Going to the dentist in the old days used to be something you just did because you had to. But nowadays, there’s a wealth of choice out there, and plenty of excellent orthodontists ready and available to help you get your teeth and smile just the way you want.
But where do you start? How do you choose the orthodontist that’s right for you or your child, and what’s the difference? Read on for our six top things to find out.
1. Range of treatments
Technology never stands still, and this means that the range of treatments offered by orthodontists is constantly evolving. Before making an appointment, make sure that the clinic offers the treatment that you want, be it Invisalign, clear braces, metal braces, or teeth whitening. Other dental work may also be necessary, so ensure that the clinic is set up for things such as X-rays should you need them. Access to a hygienist is also useful to help maintain good oral health.
We all lead hugely busy lifestyles these days, so you don’t want your dental appointments to be a hassle. They need to easily fit into your schedule, so that popping along to have your retainers changed or braces adjusted becomes part of everyday life. Choose a clinic that offers flexible appointments, such as after school, evenings and even weekends for the easiest way forward.
3. Initial consultations
Many clinics offer consultations before you start treatment, but not all of them are free. Be careful – make sure you find out if there’s a cost before you book. Some clinics charge a regular dental check-up fee for the initial consultation, which is redeemed if you start treatment; others offer a free consultation with clinical examination and X-rays, if needed. After this, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not the treatment is right for you.
4. Experience and reputation
Teeth are precious, and you wouldn’t want to put the care of your pearly whites into the hands of someone who wasn’t properly qualified. So do your homework. Find out about the experience and education of the orthodontist, and the reputation of the clinic overall. Do they come recommended? Read online reviews and testimonials, and speak to people about the clinic if you can. Personal recommendations are always good.
Once your treatment is complete, do you get to see your orthodontist again, or are you able to call the clinic if you have any concerns or questions? It’s important to feel that you are able to speak to someone if you need to, as problems sometimes arise. Choose a clinic that offers a good after-care service, so then you’ll know you’re in good hands.
Probably the biggest consideration for people when thinking about orthodontic treatment is cost. And it’s a sensible one, too – no-one wants the burden of financial stress. A good option is to find an orthodontist that offers flexible payment options so that you can spread the cost of treatment across a number of months to suit your pocket.
At the end of the day, choosing an orthodontist is not a decision that should be rushed. Take your time, do your research, and be happy that you’ve found the right clinic for you or your child.