CHOOSING AN ORTHODONTIST
Don't regret your decision
Choosing an orthodontist to trust with your smile or your child's smile is an important decision. Orthodontic treatment has the potential to be a long process that can affect your oral health for a lifetime. You'll want to ensure that you and your child feel comfortable with the doctor and their team.
Consider education and experience.
There is much more to orthodontics than straightening teeth and creating a pretty smile. It involves moving bone, optimizing the bite and ensuring life-long functionality. Orthodontists are dentists who have completed an additional 2-3 years of competitive residency at an accredited program specializing in orthodontics under the direction of experienced and highly respected orthodontists.
Why does board certification matter?
A board certified orthodontist has taken their specialty a step further. They have endured hundreds of additional hours of preparation to demonstrate the judgement, skills and knowledge required for providing the highest level of patient orthodontic care. They have achieved board certification through the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), the only specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA) and in affiliation with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). To determine if the orthodontist that you are considering is board certified, you may look them up on the ABO Board Certified locator.
Orthodontist or general dentist?
Unfortunately, some dental offices will claim “specialized training” after just a few hours of continuing education courses and add confusion when selecting an orthodontic provider. To determine if the professional you are considering to oversee your family’s treatment is an orthodontist, look him or her up on the American Association of Orthodontists website.
Orthodontist or clinical manager?
It’s important to consider who will actually be overseeing your treatment. Some orthodontic providers delegate a significant amount of decision-making to registered dental assistants or clinical managers. At Myser Orthodontics, you can be assured that your family’s care will be provided and directly monitored by an orthodontist at every appointment.
Read more about Dr. Myser and Dr. Barnhart's education and qualifications here.
A FEW OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Who do you trust?
Ask friends, family members and co-workers which orthodontist they used and about their experience. General dentists, oral surgeons and other specialists are also great resources for recommendations since they work with all orthodontists in their area and are able to see and compare results and form objective opinions.
Are they conveniently located?
Orthodontic appointments are generally required about every two months during the course of treatment. It is important to consider the travel time, missed school/work, etc. prior to making a commitment.
Do they offer flexible financing options?
Different orthodontic providers offer a variety of financing options. Do they work with my insurance company? Offer extended payment plans? Offer no-interest financing? What about pay-in-full discounts?
Get a consultation from more than one office.
Orthodontists have different treatment styles, so getting a consultation from more than one office is a great idea. Do they have a pleasant chair-side manner? Do you feel like they're really paying attention to your concerns? Is the staff friendly and helpful? By visiting more than one office, you're more likely to find an orthodontist who can meet your individual needs.
During your consultation, don't be afraid to ask questions. After all, that's why you're there! It's important for you to understand what type of orthodontic issues you have and the most effective ways to treat them. The more informed you are about your own dental health, the better decisions you will be able to make and the more comfortable you will ultimately feel with your decision.