Orthodontists are dentists who receive an extra 2-3 years of specialized education and training beyond dental school to learn the proper way to diagnose, and treat by straightening mal-alignment of teeth, muscles and jaws to improve function and esthetics. To aid the process of choosing an orthodontic specialist, here are some very important questions to ask to assure you are seeing the best smile designer expert.
1. Are you an orthodontist? What type of orthodontic training did you receive beyond dental school? How much training? What type (weekend or manufacturer's courses, or 2-3 years of orthodontic education beyond dental school)? Are you a member of the American Association of Orthodontists?
2. What services do you offer? Do you treat all orthodontic cases or just minor cases? What about complex cases involving compromised teeth and bone? Do you treat adults, children or both? Do you treat periodontal cases? Implant cases? Jaw surgery cases? TMD cases?
3. Are you utilizing state-of-the-art, self-ligating bracket systems, clear, metal, nickle-free and lingual braces, clear aligners and functional appliances for early treatment, space management and growth guidance?
4. Has your clinical staff had any orthodontic training? Is your administrative staff familiar with insurances and flexible spending/health savings accounts?
5. Do you further your education by attending continuing education courses? Have you received additional training in state-of-the-art adjunctive procedures such as TADS, temporary anchorage devices, and gingival laser procedures?
6. Will you communicate with referring doctors and update them of my progress? Do you work with my doctors helping them set the stage for implants, crowns and bridges?
The answers to these questions will assist in making the right decision regarding your orthodontist. You must ultimately feel comfortable with who will design your resulting smile.