Over 50% of kids need orthodontic care. In fact, statistics say that while up to 50% of children need orthodontic help for obvious issues, while 75% of children need it for less visible issues.
However, everyone has specific needs, and it’s crucial to find the right new orthodontist.
If you’re not sure how to find the best orthodontist for your oral health, we’ve assembled a guide to help you out!
Check Their Experience and Location
When it comes to dental care, you should be picky. Your oral health is a top priority, so take the time to do your research. Most orthodontic practices have a website where they tout the experience and education of their practicing orthodontists.
Pay attention to the amount of time an office has been established. If they are a new orthodontist, they won’t have as much experience when it comes to braces care. That doesn’t mean you should dismiss newer practices outright, but be cautious.
Also, look at their education level. Have they kept up-to-date with the latest advancements and certifications in their field? This will dictate whether they have the technology and knowledge to give your child the best experience.
It’s also important to pay attention when you start Googling ‘orthodontist near me’. Where are they located, and what does their schedule look like?
For a traditional dental experience, location isn’t everything. After all, you only need to go a few times out of the year.
Orthodontic care is different since you’ll need to go once a month. This is compounded if multiple family members are in orthodontic treatment at the same time.
Be sure to find a location that’s easy for you to get to, and take into account the times that you’ll have available. Many orthodontic practices that cater to children and teens have times available on weekends and in the evening.
Many children have school schedules that must be worked around, and parents often can’t take them to appointments during the workday. Depending on your situation, make sure your orthodontist’s schedule can accommodate this.
Check the Reviews
These days, most customers are more than willing to sound off on the Internet. As a potential orthodontic patient, that’s exactly what you are—a customer.
Start by looking on their website. If all the reviews are gushing 5-stars, they may not publish negative feedback. Even if they’re the best orthodontic practice in existence, at least one person will leave a negative review for some reason.
If the reviews on their website aren’t enough, try checking out their presence on Google. Thanks to Google My Business, all ratings and reviews are in one place.
Know that dental practices often offer discounted services in exchange for reviews online, so know that some reviews may be slightly biased.
If you’ve combed through the reviews and have a good feeling about this orthodontic practice, then it’s time to move forward! The rest of your research can take place in person.
Scope It Out
Orthodontic care is a massive undertaking and can affect the oral health of you or your child for the rest of your life. With the stakes being this high, most practices will offer a consultation.
Consultations can help you weed out orthodontists. For instance, some might not offer them at all. Other practices will charge an exorbitant amount for a consultation.
If you’re trying to interview multiple orthodontists so you can settle on one, it’s important to target free or low-cost consultations. The type of consultation they offer can often be a preliminary indicator of what their services will actually be like.
Use this consultation to see what the office is like. How does the waiting room feel, and how does the staff treat you? If the waiting room is stuffed full of impatient parents and children, they may be trying to milk the maximum amount of money with overbooked appointments.
The way the staff treats you is telling of the orthodontist’s true priorities. Do they want to make you comfortable as a patient, or are you a faceless money-making opportunity?
Once you get to the consultation, pay attention to their sanitation practices. Does the environment look bright and clean? Are instruments wrapped and sterilized?
You can learn a lot by simply keeping your eyes open. A consultation is also a great place to figure out the financial details. Dental care costs thousands of dollars, so it’s crucial to figure out their policies regarding payment.
If you have insurance, try to get an estimate of what your co-pay will be. If you don’t have insurance, figuring out their financing or payment plans is important.
What Treatments Do They Offer?
Different orthodontic practices might specialize in different things. From Invisalign to ceramic braces, from metal braces to overbites, there is a specialty for everyone.
Different practices might specialize in early, traditional, or adult treatment too. If you’re seeking orthodontic care for both you and your kids, it’ll be much easier if you find a practice that will treat your entire family.
In the consultation, you’ll hear what treatments are recommended for the patient. Make sure this treatment aligns with your goals. For instance, metal braces would do the trick for most adult orthodontic treatment.
But most adults associate metal braces with junior high adolescence, and they prefer clear Invisalign options instead. Make sure your orthodontist’s practice can suit your needs and wants, too.
Finding the Best Orthodontist
If you’re looking for the best orthodontist, it’s important to take the time to set your priorities. Are you looking for cosmetic fixes, or do you need intervention to maintain the health of your teeth?
Get your priorities in order. For some people, their orthodontist’s location will make a big difference in their cramped schedule. For others, they will travel any distance for the right treatment option.
If you’re ready to schedule a consultation today, contact us! We’re excited to see you.