Seeing a general dentist is necessary for routine dental checkups or in case of any dental issues. However, there are instances where this will not be enough and you may need to see an orthodontic specialist.
An orthodontist will help you fix complicated dental issues such as underbite, overbite, misalignment, crowding, and spacing among others. Deciding to go through with orthodontic treatment is a big step and investment. You, therefore cannot afford to take chances. Before booking an appointment, here are a few questions to ask an orthodontist to determine whether they are well qualified for the job.
Are you a trained orthodontist?
Contrary to what one might think, it is not obvious for an orthodontist to have received professional training. Professional orthodontists usually receive additional training apart from the one for general dentistry. However, some general dentists who have not specialized in orthodontic care may still choose to offer basic orthodontic services such as Invisalign. In as much asthey may be well versed in general dental care involving teeth and gums, they may not have the same level of expertise in orthodontic care.
It is therefore important that you ask this question. This way you will be comfortable knowing that you are receiving services from a qualified orthodontist. To confirm this, you may ask about their educational background. Other memberships can also help you prove this such as the seal of AAO which is only given to orthodontic specialists.
How much experience in orthodontic care do you have?
Once you get to know whether they have the qualifications of an orthodontist, you also needto find out about their level of experience. Orthodontic treatments are not standard and they vary for each particular case. It requires experience for an orthodontist to be able to comprehensively study your case to determine the best treatment for you and how to go about it.
As this requires practice, you should get to know how long they have been in practice and the average number of patients they treat within a particular period. The more years of experience they have, the better their position in providing proper orthodontic care. Here, you may also ask to see their previous work and any customer feedback.
What treatment options are available?
Before going ahead, you need to find out what treatment options are on the table. Apart from traditional braces, there are several other options when it comes to orthodontic treatments. Even though they may not be able to offer all of these treatments, the orthodontist should at least be able to offer several treatments so that there is a variety to choose from. This way, you will have the opportunity to undergo one that is best suited for you instead of having to settle for what is there.
Once the orthodontist proposes a certain treatment, you should get to know as much as you can about it. Here, you can ask about the duration of the treatment as well as the frequency of follow up visits. They should also give you a detailed explanation of how the treatment will be undertaken and what you are likely to experience. The cost, additional fees, and billing options should also not be left out.
What are Your Working Hours?
Askingabout the orthodontist’s working hours is also important when planning for orthodontic treatment. This is especially if you have a tight schedule. This way, you will be able to find out whether appointments will be clashing with work or school and be able to plan yourself accordingly. If not, you can ask whether they provide room for flexible appointments such as during early mornings, late nights, or even on weekends. If they are able to do so, then that will be better as you will not have to interfere with your daily routine.
Do You Personally Work On All Your Patients?
The orthodontist in question may not be able to perform all the treatments as well as being there for your follow up appointments. You should, therefore, ask whether they will be the ones to perform the procedure or other associates will be standing in for them. If so, you may inquire about their level of expertise and even ask to meet them so that you get to know who will be handling your teeth. This is because, in as much as the orthodontist you are talking to maybe well qualified and friendly, it may not be the same for their fellow colleagues.
Orthodontic treatments involve complex procedures and you therefore cannot trust just anyone to perform them on you. You should gather information about a particular orthodontist to ensure that your teeth will be in the right hands.