Finding the Right Orthodontist
When it comes to your orthodontic and dental welfare, choosing a provider is one of the most important decisions you will face. Many orthodontic practices provide orthodontic treatment and care, but not all are equal. The largest difference between the two is that an orthodontist is responsible for correcting malocclusions or uneven teeth. A dentist is a person who treats general dental conditions regarding the gums, teeth, and upper and lower jaw. If the dentist believes you need more extensive treatment with fixing uneven teeth, they will refer you to an orthodontist who can straighten your teeth with technology like metal braces, Invisalign.
In order to find your dentist or orthodontist, you can search for local providers on search engines such as Google or Yelp. To obtain the best results, search by entering orthodontists in [your city]. Once the results appear, you can rank by ratings, services offered, and the doctor’s years of experience.
Another method is to use the Invisalign.com Doctor Search page. Invisalign.com Doctor Search gathers the data from hundreds of different practices and ranks the providers by their credentials and care statistics. This informative link can direct you to a ranking of orthodontists by four tiers of experience:
- Top 1% Super Elite
- Preferred Provider
Top 1% super elite
These specialists have treated over 800 patients over their career. In addition, they have a minimum of 100 new referrals each 6 months.
The orthodontists who meet the requirements for an elite position have treated 300 patients during since starting their practice. They receive 50 new patients every half a year.
These doctors have treated over 50 patients with an additional case load of 25 patients each and every 6 months.
They treat at least 10 new patients annually.
Which one is best?
Considering the fact that you want your results to shine for many years to come, it is advisable that you choose an orthodontist who has been in practice for many years and has specialized experience and knowledge with the mode of treatment that you seek. The Elite and Top 1% super elite list doctors who have attended prestigious universities and graduate schools that have prepared them in administering unique treatments.
It is also worthy to note that the number of cases that the doctor has in that specialty does not necessarily indicate the quality or difficulty of the procedures performed by that local office. The quality of care can vary from location to location.
Another factor to consider is just because one provider has training and certification in one area like Invisalign or lingual braces, does not mean that they are as proficient in another area such as dentofacial orthopedics.
Reviews and personal stories
Another excellent tool is to read personal stories and reviews online from patients who were treated by a certain practice. Their stories can give insight into the orthodontist’s bedside manner, office quality, and typical outcome of procedures. Positive stories usually come from people who have been under the care of an experienced orthodontist and negative ones from patients who visited doctors who lack training and experience. These accounts are not conclusive, but are excellent in guiding your decisions.
Personally ask questions
Another way to get an idea of how the office and staff operate is to call the practice personally. You can question the doctor and providers about their policies and processes. Request pictures and treatment samples so you can visually see the orthodontist’s work. Inquiry about average prices of treatment to make sure that it is within your price range. If they are reticent to answer your questions, that is often a red flag.
It is important to take any information as pieces to a larger picture
The information collected from data sites such as Invisalign.com Doctor Search is not conclusive of a practice’s abilities and quality of services. Each and every experience is different from another. Understand that one or two bad reviews do not mean that the practice is bad. The searching may be long but your smile is worth it.