What to ask your orthodontist
Before you start orthodontic treatment, here are 10 questions we recommend you ask your orthodontist.
1. Are you a specialist orthodontist?
All specialist orthodontists start out as qualified dentists. After practicing in the dental field, those wishing to pursue a career in orthodontics will undertake a further two to three years of postgraduate training in the specialization of orthodontics. This makes them uniquely qualified to treat all types of problems related to bad bites, crooked and crowded teeth.
2. Are you a registered specialist orthodontist?
All specialist orthodontists will be registered and this should be available on the clinic’s website. If not, do ask your orthodontist.
3. What qualifications do you have?
An orthodontist becomes an orthodontist after three years of postgraduate study in the field of orthodontics. This is done on top of a five-year Bachelor of Dentistry. Dentists, on the other hand, have this undergraduate degree in dentistry but not the subsequent orthodontic training.
4. What professional memberships do you have?
Specialist orthodontists are committed to ongoing training and keeping up to date with the latest in orthodontic practices and techniques. One of the ways they do this is by becoming a member of various professional bodies, such as the American Association of orthodontists (AAO).
5. How many years of experience do you have?
In addition to finding out how many years of experience your orthodontist has, also ask him/her what areas they have a particular interest in. This is especially important if you’re interested in having Invisalign treatment.
6. Who will be assisting you (the orthodontist) with my treatment?
An orthodontist works with a team of professionals around him/her, which include registered dental assistants RDA, orthodontic dental assistants, and treatment coordinators. Ask how the team works at the practice and who is likely to be involved with your treatment.
7. What qualifications does the team have?
Everybody who works within the orthodontic industry is required to have a professional qualification so find out what qualifications the supporting team has.
8. Can I see some examples of your work?
Most orthodontic websites have a section with case studies, showing before and after photos of patients they have treated. This allows you to see the standard of work they can achieve. Also ask to read some testimonials from previous patients to see how they found their treatment experience.
9. What follow up care do you provide?
Professional specialist orthodontists really care about their work and the well-being of their patients. Ask your orthodontist about follow-up care post-treatment as this is a good indicator of the level of care and service you’ll receive.
10. Which dentists do you work with?
Although you don’t need a referral for orthodontic treatment, most patients are referred for orthodontic treatment by their dentist. Ask your dentist which orthodontist they work with and would recommend as it is important your dentist is kept informed of any orthodontic treatment you have.