How to choose the right Orthodontist
Selecting the right orthodontist can be difficult because patients don’t always know what to look for or who to trust. Certain factors need to be considered to help facilitate this task, the first one being the doctor himself. Is he/she a true orthodontist or a regular dentist performing orthodontic work? A clear distinction needs to be made between the two. An orthodontist has generally completed more education and training than a general dentist and, unlike the dentist, he or she is recognized as a specialist in that field. Dentists may be capable of correcting minor tooth movements but cases that are more complex should be referred to an orthodontist. Due to the advanced training, the orthodontist is also able to treat a broader range of problems such as jaw deformities, under-bites, severe crowding, cross-bites, and impacted teeth, problems that a typical dentist cannot and should not correct. Therefore, you should ask your doctor whether they are a certified orthodontist or simply a dentist performing orthodontics.
Another important factor to consider is whether the orthodontist is board certified. Only about 25 percent of all practicing orthodontists in America are board certified. To obtain certification these orthodontists are required to pass rigorous exams and treat advanced cases that are reviewed by the American Board of Orthodontics. Board certified orthodontists are more knowledgeable, have more training, and are generally more up to date than non-board certified ones.
A final issue to keep in mind is the office itself. Since the average orthodontic case takes between 18 to 24 months to complete one must be certain to choose an office where he/she feels comfortable in. Is the office state of the art? Is the staff properly trained? Are the braces high quality? These are all questions a potential patient needs to consider.
I therefore recommend all prospective patients to not only research the orthodontist in mind but to evaluate the office as a whole. Switching providers in the middle of treatment can be a difficult and costly process. Finally, please keep in mind that price should not always be the deciding factor when choosing an orthodontist because as the saying goes: “Cheaper doesn’t always mean better”.
Dr. Salmassian is a Board Certified Orthodontist and specializes in orthodontics for children and adults. For any questions regarding this article or to schedule your complimentary evaluation please contact Salmassian Orthodontics at 661-222-7444.
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