Seeing an orthodontist can be overwhelming. Ideally, patients have built a relationship with their general dentist and may have been seeing him or her for years. However, when you need an orthodontist, endodontist or other type of specialist, suddenly you’re meeting a brand new (to you) professional and you don’t know what to expect. When you start your search, schedule complementary consultations with a few orthodontists, go armed with questions and don’t feel rushed into picking one too quickly.
Your current general dentist may have some input on the reputation of any given, local orthodontist, but do your own research, too. Look at testimonials, third-party review sites and ask around about any orthodontist you’re considering. Word-of-mouth recommendations still count for a lot, and online reviews give you even more information.
Your Question Starter Sheet
You’ll certainly have your own questions based on what you’re planning to get done and your own concerns and preferences regarding the procedure. However, consider this your cheat sheet to creating a dental questionnaire for your consultation:
- Do you have before-and-after photos? Particularly for cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics, a picture is truly worth 1,000 words. They may have an online gallery (or not), but orthodontists should be proud to show off a before-and-after album in their office. This gives you a great opportunity to see their work.
- What’s your educational/practical background? You want an orthodontist who has premium training and enough experience to give you comfort. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a recent graduate. However, for more complex work, some patients prefer an orthodontist with more experience.
- How available are you? You want to make sure you can see your actual orthodontist — not just a staff member — quickly when you have concerns. Emergency hours, quick appointments and accessibility are key.
- What insurance plans do you accept? You can also cross-check your benefits yourself by calling your insurance company. If you have dental insurance, it’s important to stay in your network to enjoy the most cost savings. However, a reputable dental office will provide financing and payment options for those without insurance. This is especially important for patients undergoing cosmetic procedures (which, in some cases, can include orthodontics if it’s solely for aesthetic purposes).
- What’s your success rate? This isn’t applicable to all procedures, but it’s critical with some. Does this orthodontist tend to stay on track with timing (for orthodontics)? Is much correction necessary after a procedure? Quality orthodontists will be quick to showcase their skills and talents, and that includes figures that should impress you.
- What technology do you have available? Whether you’re interested in The Damon System, Invisalign or traditional braces, you want to make sure your orthodontist has the tools you want.
Choosing an orthodontist shouldn’t be a challenge. Call Johnson Elite Orthodontics and connect with a local orthodontist who puts your needs first.