dentist versus orthodontist

Choosing An Orthodontist

August 10th, 2016

It's not the surgical tools that perform the surgery

Recently a patient asked me if she could get her BRACES put on in her home country and then have me monitor their progress.  Her rationale:  Braces are CHEAPER back home.  I realized that in her mind, the BRACES work all by themselves.  That is like believing a SURGEON’s INSTRUMENTS are doing the surgery and it doesn’t matter who is performing the procedure.

When considering surgery, we look for the BEST surgeon around.  Choosing an Orthodontist is no different – you want one with top notch education and vast experience who is therefore most qualified to handle your needs.  You are investing in the expertise of the ORTHODONTIST, not the braces themselves.

A few things you should consider when choosing an Orthodontist:

  • Dentist vs. Orthodontic Specialist:  Who is best suited to address your orthodontic needs?  A general dentist or an Orthodontic Specialist who spent an extra 2-3 years studying Orthodontics and can no longer practice dentistry (fillings / crowns)?
  • Is your Orthodontist Board Certified?  Board Certification shows that the orthodontist has proven s/he can treat to the highest level of care.  (www.americanboardortho.org)
  • How is the office team?  Do they work as my advocate in appointment scheduling, working with insurance, and handling emergencies?
  • How much does it cost? Most people don’t base healthcare decisions entirely on price; they also consider expertise and final outcome.  There are 3 factors we often take into consideration when making a purchase – Quality, Service and Price.  Some shop at Nordstrom® for the high Quality and Service, knowing that it will be reflected in the Price.  Medical and Dental procedures are no different.  Orthodontics is a service, not a commodity.  In fact, from one office to another you may receive a completely different result and definitely a different experience!
  • Not All Orthodontists are created equally.  Where was his/her education? Does s/he know you by name? Does s/he treat you as if you were a family member?  Is s/he a perfectionist, resulting in better care?

After considering all these factors, you’ll likely find that in Orthodontics, it’s more than just BRACES… you’re investing in a result and an experience– a Priceless Smile that will last you a lifetime!*

*If you wear your retainer!  ☺

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