10 Tips for Choosing a Great Orthodontist
1. Make sure that your doctor is a university trained orthodontist. Any dentist can offer orthodontic treatment without any training beyond dental school. Only university trained orthodontists can be a member of the American Association of Orthodontists and their web site is www.braces.org.
2. If your orthodontist is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics then your orthodontist has gone the extra step to demonstrate his/her commitment to excellence.
3. Is the office clean, modern and up-to-date? If so, they should be up-to-date with the latest techniques.
4. Do they use digital x-rays? Digital x-rays use half the radiation of traditional film x-rays.
5. Do they have a cone beam x-ray machine? The cone beam is like the medical CAT scan except it exposes patients to much less radiation. It allows the orthodontist to take 3 dimensional x-rays to precisely locate impacted and un-erupted teeth.
6. Does the office have a 3-D scanner? This scanner makes electronic models of the teeth instead of taking traditional molds for orthodontic records and appliances such as Invisalign.
7. If you are considering orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, how much experience does your doctor have? Do they do 10 Invisalign cases per year or 100? Is your orthodontist comfortable treating most problems with Invisalign or do they prefer to only treat simple cases? If you are seriously considering orthodontic treatment with Invisalign, it makes sense to see a doctor that has a lot of experience with Invisalign.
8. Does the doctor have a soft tissue laser? A soft tissue laser is used to perform minor gum procedures such as uncovering slowly erupting teeth and removing over-grown gum tissue.
9. What does the doctor do to prevent “white spots” on the teeth after braces are removed? White spot lesions are caused by poor oral hygiene and diets high in sugar such as sodas. Use of mechanical toothbrushes such as the Sonicare toothbrush helps make removal of plaque easier. In addition, there are sealants that can be placed on the surfaces of the teeth to make them more resistant to white spots.
10. Does your doctor offer ways to speed up your orthodontic treatment? There are now ways to speed up orthodontic treatment. AcceleDent is one such device. AcceleDent is a hands free oral appliance that you hold between your teeth for 20 minutes per day. It produces microvibrations that speed up orthodontic tooth movement by 30-50%. An additional benefit is that it makes treatment more comfortable.