What to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

man with bracesIf you are seeking orthodontic care for you or your child, you aren’t just looking for any orthodontist—you’re looking for the best orthodontist. Many orthodontic treatments take years, so you’ll want to find an ortho who you can build a trusting relationship with. Of course, you’ll need to consider logistics like location, business hours, and accepted insurances, but there are a few more questions you should ask before making your choice.

Before choosing your orthodontist, consider these questions:

What kind of education does the orthodontist have?

All orthodontists are required to have a bachelor’s degree, usually in science, plus four years of dental school and three to five years of specialized orthodontic education. Once this intensive training is complete, they must take an exam, which contains 27 different subjects pertaining to orthodontia, through the American Association of Orthodontics.

Passing the exam doesn’t mean their education ends. Orthodontists, like Dr. Markham and Dr. Scott, complete additional hours of continuing education each year to stay up to date on the latest technology and techniques. Dr. Markham also gives lectures and presentations to his colleagues throughout the year.

What types of treatment do they offer?

Not every orthodontist offers the same treatments. If you want a specific type of braces, such as Invisalign®, check out the services tab on their website or call to ask a staff member. Today, some orthos offer accelerators to shorten treatment time, which is a huge benefit.

Does the orthodontist have experience with cases like mine?

You want to make sure whichever orthodontist you use knows exactly what he or she is doing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good orthodontist will respect your concern and be happy to provide easy-to-understand answers.

During your initial consultation, ask the orthodontist to explain your case and how he will achieve your goal, whether that’s better occlusion, straighter teeth for a more attractive smile, or better oral function. (You can have all three, you know.) Ask to see pictures before and after pictures of similar cases, so you can get an idea of what your smile will look like at the end of your treatment.

What are others saying about this orthodontist?

Google and Facebook reviews may tell you everything you need to know about an orthodontist. If he or she has the best education, but bad people skills or an uncomfortable office environment, you’ll probably want to look somewhere else. Patient care should be at the top of your orthodontist’s priorities. If it is, it will be evident in the reviews. (Note that most doctors in any discipline will have a few negative reviews, especially about billing. This is to be expected and should not scare you off. Just be sure that you understand the financial aspect of your treatment before engaging an orthodontist.)

Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today

Before committing, you can go to free consultations with your short list of potential doctors. Many orthodontists offer free initial consultations. During these appointments, you will meet the doctor and other team members. Look around and get a taste for how the office is run and what patients in the lobby are saying. In your consult, be sure to ask what is most important to the orthodontist and how he or she would address your case.

Schedule a complimentary braces consultation with Dr. Markham, and you’ll quickly discover a warm, welcoming environment where the staff and patients feel comfortable. Our entire team works together to give patients a consistently positive experience. Contact our Sacramento ortho office today to schedule your appointment.