If you and your child are ready to start the journey of straighter teeth, choosing an orthodontist that’s right for you is no small task. Finding the right orthodontist that you can trust is essential, and there are a number of factors that you should be considering beyond price.
Read on for our top tips on how to find an orthodontist that’s right for you!
The first and easiest way to start your search is to compile a list of all the closest orthodontists in your area. It’s no secret that orthodontists that are easy for you to travel to make setting and keeping appointments much easier.
Beyond office proximities to your home, consider if your child has any extracurricular activities near any orthodontist offices, so you can potentially schedule them one after the other.
Do you normally drop off or pick up your child in the morning or afternoon? Consider offices that are along your normal route.
Once you have your list of orthodontist offices in your area, you’ll want to check their websites to determine if they are members of the American Association of Orthodontists. Only the most qualified orthodontic specialists have this seal, and it’s important that they do.
While you’re checking that each orthodontist is specialized, this is also a great way to see how organized and easy it is to navigate their websites. If you’re finding that it’s hard to determine basic information such as contact information, office hours, or services offered, this may be an indication that the orthodontist is fairly new or isn’t a quick adopter of new technologies.
It’s important that you check Google or Facebook to see if the orthodontist you’re considering has a number of good reviews. Some orthodontists provide incentives in order to get more reviews, so remember that reviews should give you an overall positive or negative impression of what your visit will be like and not precisely your exact experience.
It’s also natural to see a few negative reviews, but in these instances what matters is whether the office responded promptly and politely to address the clients’ concerns. If you find that there are predominantly more negative reviews than positive – especially if many of them have elements in common – this is a strong indicator that you should look elsewhere.
4. Latest Technologies
Speaking of new technologies, you’ll want to ensure that your orthodontist is aware of and adopts new technologies that benefit their clients. Modern orthodontic treatments are by and large more comfortable, precise, and discreet.
For instance, orthodontists can now use 3-D planning software to create custom smiles for each of their patients depending on their bone structure and features. This enables patients to have an idea of what they’ll look like after their treatment is over, and can be especially motivating for children who are reluctant to go to appointments.
You should be able to find the kind of treatments and technologies available on orthodontists’ websites, but if not and you’ve narrowed down your options, remember to ask the orthodontist during your first appointment.
When you have narrowed down your options to two or three, set your appointments. Good orthodontists will have a complimentary free appointment for your first time. You want to be able to speak with the orthodontist to see if they’re a good fit, if they can answer all your questions, and if they’re able to provide an estimate that matches your budget.
While you’re in the office, pay attention to the ambiance of the office! Did you feel comfortable as soon as you walked in, or did it seem dark and dingy? Were the staff at the front kind and polite, or did you have to wait for their attention and wasn’t sure how to check in or where to sit while you waited?
Remember that this is a place where you’ll be spending a good amount of your time waiting for your child, so you both need to feel comfortable and welcome. Some offices even provide play areas for younger children, television, and even coffee and snacks.
6. Payment Options
Last but most certainly not least, you’ll want to be sure that the orthodontist you’ve chosen is able to work with you when it comes to payments. Ideally, you’ll want to find an orthodontist that accepts insurance and bills directly to them. Afterward, you should only be responsible for any copay left over.
You’ll find that your younger child will benefit the most from orthodontia, especially when it comes to whether or not your insurance pays for it. Don’t have insurance? Ask the orthodontist if they have any financing options available based on your credit or payment plans. Even if you find an orthodontist you love, it’s typically not worth it if they don’t have flexible payment options that work with your budget!
How to Find an Orthodontist: Giving Your Child the Best Experience
When you want to find an orthodontist, it can feel overwhelming because of the sheer options available to you. However, focusing on the convenience of the office’s location, whether they’re members of the AAO, and if they have payment options available will go a long way to narrowing down your options.
Remember that both you and your child need to feel comfortable and welcome in the office you choose. This will make the time go by far faster!