Orthodontists are not regular dentists. They must have specialist qualifications and experience—a Bachelor of Dentistry and a Master in Orthodontics. They should also hold membership with a professional body such as the Canadian Association of Orthodontists.
Although the vast majority of orthodontic patients are children, adults are increasingly looking to correct their smiles. It’s important that your orthodontist is skilled and experienced in treating patients of all ages.
Orthodontics has moved on in recent years. There is now an array of orthodontic treatment methods available. Your orthodontist should offer the latest techniques and cutting-edge treatments, from tie-free braces to Invisalign. Do some research beforehand to get you an idea of which treatments may be most suitable for you and your lifestyle.
Your orthodontist should proudly showcase their work online via testimonials and ‘before and after’ photos. Ask to see examples of previous work, and ensure you are satisfied with the quality before starting treatment. A reputable orthodontist should have plenty of satisfied patients.
Embarking on orthodontic treatment is a big decision. Most orthodontists offer a free consultation in which they assess your medical and dental history, as well as your treatment goals. This will likely involve taking photographs and x-rays, and providing a detailed quote of a treatment plan. In most cases, this initial examination is free. Be sure to ask any questions and address any concerns before you commit to treatment.
Orthodontic treatment requires a significant financial investment, so most orthodontists provide flexible payment plans to help you cover the cost. Before you begin treatment, make sure you have a detailed quote of all fees involved, including post-treatment fees. Post-treatment care is also a vital stage of treatment since it ensures your teeth stay in place once you have finished your plan. Make sure any such fees are included in your original quote.
Although every orthodontist operates their own fee structure, be mindful that some charge for retainers following treatment. Check to see whether post-treatment care and retainers are included in your plan before you commit to a plan. You do not want to get met with hidden extras once you have completed treatment.
While undergoing treatment, you will visit your orthodontist approximately every eight weeks, in addition to your regular dental appointments. It’s important to know your orthodontist’s out-of-hours protocols in case you need emergency assistance in between scheduled appointments.
Does your orthodontist offer a lifetime guarantee? Some orthodontists offer a guarantee to treat your smile for the rest of your life, even if your teeth shift or crowd years after treatment.
Since you will be receiving orthodontic treatment anywhere between 1-2 years, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable and well supported at the clinic. The initial consultation is a good time to assess whether staff is warm, friendly, and efficient. Also bear in mind that while an orthodontist oversees your treatment, they work as part of a team that includes orthodontic therapists, dental nurses, treatment co-ordinators and hygienists. Each professional who will be working with you must be competent and supportive.