Many people know they need braces but don’t know exactly how to proceed or what questions to ask. When looking to start braces it is important to find an orthodontist. Orthodontists are dentists who have an additional 2-3 years of residency training specifically in braces and all orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) can be a great resource for finding an orthodontist near you.
Orthodontic reviews and referrals are also a great place to start looking, but here are a few additional questions to consider when meeting your future orthodontist for the first time.
What kind of experience do you have?
Orthodontists are dental specialists with additional residency training and required continuing education specifically in orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontists is a great place to look for an orthodontist because they require members to maintain high standards and ensure they have the best training. Orthodontists who have joined the AAO require specialized training and practicing orthodontists who are members keep up with treatment trends.
What treatment options are available?
Find out what orthodontic treatment options you have from your orthodontist. Certain treatments such as clear aligners and Invisalign are great for some patients but not appropriate for others. Be wary of any quick 4 question online quiz that gives you a treatment recommendation. Orthodontists take in depth diagnostic films and photos to ensure you get the perfect result in the least amount of time.
Traditional metal braces are great. However, there are other orthodontics treatment options that may suit you and your needs better. If you have a teenager that feels self-conscious about the look of braces, you may want a Grand Rapids orthodontist who offers enamel-colored braces. Adults who have had braces before and require minimal alignment correction may only need Invisalign treatment. Your orthodontist should offer a range of options, so your personalized treatment plan fits your lifestyle.
How long is treatment expected to take?
It’s always good to understand any treatment timeline – and orthodontics treatment is no different. Before going forth with any treatment, your orthodontist will complete a thorough oral exam and inform you about expected treatment length. According to the AAO, on average, patients can expect braces or Invisalign treatment to take ~2 years. As every case is different, knowing your tentative timeline will help you determine treatment progress.
What are your hours?
Orthodontics treatment takes time. So, it’s important to set time aside for the process. We know you are busy with other things besides oral treatment, and it’s a good idea to understand if your future orthodontist’s schedule will align with your schedule. If you are working or taking class full time, an orthodontics office open after 5 p.m. is ideal. By having a conversation about regular and emergency hours, you can be on top of your teeth – and your schedule.
Have you read our Grand Rapids orthodontist reviews and are looking to meet in person with our specialist? The Knapp Orthodontics team is here open Monday – Friday, and we look forward to your visit! You can schedule a free consultation by contacting us, so we can work towards creating your confident smile, together.