What should I look for in order to pick the best orthodontist for my kid or myself?
Now that you understand the main differences between a general dentist and an orthodontist, the next logical questions should be: How do I choose the best orthodontist?
Education and Expertise (Don’t be fooled by dentists that are not truly orthodontists):
First, make sure the doctor is an orthodontist and not a general dentist. This distinction should be clear when you are looking up the dentist name and credentials on the web. If you look up the dentist, and it says that they are a general dentist, cosmetic dentist, or any other type of dentist that is not an Orthodontist and they are not the right type of doctor for your specific needs.
Make sure your orthodontist is board certified:
When choosing your orthodontist, make sure that they are board certified by the ABO (American Board of Orthodontics), which will ensure that the orthodontist that you are choosing has completed the highest level of education and training. Make sure to do this as only 1 in 3 orthodontists is certified. An easy way to check if your orthodontist is board certified is to go to the orthodontist locator tool on the ABO website: www.americanboardortho.com
Referrals, testimonials, and research:
Nothing gives us more confidence than to know what other people that we know and trust have to say about a particular experience. Family, friends, co-workers and on-line blogs and ratings should give you some direction as to what orthodontists you should visit. Ask your general dentist who they recommend or better yet, who they take their kids to for their orthodontic treatment.
Location and convenience of availability:
The length of an orthodontic treatment typically lasts anywhere from 12 to 24 months. Therefore, try to find an office that has a convenient location and appointment times that fit your busy lifestyle. Schedule a consultation with the orthodontists that meet your criteria. Visit the office of any orthodontist that you are considering for treatment.
Evaluate several factors when performing your research such as:
Was the staff friendly and did they answer your questions? What is your impression of the office (hygiene), staff, technology, etc.? Did you enjoy your interaction with the orthodontist and their medical staff?Make sure that you are comfortable in the orthodontist’s office and that you feel 100% confident in your choice. You will be visiting this office for the next 12-24 months, so you definitely want to choose wisely!