Did you know that misaligned teeth affect more than just the aesthetics of your smile? For many, the impact is most heavily felt in self-confidence. But in some cases, the positioning of your teeth can make it easy for plaque to accumulate, potentially causing gum disease or tooth loss in the future.
This is why orthodontic treatment is a critical part of improving dental health. Now that you’ve decided to start the journey towards a straighter smile, you may have been wondering, “how do I find the best orthodontist near me?”
Lucky for you, this guide covers everything you need to consider when choosing an orthodontist. Continue reading to learn more about how to find the right provider for you.
How Is an Orthodontist Different From a Dentist?
At the beginning of their education, both dentists and orthodontists are on the same educational path. Each must first attend college, followed by dental school. At this point, orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of training in the form of an orthodontic residency.
Here they learn how to safely reposition teeth and craft a well-aligned smile. This leads to the other main difference between the two; the type of care they provide. While your general dentist looks after your overall oral health, your orthodontist focuses solely on the architecture and engineering of your smile.
But, both work together, along with other dental specialties, to ensure that your mouth stays healthy.
Location Matters: Try Searching For the Best Orthodontist Near Me
When you’re in orthodontic care, you can expect to return to the office periodically for adjustments. And, if you’re considering Invisalign, this is also when you would pick up new aligners.
Because of this, it’s essential to consider options that are easily accessible to you. To get nearby results, make sure your browser has location sharing turned on and search for “orthodontist near me” or “braces near me.” However, that will likely turn up more options than you’re willing to sift through.
In this case, you should use more specific search parameters.
So, if more than one family member is in treatment, you might want to incorporate “dentists for families” or “family orthodontics” in your search terms. Those searches should yield results that include doctors who skillfully treat a diverse range of ages.
For example, suppose your teen’s orthodontic needs have reignited a desire in you for straighter teeth. In this situation, you’d want to ensure the practice offered adult braces in addition to adolescent treatment.
Ensure Potential Providers Offer the Type of Orthodontic Treatment You Want
When it comes to options for orthodontists, there are providers who offer different dental treatments to meet every need. All orthodontic offices can provide traditional braces. But, if you don’t like the looks of traditional metal braces you should research to see that any potential provider offers alternatives.
For example, if you don’t mind brackets but just want a less conspicuous option, you should check if ceramic brackets or self-ligating braces are offered. Alternatively, if you don’t like the idea of brackets and wire at all, you should make sure that any office on your shortlist offers clear aligners, like Invisalign.
So, examine your needs and ensure the orthodontist you choose can accommodate them. However, keep in mind that your doctor will assess your unique situation and come up with the best course of treatment for you, which might not be the one that you first had in mind. Instead, the best orthodontists provide personalized care.
Budgetary Concerns: Look for Financial Flexibility
Getting braces doesn’t have to break your bank, and there are options for every budget. If you have insurance, checking which offices will work with your insurance is the first step. Keep in mind that some plans allow you to see an orthodontist outside of your network, so don’t let that limit your possibilities.
Whether or not you’re using insurance, there will likely be some out-of-pocket costs. For those, you’ll want to ensure that your pick offers payment plans or financing, like CareCredit.
Ensure They Offer Emergency Appointments
You can’t predict when emergencies will happen, and they seldom wait until your next visit. That’s why it’s important that your orthodontic provider has emergency appointments. Top-notch offices have team members trained in assessing urgent needs and will determine if you need an immediate appointment.
And if you don’t need to be seen right away, they should provide some remedies you can do at home while you wait.
Narrow Your Search With Reviews and Testimonials
Before you visit a restaurant, what do you do? If you’re like most people, you check out the reviews. The reason is that you want to be sure that the experience you’ll get when you walk through those doors matches your expectations.
Similarly, you should use online patient reviews for invaluable first-hand information. In the reviews, the traits you should scan for are:
- A friendly and knowledgeable front desk team
- Technical expertise
- A warm and empathetic demeanor.
Then, when you find an orthodontist who checks all those boxes, be sure to ask to see any before-and-after photos so that you can see the result of treatment in cases similar to yours.
Are You Ready for Your New Smile?
Now that your question, “How do I find the best orthodontist near me?” has been answered, it’s time to narrow down your search and make an appointment.
At White, Greer, and Maggard Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile. We have been honored to serve the Central Kentucky area for nearly three decades and counting. Now, with twenty locations, getting to the orthodontist has never been more convenient.
To get started, visit our New Patient Portal to find the closest location to you and schedule your first appointment. We look forward to treating you!