When you choose an orthodontist, you are choosing the person who is going to be most responsible for the ultimate look of your smile. Because your smile is one of the most important and noticeable aspects of how you look to others, you will want to make this decision with great care. Consider all aspects of the orthodontist and his or her practice because even if you love the orthodontist, you will not feel comfortable at a crowded, noisy or unfriendly facility. Here are a few tips to consider as you make your important choice.
Your orthodontist should be highly qualified with plenty of experience. You should ask what education your orthodontist has. Most began with a bachelor’s degree before taking two to three additional years for specialized education in orthodontics. This gives the practitioner a solid foundation in knowledge and treatment protocols for moving the teeth and correcting problems with oral bite. Your orthodontist should also be a member of a professional organization, such as the American Board of Orthodontics, which proves that he or she is board-certified and up-to-date with continuing education in the field.
You should be able to see plenty of examples of the orthodontist’s past work. Your orthodontist will most likely have pictures placed around the office of happy past patients sporting gorgeously aligned smiles. However, you may also want to see before-and-after pictures of past clients to get an idea of the changes the orthodontist will be able to make in your mouth.
You should attend a consultation to meet your orthodontist before starting treatments. You will want to take this time to get to know your orthodontist personally and to talk about treatment goals. This will help to ensure that you are both on the same page as far as treatments and time frames go.
You should be offered a wide range of treatment options. Orthodontics is not a one-size-fits all treatment approach. Many people do well with basic metal braces. However, some may prefer ceramic braces that blend in with the teeth more, making the braces less visible. You may even want to ask if treatments with invisible trays are offered if you are concerned about being embarrassed by braces. Your orthodontic treatment may also include head gear and retainers.
You should feel comfortable in the office and when interacting with the ancillary staff. You will be chatting with the front office staff often and spending time in the waiting room. The environment should be welcoming and should set you at ease.
Your choice of an orthodontist is certainly an important one that should not be taken lightly because you will have a working relationship with your orthodontist for the next two or more years. We invite you to contact us here at Petty, Beilik, & Burke Orthodontics for an initial consultation if you have never been to our offices. We are sure that you will be impressed with what you see and learn here. Contact us today!