When a person considers orthodontic treatment for themselves, their child or a loved one, they realize very early on the importance of the decision they are making. After all, the smile that they are given is one that they will have for the rest of their life. A smile that will be with them for life’s important events like prom, college graduation, their wedding day, their first job interview, through retirement and all the days in between. Because choosing an orthodontic care provider is such an important decision, several things should be considered.

First and most importantly, the orthodontic care provider should be a certified orthodontist. This is a dentist who has completed at least two years of specialty training, which prepared them to treat patients in this very unique form of dental care. The potential patient should discuss the specifics of their individual case with the orthodontist at the consultation appointment. This will ensure that orthodontist is well qualified to treat them because each orthodontic case is unique and requires different techniques and experience. Review of before and after photos of similar cases is often a helpful tool for the patient to envision what the outcome of their treatment may look like.

As time is our most valuable asset, the office should be convenient to the patient in both location and hours the practice is open. Early and late appointments are valuable to children who may find it difficult to miss school and should be discussed prior to starting treatment. The office should be comfortable and clean and the staff should be well groomed and pleasant. Finally, the cost of orthodontic care must be considered. There can be several hundred dollars, or even more, in the difference of cost between two offices in the same area for an identical treatment plan. It is important to feel comfortable about the expense of the treatment plan and how insurance will influence the total cost of orthodontic care.

Orthodontic treatment is a big decision for families considering orthodontic care for themselves, their child or a loved one. By considering a few critical factors such as credentials, experience of the orthodontic specialist, office convenience and comfort, and cost the potential patient will successfully embark on a life-changing experience they can enjoy for a lifetime.

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