What to look for in an Orthodontist near me

What to look for in an orthodontist near me:

August 24, 2022

In today's world of expanding choices when it comes to creating smiles and aligning teeth, there are all kinds of answers. From your local dentist to kiosks at the mall, it seems everyone is advertising teeth alignment services. Usually, one particular product is advertised as the best thing on planet earth.

The best way to think about it is if you were to choose any other professional. Let's say you're looking for a contractor to do some work around your house, and you've heard that a new hammer came out. It's a great hammer. It can do magical things. So you start searching for contractors who use that particular type of hammer.

Sounds strange, huh? Would you be more interested in knowing what experience and training s/he had, or what kind of hammer s/he uses? if you took your car to the mechanic, would you ask them what brand of socket wrench they use, or if they had training and experience with your kind of car?

In short, if you're looking for someone to align your teeth and bite, you should search for someone with training and experience rather than a particular type of brace. Masterpieces were made by renaissance painters without access to the technology we have today. Similarly, you should search out an orthodontic specialist for all your tooth movement needs.

Orthodontics is local because all good treatment requires careful monitoring, tweaking, and reassessment.

What specifically should I look for in an orthodontist near me?

1) an orthodontic specialist

  • Orthodontists are all dentists, then after being among their top in their dental school classes, they elected to attend an Orthodontic residency where they spent an additional 2-3 years full time dedicated exclusively to orthodontics. The amount of exposure your neighborhood dentist gets to orthodontics in school is incredibly limited. To get the best possible result, trust your smile to a specialist

2) How do i know if my dentist is an orthodontic specialist?

  • in order to legally call yourself an orthodontist, an orthodontist promises to ONLY practice orthodontics and not typical dentistry. Therefore, if your "orthodontist" is also doing fillings and crowns, you know they're not a specialist.

  • ask them if they attended a 2-3 year orthodontic residency

  • think of it this way: would you go see your family practice doctor for a heart surgery, or would you see a cardiac surgeon? Isn't your smile important enough to trust to a specialist?

What about plastic tooth straightening trays received through the mail?

  • Let the buyer beware! theoretically, if your case was very simple, mail-in aligner trays could work. however, in reality, we see a lot of unhappy patients come to us AFTER spending the money using mail-in aligners, only to incur another cost at an orthodontist to do it the right way.

  • Amazingly, these upstart companies are not regulated nearly as closely as actual orthodontic specialists and arent held to anywhere near the same quality of care. In fact, if an orthodontist practiced to the standard of mail-in aligner companies, they would lose their license!

  • without in person visits, several important parts of successful aligner treatment are not possible. These include adding attachments (tooth-filling buttons) for the aligners to grip the teeth in ways not possible or as efficient as without attachments, and interproximal reduction (IPR), which is polishing between the teeth when teeth are too tight and can't move correctly.

  • there is no one to see if your treatment doesn't go well.

  • who knows who is planning your case - usually not an orthodontic specialist, and even if it was, they haven't seen your x-rays, your face, spoken to you, or done an in-person clinical exam.

  • the cost for mail-in aligners is often quite similar to what you would get at the office of a local orthodontist near you.

What to do?

The choice is clear: see an orthodontic specialist for all your teeth straightening needs!