Choosing Your Orthodontist

First Choice

Along with choosing which type of braces you want, choosing the orthodontist you go to for treatment is the most important stage of the whole process. The orthodontist you choose has to understand what you want to achieve from having braces, how much you are able and willing to pay and what your individual concerns are about having braces fitted. You may end up visiting several dentists for consultations before you pick one, but this is a good idea to make sure you get the right treatment. Take a list of questions that you want to ask to the appointment so you don’t forget anything.

How to choose

The most important thing is to make sure you are dealing with a qualified orthodontist and not just a dentist. Orthodontists have to study beyond ordinary dental school to be properly trained in fitting braces and other advanced treatments. If you are unsure, then just ask if they are not qualified, go somewhere else. Long-term, expensive treatment to correct your teeth is too important to be out in the hands of an unqualified dentist, no matter how experienced they claim to be. Remember to ask all your questions and don’t be afraid to repeat them if you feel any haven’t been answered properly.

On Offer

Beware as some orthodontists act effectively as “agents” for some brand name braces only offering Invisalign or Simpli5 for example. This is fine if these are the right braces for you, but don’t feel forced into accepting the system offered by an orthodontist if you feel it doesn’t quite meet your needs. This is just one example of why it’s a good idea to shop around and visit as many surgeries in your area as possible. Most private orthodontists will offer a free consultation, to try and encourage you to use their services. Take advantage of this and make lots of appointments, but bear in mind that you will need to attend the surgery regularly for fittings and check-ups. It’s no use picking an orthodontist on the other side of town if you don’t have access to a car.

Always discuss money. It may seem embarrassing to bring this up in an opening consultation, but there can be quite a difference between the bills from two surgeries for very similar treatments. Establish how much the entire treatment will cost, from start to finish, and everything that is and isn’t included in the bill and make a note so that you can compare prices later.

Previous Work

Most orthodontists will have “before and after” pictures of previous patients, showing how successful their work has been. This is a good way to judge the expertise of a particular dentist, though it wouldn’t do any harm to ask if you could speak to a former patient to discuss how happy they were with the treatment, the appointments and the final results. If the orthodontist is good and has many happy customers, then they will be more than happy to put you in touch with someone they have already treated. Once you have found a qualified, reasonably priced, effective orthodontist, the only thing left to do is make your first appointment.