a smile, you’re not alone.

More and more people of all ages are investing in orthodontic treatment. But their reasons for doing so go beyond simply attaining a “Hollywood smile.”

In addition to a beautiful smile, braces can reduce pain from malocclusion and even prevent cracked and chipped teeth.

To get such a healthy smile, you first need to find the right orthodontist.

Here’s how to choose an orthodontist and why it’s so important to find the one that’s right for you.

Why You Need to Carefully Choose the Right Orthodontist

orthodontist examining child

Some general dentists offer braces or Invisalign as a treatment option to their patients. Some companies now even offer invisible aligner braces online – no dental appointments needed.

But is this really the best option?

Not at all.

Yes, these services might be cheaper than actual orthodontist prices, but price shouldn’t be the only consideration- and you get what you pay for.

There’s a reason why an orthodontist’s fees for services are higher than what you might find online or from your general dentist – they have more experience and expertise.

To become an orthodontist, a dentist needs two additional years of focused training after they’ve completed four years of dental school.

During those extra years of schooling, dentists learn even more about head and neck anatomy and proper function. They also learn a variety of techniques used to correctly align a patient’s bite. These techniques include:

  • Invisible aligners
  • Traditional metal braces
  • Clear braces
  • Orthodontic appliances, like headgear, positioners, palatal expanders, and retainers.

To properly serve their patients, a dental professional needs to know what their patients’ needs are. Fixing a patient’s bite goes way beyond giving them straight teeth and a nice smile.

Not taking the proper function of the jawbones, jaw joint, and palate – as well as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the head and neck – into consideration can lead to dire consequences.

For instance, a patient can develop new or worsening symptoms of TMJ disorder, a painful disorder of the jaw joints that can lead to chronic headaches and migraines.

That’s why it’s vital for you to find a qualified orthodontist to properly address all your orthodontic needs.

How to Choose an Orthodontist – 4 Factors You Need to Consider Before Making Your Choice

orthodontist examining clear aligner

Are you curious about how to choose an orthodontist? You’re not alone.

How do you find someone who will address the function of your teeth and jaw joint, as well as your aesthetic concerns? How do you know you’re in the right hands and know that you can expect the best results?

Here are four factors to consider when undergoing your search for the best orthodontist.

1. What Is the Orthodontist’s Reputation?

Every business has a reputation. It’s no different for orthodontic practices.

You can find out about an orthodontist’s reputation via:

  • Word of Mouth – Their reputation within the community based on personal experiences of previous patients.
  • Online Reviews – Online review sites like Yelp can give you a good idea of a practice’s reputation. People tend to be thorough in their reviews on these sites as well. If they like someone, they’ll describe everything they like. If they don’t like them, you won’t have to guess the reason.

2. Are They Located Nearby?

Strict adherence to the orthodontist’s advice is key when it comes to orthodontic success.

To finish treatment on time, it’s important that patients come to all the necessary appointments, which happens on average every 6-8 weeks.

That’s why you want to find a good orthodontist nearby. Trying to travel out of town every few weeks can get tiring and it’s easy to put them off.

Having your orthodontist nearby is one of the best and easiest ways to stick with all your appointments. This is especially true when multiple family members are in braces but have different schedules.

3. Orthodontist Pricing Should be a Contributing Factor in Your Choice

Wouldn’t it be nice to say, “money is no object”? Unfortunately, most of us must stick to a tight budget, so orthodontist prices do play a role in your decision.

If you’re comparing two orthodontists who have similar credentials and good reputations, it might be wise to choose the one who charges less.

If you’re not convinced this is the best choice, schedule an orthodontic consultation with each of them. Find out how they propose treating you, how much it will cost, and how long the treatment will take.

It’s also important to take note of how you feel in the office. Do you feel comfortable with the orthodontist and their staff? Do you feel welcome and like you’ll receive the best of care?

All these factors should be considered in addition to the total cost.

4. Do They Have the Proper Certification and Education?

Finally, you’ll want to check the orthodontist’s credentials.

In most, if not all, healthcare settings – you’ll see medical certificates on display.

You can also double check on those credentials by going to the American Board of Orthodontics website.

There, you’ll find more information about what’s involved in becoming board certified, as well as a list of certified practitioners in your area. The information on this site will give you confidence that you’re putting your oral health in the best hands.

The Right Orthodontist Will Give You a Smile You’ll Be Proud to Show Off

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Finding the right orthodontist will take some time and effort, but it’s totally worth it.

A quality orthodontist will make you feel comfortable and secure in knowing that they’re competent and will give you the straight smile you want.

At Lewis Orthodontics, we know that our job isn’t just about providing patients with a nice smile. While that’s a great perk of orthodontic treatment, its real purpose is to ensure proper function of the jaw joint and teeth.

Focusing on this aspect of our job – in addition to aesthetics – will ensure that you end up with an ideal bite that protects your oral health.

Orthodontic treatment is an investment, to be sure. But when you find the right orthodontist, you can be sure that you’ve put your time, energy, and money to good use.

If you would like more information about braces, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Lewis Orthodontics in Edmond, OK today. We’ll answer all your questions and show you how braces can improve both your bite and your smile!

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Smile Family.

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