Qualifications and Experience
If you’re considering orthodontic treatment, find out what qualifications and experience your orthodontist has. They should have a Bachelor of Dentistry followed by a Master in Orthodontics and be a member of professional bodies, such as the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists.
While an orthodontist is responsible for your overall treatment plan, they don’t work alone. They are surrounded by a team of professionals: orthodontic assistants, treatment coordinators, office managers etc. Each plays an important role in your orthodontic treatment journey so take time to find out what qualifications and experience the team has and who will be involved in your care.
Cost and Finance
Orthodontic treatment is a significant financial investment, with this in mind, many offices offer payment plans to help with the cost. Some offices are more flexible than others when it comes to down payments and monthly installments. Before you embark on treatment, make sure you have a full quote which details all fees involved. This should also include retention post-treatment.
Some orthodontic offices “participate with insurances”. There are two ways to “participate” with insurance: One way an office can “participate” is to be “in network” with your insurance, that means that they accept your insurance and that the patient gets the maximum insurance benefit and typically a discounted fee. The second way an office can “participate” with insurance is to be “out of network”, in this case the office just bills your insurance but the patient does not receive any insurance discount.
Some orthodontists will offer a complimentary consultation, during which they’ll review your medical history, talk to you about your treatment objectives, and provide you with a treatment plan, which will include the cost and duration of your treatment..
On average, orthodontic treatment lasts between 18 and 24 months. With appointments typically monthly. You should ensure that your Orthodontist offers appointments that fit with your work or school schedule. Does the office offer evenings and weekend appointments, is an important question to ask.
Lastly, another source of information is the Internet. You should search for reviews on the orthodontists you’re considering. This will be a good place to get to really understand if patients are satisfied with the treatment and experience at that particular office.
Daniel Gross DDS MS