Finding the Right Orthodontist
Finding the right orthodontist is an important decision. We know you want the best care and an excellent result at an affordable price. There are a few ways to get help with this important and sometimes challenging process. You want to know your options and what the end result will be before you take that journey. The last thing you want is invested time and money to going to waste. “Most patients see orthodontics as just straightening the teeth, but one of the most important factors is the way the bite fits together at the end of treatment,” says Alan R. Heller, DDS, an orthodontist with offices in Bethesda and Laurel, MD.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than the age of 7. Why should your child have an exam no later than 7? Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to guide jaw growth, lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, correct harmful oral habits and many more. Through an early orthodontic evaluation, you’ll be giving your child the best opportunity for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Things to consider when searching for an orthodontist:
- American Board of Orthodontics (ABO)
- Find a board-certified orthodontist
- Do your research and explore your options
- Recommendations from your dentists, friends or family
- Have a consultation and meet the orthodontist
ABO Board Certification is a voluntary credential that represents an orthodontist’s personal and public commitment to the standards of specialty practice and lifelong learning. The ABO Certification process requires the completion of peer-developed, externally validated written and clinical examinations. A Board-Certified Orthodontist has reached this level of achievement by pursuing additional voluntary education and ongoing self- assessment. Board Certification is confirmation of an orthodontist’s personal commitment to providing lifelong quality patient care. Before signing up for treatment, you want to make sure your orthodontics is experienced and knows what they are talking about.
The American Board of Orthodontics is the only orthodontic specialty board recognized by the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontics. It is the global leader in orthodontic board certification and sets the standards of care for excellence in orthodontics. The mission of The American Board of Orthodontics is to enhance the quality of orthodontic care for the public by promoting excellence through certification, education and professional collaboration. What is a Board-Certified Orthodontist? An orthodontist is a dentist who has not only completed a graduate program in dentistry to receive their DDS or DMD (Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine), but has also gone through a competitive residency at a orthodontic program for an additional 2-3 years to be trained specifically in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics. Dentofacial orthopedics is the field of study that concentrates on the position and dimensions of the bones that house the teeth.
Do your research and explore your options. Finding a good orthodontist is important. You are signing up to go on a few year journey with them and trusting that they have your best interest in mind. You will end up with a fabulous smile in the end. If need be, find 2 orthodontists and see what their options are, get a feel of the office and the orthodontist. If you are not sure about wanting braces or maybe going with Invisalign, ask what your options may be between the two. How experienced is the orthodontist in Invisalign treatment? Social media and the internet are also great sources of information. Google search for orthodontists in your area. The ABO website has an orthodontic locator tab that can help search for an orthodontist in your area. Talk to your friends and family, ask where they go or take their kids. Inquire about the experiences they have had as either a patient or having their kids in treatment. Word of mouth is one of the biggest ways to find a professional. There are a lot of places offering orthodontic treatment. General dentists have been known to dabble in orthodontics, online ads offering quick treatments having you take your own impressions at home, so many different brands and companies offering options.
A new patient exam and consultation with Ballard Orthodontics will be your final steps in finding and orthodontist that you are comfortable with. Films and photos will be taken for the dentist to review and be able to give you a few options for treatment. Then it is up to you to talk it over and decide what orthodontist you want to go with. In most cases, when you find an orthodontist that suits your and your families needs, you tend to stick with them through your family’s treatment. It is at no risk to you; the new patient exams and consultations are free. When you decide to actually start treatment, a contract will be written up and that’s when money gets involved. Before then, the visits are pressure free and at no obligation. You have nothing to lose, let your journey begin! Contact Ballard Orthodontics today to get the process started!