Cosmetic Dentistry Orthodontics Choosing

As with any medical professional, finding a good orthodontist is an important part of ensuring a good experience. When choosing a new orthodontist, some of the main areas to consider and inquire about are:

  • availability
  • comfort level
  • experience
  • training and schooling.

Looking for an Orthodontist

When you’re looking for a good orthodontist, it helps to be persistent. It can be beneficial to ask friends, family and colleagues about their experiences with their orthodontists. Some other things you can do that will help find a good orthodontist are:

  • Ask your regular dentist who he is affiliated with and who he would recommend.
  • Ask your dental insurance company who it recommends in your area.
  • Check state licensing boards, as they often have orthodontist information available online.
  • Look in magazines and newspapers for articles that recommend the best orthodontic professionals in the area.

Just like any other medical professional, orthodontists are not all the same. If you have lived in the same town for your entire life, finding a good professional is as easy as asking your best friend. However, if you’re not from the area, make sure to do some research before visiting an orthodontist.

Once you compile a list of possible orthodontists, you can narrow down your options by calling and asking some key questions.

American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) Certification

ABO certification is a voluntary process. The American Board of Orthodontics was founded in 1929 to create and maintain high standards for orthodontists and to ensure that patients received the best care. Successful completion of the orthodontic ABO examination is good for ten years. The purpose of ABO is to ensure that orthodontists stay up to date with their skills.

Availability

If an orthodontist has many patients or takes a lot of vacations, he may not always be able to help you in case of an emergency or for any questions you may have. Some questions to ask a potential orthodontist concerning availability are:

  • Do you have after school appointments so that I don’t have to constantly take my kids out of school?
  • Do you have weekend appointments?
  • What are your hours?
  • What do you do in the event that you or your child needs emergency care?

Comfort Level

One of the most important factors in choosing the right orthodontist is whether your orthodontist makes you feel comfortable. Some questions you can ask a potential orthodontist that might give an indication of how your relationship with him will work are:

  • Are you flexible with availability?
  • Are you flexible with cost?
  • Do you work with patients individually and give them personal attention?

Experience

Experience is key to ensuring good service, so find a medical professional that has been in the business for a long time. When looking for an orthodontist, some questions you can ask him about his experience include:

  • Are you a member of The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO)?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What insurance do you take?
  • What is the down payment if I cannot pay all at once?
  • What payment plans do you offer?
  • What will be the cost of my procedure? (This quote should include the cost of all maintenance visits you may need.)

Resources

American Board Ortho (n.d.). Did you miss the Gateway Offer? Retrieved April 11, 2008, from the American Board of Orthodontics Web site.

BracesGuide.com (2007). How to Choose an Orthodontist? Retrieved April 11, 2008, from the Online Guide to Braces Web site.

Davenport, Tammy (2005). How to Choose an Orthodontist? Retrieved April 11, 2008, from the About.com Web site.

DocShop.com (2006). Locate an Orthodontist in Your State with DocShop. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from the Doc Shop Web site.