Before trusting someone with the health of your teeth and the appearance of your smile, you’ll want to get some more information. If you’re dealing with dental problems that require the specialized care of an orthodontist, you’ll want to find an experienced orthodontist who offers the quality care you need. Here’s a look at some of the important questions to ask an orthodontist during a consultation. If you have additional orthodontic questions, contact Morgan Orthodontics today at 703-723-5900.
- Can you tell me about your education? Do you specialize in orthodontics or do you also do general dentistry?
One of the important things to ask an orthodontist in an interview is about his or her background. Ask about the orthodontist’s education. He or she should have completed three additional years of orthodontic specialty training ( and limit their practice to orthodontics). Keep in mind, the level of education and the orthodontist’s amount of experience can vary. Find out more about the orthodontist’s background by asking:
Where did you go to dental school?
Where did you complete your orthodontic specialty residency?
How long have you been practicing?
- What treatment options do you suggest, and what other options are available?
Find out what orthodontic options the orthodontist suggests for your optimal oral health. You also need to ask what results can be expected, since expectations can differ from the services he or she provides. You and your orthodontist need to be on the same page, and you need to make sure you communicate what exactly you want addressed.
Orthodontists generally offer a suggested course of treatment during the consultation. However, always ask if about alternative orthodontic treatments, if they’re available. You may also want to ask about the pros and cons of the specific treatment plans. It is great to compare the different options and pick (along with your doctor) which is best for your situation. There is no “one size fits all” in the orthodontic world.
- How often will I need to come into the office during treatment? What services does your office offer to make treatment more convenient?
Orthodontic treatments vary in length of total time and the frequency of visits to the office. Make sure you are aware of the number a days per week/month that the orthodontist is available and the times of day for the appointments. Also, ask your orthodontist what type of services they offer to make your treatment more convenient and comfortable (i.e. transportation to and from schools for school age children).
- Which doctors will I see at each appointment?
Your case is unique, and the relationship that you form with your orthodontist is important. Some office have only one doctor present throughout your treatment, however many offices have multiple doctors. It is important to understand who exactly will be treating you at each appointment and if it will stay consistent with one doctor or change with each appointment.
- How long will my treatment take?
Be sure to ask how long treatment will take — it’s one of the most common questions patients ask. The average time for orthodontic treatment is a little over two years, but each case is different. Find out about the estimated treatment duration and ask how often you’ll need to be seen throughout the treatment process.
- What is the total cost of orthodontic treatment?
The cost of orthodontic treatment is your bottom line. It’s common for different orthodontists to charge differently. Don’t just ask about the cost, but find out what’s included in the cost. Will you need to pay more if your treatment takes longer than originally expected? Will you have to pay for regular visits on top of the cost of treatment? What types of retainers (if any) are included in the cost? Could there be any additional charges for broken appliances/late fees/no show fees. Many offices have different payment plans and will work with you so that you can afford the best smile possible.