The role of an orthodontist is to help patients achieve a beautiful, healthy and functional smile
– often through orthodontic treatments and devices such as:
Often this involves moving teeth and the jaw into their correct alignment for aesthetic reasons, and to restore their correct biting and chewing function.
An orthodontist is often referred by a general dentistry professional when orthodontic treatments are necessary. During an initial consultation, he or she will:
- Assess your smile, bite, and tooth health
- Discuss with you what they hope to achieve
- Advise of the best methods of treatment to help deliver the best possible results.
They will then work out a treatment plan with you, involving other orthodontics team members if necessary, and schedule the first treatment appointment. The number of appointments required and duration of treatment can vary from patient to patient, depending on their unique requirements.
Why is choosing the right orthodontist important?
Like any dental or medical professional, your orthodontist plays a significant role in your wellbeing. It’s important, then, to choose a trusted orthodontics expert who is fully qualified, and who you feel comfortable with. Here at Fresh Smiles, we also encourage you to ask any questions you have about your treatment and speak freely if you have concerns.
Finding an orthodontist in your area
Think you may need orthodontic work, but not sure where to find a good orthodontist in your area? Starting with some research online is a great means of seeing what your options are, but it’s also important to seek references and testimonials to ensure the orthodontist you choose has happy patients. Ask friends and family who they recommend, and seek referrals and recommendations from your general dentist, or your doctor.
What to look for when choosing an orthodontist
Once you have a short list of orthodontists you’re interested in working with, book an initial consultation with each to meet them and discuss your treatment options. This is a great opportunity to test the waters, see if your personalities gel and if you feel comfortable with them. This way, you can also get a sense of their qualifications, work history, and the support they have from the clinic they operate out of.
It’s especially important that you have confidence in the orthodontist you choose, so you can be assured that the treatment you receive is of the highest standard. Building a good rapport and being able to ask questions will ensure that you’re fully informed about your treatment options and the treatment process.
Questions to ask your orthodontist
When meeting potential orthodontists, there are a few key things to consider, or to ask them about.
- What qualifications do they hold, where did they study, and how long have they been practicing for?
- How do they determine the best treatment plan with a patient?
- Do they or the clinic, offer emergency appointments and service if your orthodontic device needs urgent attention?
- What payment options do they offer?
- How long do they estimate your treatment to take, and how frequently will you be required to attend maintenance appointments?
- What are their policies on appointment cancellations and rescheduling?
- How large is their clinic team, and which other staff members will be providing you with treatment in the event that your primary orthodontist is on leave?