8 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing Your Orthodontist

  1. Is the Doctor a Specialist in Orthodontics? Orthodontists receive and additional 2-3 years of specialized education beyond Dental School to learn the proper way to straighten teeth and align bites. Orthodontists practice Orthodontics exclusively.
  2. When is the right time for an evaluation? We recommend that children get evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7 to determine the best time to start treatment. This means they will have the most efficient treatment possible. Efficient, effective orthodontic treatment is our ultimate goal. If treatment is recommended at a later time, we recommend that the child be evaluated periodically so that the doctor can continue to monitor dental development and jaw growth.
  3. Am I too old for orthodontics? People are living longer and want healthy teeth. When you have aligned teeth with better bites, they are easier to clean and have less problems over time.
  4. Is the Orthodontist an expert in treating both adults and kids? Orthodontic treatment can benefit both children and adults. In fact, 20% of orthodontic treatment in the United States in on adults. Many adults are finding a healthy attractive smile is an important factor in both their self confidence and their overall health.
  5. Does your Orthodontist take jaw measurements to accurately evaluate your bite? Orthodontic treatment is only as good as the plan set in place. And the treatment plan is only as good as the information gathered. By gathering jaw measurements, and “mounting”, the orthodontist is able to create the most efficient treatment plan possible. By having all the information about your bite, they are able to see the majority of obstacles for treatment at the beginning. Without jaw measurements and through case-planning, there is potential for unforeseen surprises during treatment.
  6. How has technology improved braces?
    • Acceledent – More gentle than an electric toothbrush, the FDA approved technology has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce orthodontic treatment time. With 20 minutes of daily use, studies have show that using Acceledent in combination with braces or aligners will accelerate tooth movement by 30-50%.
    • Self Ligating Brackets – Braces that don’t need color ties to tie in the wire although colors can still be used if desired. Have been shown to collect less plaque and allow teeth to align quicker than traditional braces.
    • Clear Aligners & Invisalign – A series of clear aligners allow teeth to move without braces. Benefits are ease of cleaning and the esthetic appearance. Only specific types of dental problems can be solved using aligners and we will let you know if clear aligners is an option for you.
    • 3D Imaging – Allows us to locate teeth that have taken a detour and study skeletal issues of the face with accuracy.
    • Temporary Anchorage Devices – Allows the Orthodontist to have increased control over tooth movement for a more esthetic result than was possible in the past.
  7. Does the fee include retainers and retention visits? The most important part of orthodontic treatment and achieving straight teeth is keeping it that way! At our practice, retainers as well as retention visits are included in the treatment fee.
  8. Does the practice charge for emergency visits, and does the doctor themselves take the emergency call? Some discomfort can be anticipated with braces and it is important the Doctor is available to alleviate poking wires and broken appliances that can result from day-to-day wear-and-tear, sports, and tooth movement.