How To Choose An Orthodontist
How to choose an orthodontist
Orthodontic treatment is a lengthy process. Typically, patients will be going through their orthodontic treatment for anywhere between 1-3 years. Orthodontic adjustments throughout your treatment time will need to be maintained every 4-6 weeks. Therefore, committing to a clinic where you find comfort in will make your experience with braces a much more pleasurable experience.
Choosing the right orthodontist for you is very important when considering orthodontic treatment and may determine the success of your treatment. There are many factors that come into play when finding the best fit for you. There is an increasing variety of straightening procedures today, some of which can be done by your regular dentist. Educating yourself on the difference between a dentist and orthodontist is the first step. Secondly, you should have a full understanding of the chief issues that need to be addressed. A detailed outline of your treatment plan, cost and goals will help ensure you that you are in good hands.
In most cases, patients are referred to an orthodontist by their dentist in whom they already trust. However, a referral from your dentist does not mean you must commit to treatment at that particular orthodontic clinic. Referrals from family, friends or your child’s school are also valid recommendations. Many people seek more than one opinion before committing to a treatment plan.
Your journey to find the right orthodontist will begin with a consultation. In this appointment, you will meet with your potential orthodontist and treatment coordinator to get a full diagnostic exam. This will include:
- A detailed completion of a medical history form
- Facial photos, intraoral photos and X-rays
- A complete assessment, diagnosing all issues that need to be addressed
- An outline of your treatment plan and goals
- Discussion of your options
- A quote on the cost of orthodontic treatment, including a chance to outline a payment plan suitable for your financial needs
Your initial examination is the ideal time to gather all the information you need and want to know regarding you or your child’s orthodontic treatment. Many people are unfamiliar with orthodontics and do not know the correct questions to ask. The following, will help you get a better understanding of orthodontists and what questions need to be addressed during your consultation.
DENTIST VS. ORTHODONTIST:
A dentist is similar to a family doctor, good for check ups, cleanings and fillings. Orthodontists are dentists that have extended their education for another 2-3 years to become a specialist. Orthodontists specialize in improving teeth position, the bite, facial structure and aesthetics. Dentists can update their skills and be trained in orthodontics, allowing them to perform some types of orthodontic treatment. However, these skills are usually acquired through workshops and courses generally done over the course of a few weeks or a weekend. This does not compare to an orthodontists education. Orthodontic tooth movement and alignment of the bite is considered to most people as complex treatment. Therefore, it is always best to commit to treatment with a specialist.
- What is the best time in my child’s life for treatment?
The Canadian Association of Orthodontics recommend that every child should have an orthodontic evaluation no later than the age of 7. Early intervention can prevent more serious and irreversible problems in future and may even eliminate the need for braces.
- What exactly needs to be done?
In your initial exam, Dr. Mir will assess you smile and diagnose any orthodontic problems that need to be addressed. Our team strives to provide you with a full understanding of you or your child’s orthodontic needs, without any confusion. We encourage patients to ask as many questions as needed so, they feel confident and comfortable with committing to a life changing treatment plan.
- What are my options?
At York Orthodontics, you will come across a variety of different treatment options catered to your specific case. We are dedicated to providing you with the best available treatment options for your orthodontic needs. As well as explaining each option in full detail so you can make an informed decision.
- How frequent will my visits be?
Depending on the type of treatment a patient receives at York Orthodontics, appointments can range anywhere between 3 to 8 weeks apart. Typical orthodontic adjustment appointments are spaced at four week intervals.
- How long will the process take?
The length of treatment depends on how many corrections in alignment need to be done. Therefore, the estimated length of treatment is different with every patient. For some people with minimal problems, it can be as little as 6-8 months; others with more extensive treatment plans can require upwards of 36 months to completely reposition all of the teeth.
AT HOME CARE:
- How does the office work to emphasize good oral care at home?
At York Orthodontics, we encourage our patients to maintain excellent oral health throughout their treatment period. Oral hygiene habits that you practiced before, may not be enough now that you have braces. When receiving your braces, a dental assistant will provide you with all the tools and tips you need to maintain adequate oral hygiene. We provide patients with a gift including Oral B electric toothbrush & extra brush heads, Oral B Superfloss, Crest toothpaste & mouthwash and other helpful tools including a take-home guide to help you achieve optimum oral health during your treatment. It does not end there! Your dental hygienist will sit down with you and show you videos and demonstrations on how to floss and brush your teeth with braces to ensure you get the job done!
- Are the office hours flexible?
At York Orthodontics, we understand patients and families have very busy schedules. Considering the average orthodontic appointment for a patient is every 4 weeks, we try our best to make ourselves available on evenings and weekends. So, your orthodontic treatment does not get in the way of school or work. We are proud to say that we stay open on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate your busy schedule!
- Are you a certified orthodontist?
Yes, Dr. Nima Mir is a certified orthodontist and is affiliated with the Canadian and American Orthodontic Association. These two groups are recognized for only having formally trained, certified members with a university background.
- Have you treated any cases like mine?
Find out if your treating dentist has completed a case like yours before! Dr. Mir has been very fortunate to successfully complete a large variety of cases.
- How much will treatment cost?
The cost of treatment is different for every patient because every patient’s mouth requires different realignment.
- Are you flexible with payments?
York Orthodontics offers flexible interest free payment plans. We believe financial stress should not get in the way of getting the smile you deserve. Your treatment coordinator will establish a payment plan you feel comfortable with. This includes a manageable down payments and monthly fees.
- Does your quote include all costs/are there any additional fees?
Yes, at York Orthodontics there are no hidden fees. All costs are discussed in your consultation and the quote you receive includes all treatment costs. However, some treatment plans may require additional treatments outside of our clinic. For these cases, we are able to refer our patient to a trusted clinic or specialist. Additional fees may be expected at other clinics in which we are not able to provide you with an exact price.
- What follow up care is included after braces are removed?
Retainers will be required to keep your teeth in their new positions as well as a follow up appointment after the removal of your braces to ensure everything went as planned.
- What insurance do you accept?
York Orthodontics does not deal directly with insurance companies. However, during your consultation we will give you all the information and steps you need to take to receive an orthodontic insurance breakdown. Not all insurers offer orthodontic coverage.
OTHER QUESTIONS TO ASK:
- How do you handle emergencies?
If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, help is just a call away! Depending on the severity of the problem, we may offer you tips to use until your next appointment or fit the patient in for the closest available time to address the problem. Our website offers lots of information and videos on common orthodontic emergencies as well.
- How accessible is your office for advice?
If you are seeking advice regarding your orthodontic treatment or any problems that occur, our team does their best to address all your questions and needs. York Orthodontics ensures that their patients are well educated on the basics of orthodontics and their treatment plan when starting treatment. Many of our social media platforms share blogs and videos including answers to common questions that patients may have.