Why Choosing the Right Orthodontist Matters?

Why Choosing the Right Orthodontist Matters?
Peter, the patient
Dear Dr. Stosich,
Our family dentist has told us our son needs an orthodontic evaluation. There’s an orthodontist in the same office complex as our dentist, which is a convenient location for us to get to. My wife says we need to research all the orthodontists in our area, though, to find the right one. I think she’s going a bit overboard – aren’t all orthodontists capable of the same things?
Kyle G.
 

Dr. Michael Stosich
Dear Kyle,
If you were told you had a heart condition and needed to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, would you take the time to find the best one in your area, or would you just settle for whichever one came first in the phone book?

Finding the right orthodontist for your son is an important decision, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your son deserves the best care possible that will offer a beautiful and functional result, and at a price that won’t break the bank. Your wife is right – you should definitely take the time to research orthodontists in your area.

Here are some tips for what you should look for:

  1. Get a list of all those offering orthodontic treatment in your area. Ask friends, family and colleagues who they have used.
  2. Once you have your list compiled, verify that the doctors on the list are in fact orthodontists, and not general dentists who offer orthodontic treatment. This is important because a general dentist won’t have the experience an orthodontist will have.
  3. Research the orthodontist online, reading reviews from previous patients.
  4. Schedule consultations. Most orthodontists will offer a free initial consultation, during which time you can ask questions about recommended treatment plans, cost, and check out the office and staff.
  5. Compare treatment plans, the experience of the orthodontist, and costs to make the decision that is right for your family.

Pay close attention to the treatment plans each orthodontist lays out, and take notes if you need to. If different orthodontists lay out different treatment plans, or much different costs for what appears to be similar treatment, don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good orthodontist should be able to clearly explain the treatment plan he or she recommends and all costs associated with it. You can ask to see before and after photos of actual patients so you can see the scope of the orthodontist’s work.

Undergoing orthodontic treatment is a big decision, and a big investment. You want to be sure your son is getting the highest level of care that will ensure a lasting result. Perhaps the orthodontist in your dentist’s office complex is wonderful – but before jumping into treatment, you owe it to yourself and your son to do your research before.
Sincerely,
Dr. S.

AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.