What to Look For in An Orthodontist

It isn’t fun looking for a dentist for your family. Trying to find the best orthodontist for your family’s need isn’t a piece of cake either. Both are nerve-wracking, stressful and frustrating.

Here are some things to look for when deciding which one is the most ideal fit for your family:

  • Years of Experience
  • Type of Equipment Used
  • Accepted Insurance
  • Office Location
  • Office Environment

Years of Experience

Every orthodontist is a college graduate who has also completed their graduate degree at a Commission of Dental Accreditation accredited school. To get into a graduate program at an accredited dental school, aspiring professionals must take and pass their state’s dental exam and get their license. Students who graduate dental school either get a master’s degree of a Ph. D in orthodontics. After dental school graduation, orthodontists must take and pass a written and clinical exam administered by the American Board of Orthodontics.

While the schooling is an important component, patients will be more comfortable with a professional who has many years of experience under his or her belt than one right out of dental school.

Experience teaches orthodontists things they don’t or can’t learn in school, such as interacting with and effectively communicating with patients.

Professionals who have many years of experience have likely seen their fair share of unusual, complex and mundane cases which will likely indicate that you or your child’s unique orthodontic needs and treatment aren’t anything he or she hasn’t seen before. They’ve seen similar cases before and will know the best course of treatment.

Equipment Used

Does the orthodontic professional in consideration use outdated tools and equipment that can lead to inaccurate readings and diagnoses, repeated visits and unpleasant office visits? Or does he or she utilize the most modern equipment?

Accepted Insurance

Most dental insurance plans don’t fully cover orthodontic costs, but some offer the benefit of discounted costs if done at an office that is within the insurance’s network. Some dental insurance plans have out-of-pocket deductible limits and copays.

Looking around at orthodontic offices that are approved, “in network” providers will help save your family money.

Office Location

There is nothing more frustrating than the need to go out of your way to see your family’s orthodontist. The inconvenience spends your precious, limited free time may add additional stress and chaos to your already busy schedule.

A highly trained orthodontist with years of experience, who takes your insurance and is a quick drive the street is ideal. Even if there isn’t one close to your home, you can try looking for one that is located to places you regularly visit such as a school or grocery store.

Office Environment

The orthodontist can be knowledgeable and amazing, the office is conveniently close, the latest and greatest equipment is used and your dental insurance is accepted. However, when you enter the cold, boring, outdated waiting room and greeted with by an oblivious, rude, impersonal receptionist, both you and your kids think of turning around and heading back out the front door.

Few people enjoy going to the orthodontic office. An office environment that make one feel unimportant and unwelcomed can only enhance this displeasure.

Kids are especially more sensitive. You’ll know an orthodontist is right for your family if you and your kids are comfortable and relaxed in the office.

While these are all great ways to narrow down your orthodontist search, the best way to get a feel for whether he or she is a good orthodontist for your family is to meet him or her and ask him or her questions, similar to an interview.