10 questions to ask your treatment provider/orthodontist
1. Are you an orthodontist or a dentist?
There is a difference so this is an important question to ask before you embark on treatment. An orthodontist is significantly more experienced in the field of orthodontics than a dentist is so find out who’s treating you and whether you have the right person for the job.
2. What qualifications do you have?
Orthodontists and dentists begin their study with a five-year Bachelor of Dentistry. However, an orthodontist goes on to study for another two-to-three years for their Master in Orthodontics. Make sure the orthodontist treating you has both these degrees and is committed to ongoing professional training.
3. What industry associations do you belong to?
Specialist orthodontists are committed to keeping up to date with the latest in orthodontic practices and techniques. One of the ways they do this is by taking out membership of professional bodies, such as the Australian Society of Orthodontists and the American Association of Orthodontists. Your orthodontist’s memberships should be noted on their website.
4. How many years of experience do you have?
Don’t be shy about asking what experience your orthodontist has and what areas they have particular interest in. This is especially important if you’re interested in having Invisalign treatment.
5. How many Invisalign cases have you treated?
Invisalign is an increasingly popular orthodontic treatment option but it does require specialist knowledge to be administered correctly. Invisalign acknowledges the number of cases orthodontists treat by giving them different Invisalign status levels. For example, orthodontists who treat between 80 and 150 Invisalign cases each year have Platinum Elite status. Check what status your orthodontist has.
6. Who will be providing my treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is specialist work and is conducted by a team. This consists of the orthodontist, orthodontic therapists, dental nurses and treatment coordinators. Ask how the team works at the practice, what their experience is, and who you’ll see throughout your treatment.
7. Can I see some examples of your work?
Check your orthodontist’s website for before and after photos of patients they have treated. This allows you to see the standard of work they can achieve. Also ask the practice if you can read some testimonials from previous patients to see how they found their treatment experience.
8. 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.
9. Which dentists do you work with?
You don’t need a referral for orthodontic treatment, but most patients are referred by their dentist. Ask your dentist which orthodontist they work with and who they would recommend. Although an orthodontist will be in charge of your orthodontic treatment, it is important your dentist is kept informed.
10. Do you have payment plans available?
Specialist orthodontic treatment can be expensive but most orthodontists will want to ensure any treatment you need for your oral health is affordable. Ask your chosen practice about the payment plans they have available to make certain you get the treatment you need.