Choosing an orthodontist is a big decision. You will be trusting this person with your, or perhaps your child’s smile. You will be visiting them consistently for the next 18 months. You want to be sure to choose a specialist that will both give you the result you want, and be someone you look forward to seeing at every check-up.
Choose your provider wisely
Straightening teeth and aligning one’s jaws is a highly specialised task. Orthodontists train full-time for at least an additional 3 years beyond their dentistry degree, to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience. Your dentist may suggest that he or she can fit you with braces, perhaps for a more affordable fee than an orthodontist. But should you trust a dentist who has not spent at least 3 years fully focused on mastering the discipline of orthodontics with your precious smile?
The 5 steps to choosing the right orthodontic provider for you.
Step 1 – Make sure you are selecting only an Orthodontic Specialist
There are dentists who attend short courses on orthodontics and are given the impression by the convenors of these courses that this is all they need to know to start offering orthodontic treatment safely and successfully. There is an adage “You do not know what you do not know”, meaning dentists who have had only minimal orthodontic training will have not gathered enough experience and knowledge to be able to fully understand and plan for the needs of comprehensive orthodontic treatment. So be aware of the significant difference between a dentist and a specialist orthodontist.
Step 2 – Find a Specialist in your area
Use our handy Orthodontist directory to find a specialist who is conveniently located for you. All our SASO-registered specialists are listed in our directory. The listing is rich with information and you will be able to see operating hours, the onsite services they offer, reviews from their patients, as well as all their contact details. Convenience plays an important role when choosing an orthodontic provider as you will be visiting them regularly for check-ups and adjustments once a treatment plan has begun.
Step 3 – Verify their credentials
Before you visit or start treatment with any medical practitioner, you should always check their credentials. After all, your health and safety is in their hands. An easy way to check your potential orthodontists’ credentials is by searching on this site. If they are not listed in our directory then they will not be a SASO registered orthodontic specialist.
Step 4 – Don’t be shy to interview your orthodontic specialist
You will likely be making a significant financial investment with your orthodontist. They will also become a regular part of your life as you will be seeing them regularly for 18 months. It’s important that you feel comfortable and that you are in good hands. Ask about their background, for how long they have been a specialist, and perhaps at which institution they studied. You do not need to see the orthodontist your dentist refers to you, and you also do not need to choose the first orthodontist you meet with.
Step 5 – Don’t base your decision solely on pricing.
The cost of Orthodontic treatment is based on a variety of factors. For example there are certain techniques that are more expensive. There are techniques such as Lingual braces that are more expensive but almost invisible. Case severity can also play a major role in determining cost. Your smile is priceless, so don’t cut corners and make a decision based purely on price. A qualified and well trained SASO registered orthodontic specialist will walk you through all your treatment options, their pros and cons, and work with you to help you make the right decision.
After following these five tips to finding the right Orthodontic provider, you can feel confident that you have chosen an Orthodontic Specialist that will give you the correct results.