Knowing how to choose an orthodontist for you and your family is important to maintain straight, healthy smiles. But how do you select one out of the many that are available? It can seem like a daunting task. It may even seem easy. The truth, however, is that only by adequately doing your research can you make an informed decision.
The Schulhof Center wants to help you by providing the following guide.
What Is Orthodontic Treatment?
If you need orthodontic treatment, it means one of several misalignment problems is impacting your life and health. Conditions such as crossbite, overbite, underbite, overcrowding, gaps between teeth, or crookedness are causing you to experience difficulty chewing or speaking, the inability to properly take care of your teeth, and low self-esteem.
In addition, you could be uncomfortable or in a degree of pain. Regardless, it would be best to see an orthodontist because you likely need braces or Invisalign® to fix your teeth. If your child has a misalignment issue, seeing an orthodontist to fix the problem early is best so that it doesn’t worsen and is harder to deal with later.
How to Choose an Orthodontist in New Jersey
Although there is no sure way of knowing how to choose an orthodontist, we found these areas helpful in narrowing down your selection.
Education and Experience
Patients will want to consider the education and experience of their prospective orthodontist. Orthodontists graduate from dental school and have a university degree, often in biological studies. They receive additional training and education to focus on jaw and teeth function and how to treat misalignment problems. This includes a residency at a healthcare facility. Orthodontists also complete a doctorate in dentistry.
However, not all orthodontists are the same. Some have more education than others. Some attended better schools or completed a more rigorous residency. Furthermore, an orthodontist could have more years of experience providing patients with braces or Invisalign treatments than others. This can make a big difference, as you will see below.
Most orthodontists offer a free consultation. This gives prospective patients the ability to ask questions and learn more about the orthodontist and their practice. You can check out the office and facilities, find out what types of treatments the orthodontist offers, get financial information, and observe if the orthodontist office is kid-friendly. A consultation is simply an efficient way to research orthodontists so you can make an informed choice. To schedule a complimentary consultation, call the orthodontist’s office or visit their website if they have one to fill out a convenient online form.
An orthodontist’s reputation can make or break their practice. Even a single bad experience can make prospective patients think twice about seeking treatment from a particular doctor. You can get a lot of information about an orthodontist by perusing reviews written by patients. Reviews usually describe the attitude of their doctor and the staff, the type of treatment they received and the result, whether the environment was welcoming, and whether they would seek treatment there again.
Thanks to the Internet, you can perform this research from the comfort of home by finding reviews online using a simple Google search or going directly to the orthodontist’s website. You will likely even find before and after photos to give you an idea of what you can expect from your treatment.
Let’s be honest. If you can find an exceptional orthodontist a couple of miles away from your home, you will likely consider them a lot more than you would consider an orthodontist 100 miles away. But closer to home doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the treatment you expect. Perhaps the close orthodontist will cost you thousands of dollars more. Maybe they don’t offer a specific treatment or don’t have as much experience. However, if convenience is important to you, you can conduct a search on the Internet for “orthodontists near me” to get a list of results.
When considering the office environment, we find these questions helpful:
- Is the waiting room and exam room warm and friendly?
- Does the environment cater to children?
- Will you feel comfortable?
- Is the facility clean and sanitary?
A consultation allows you to answer these questions. Seeing an orthodontist for treatment is already nerve-wracking enough. A calming environment will help soothe your nerves or fears.
Patients expect to be treated with respect and dignity throughout their appointment. They want their orthodontist to know what they are doing. A consultation will help you measure the professionalism of the orthodontist and every staffer in the office.
Types of Treatment
Not every orthodontist offers every kind of treatment. Some specialize in providing braces, while others can specialize in Invisalign. But many can and will provide either treatment if it is best for you. Also, an orthodontist’s experience in providing specific treatment matters. It can mean less time spent in the dental chair and speedier treatment. This experience may cost more, however.
Technology and Techniques
Orthodontists should ideally have state-of-the-art technology and remain up-to-date with current orthodontic techniques. You can ask about both during the consultation.
Treatment Cost and Payment Options
Cost is a significant factor in a patient’s choice of an orthodontist. The cost of braces and Invisalign can run anywhere between $3,500 up to $10,000 or more, depending on the severity of your dental problem and where you live. For instance, the average cost of adult braces in New Jersey is higher than the national average of $5,000. Those in urban areas can expect to pay $6,000 to $10,000 for treatment, while those in rural areas can pay $5,000 to $8,000.
Dental insurance may cover at least part of the cost of treatment, so be sure to ask your potential orthodontist if they accept your provider. Office staff will usually be happy to file a claim on your behalf. In addition, most orthodontists offer low monthly payment plans.
The Schulhof Center offers orthodontic treatment to children and adults and proudly serves New Jersey communities. If you are searching for an orthodontist, we hope you consider us. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call our office at 201-523-9450 or visit our website today!