All you need to know
One of the common question that families ask Google is “who is the best orthodontist near me?”
Finding an orthodontist to trust for you or your child’s orthodontic treatment can be overwhelming. Simply put, several factors go into receiving orthodontia with braces, aligners or Invisalign. This page is intended to provide a complete guide to navigating your options for orthodontics and dental care.
What are the factors that I should look at when searching for a top local orthodontist?
You can go about this through various methods. We recommend that you start big and narrow down your needs. The first question should be “am I looking for a pediatric orthodontic specialist?” or “I need a clinic that provides adult treatment with multiple appliance choices” – perhaps only aesthetic options like lingual braces.
Do I need a referral letter from my kids’ or my dentist in order to schedule an appointment with a local orthodontist?
The short answer is no. Patients find their orthodontists through recommendations of friends, neighbors, local guides as well as their dentists. Some patients prefer to wait for their dentists to send the referral some don’t. It is important to know that dentists have limited training on orthodontics. They might miss important windows of opportunity to identify and treat an issue using a less aggressive treatment plan, particularly in young kids. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children at the age of 7 and older see an orthodontist for the first visit. Similarly, for adult orthodontics, complex or hidden problems might seem trivial to a general dental practitioner, yet are a huge component of an orthodontic treatment plan.
How can I find a top orthodontist near me on Google?
It is easier to narrow down your choices if you specify your needs. Here are examples of questions most people want to know:
- orthodontist near me with free consultation
- orthodontist near me with payment plans
- orthodontist near me for metal braces
- orthodontist that do invisalign near me
- orthodontist near me that do lingual braces
- orthodontist near me for clear braces
- orthodontist near me open Saturday
- orthodontist near me that accepts blue cross blue shield
- orthodontist near me who accept medicaid
- board certified orthodontist near me
- top orthodontist near me
All these questions narrow down into three categories: (i) expertise of the orthodontist, (ii) cost of the orthodontic care, (iii) treatment options aka braces, Invisalign, lingual braces, clear aligners, and retainers.
Let’s go over these three main factors to help you find the best orthodontist for you. The experience of going through orthodontic care has several aspects, and straightening the teeth is part of the process to get your most beautiful smile.
(i) Expert orthodontist
Orthodontists are trained dentists (DDS or DMD) who spent an additional 3 years specializing in moving teeth and fixing jaw/skeletal problems. Conversely, general dentists receive a very small amount of orthodontics-specific training during dental school. Orthodontics is a highly specialized and complex sub-domain of dentistry.
Factors that define the levels of expertise of an orthodontist are the American board certification, training program where they received their orthodontic certificate, years of experience, commitment to continuing education and high-quality care.
(ii) Cost of orthodontic care
The cost of orthodontic services varies significantly based on the complexity of treatment. A range of $2000 to $12000 is what one can expect for traditional braces, Invisalign treatment, Invisalign teen, clear braces, ceramic braces, or lingual braces. Some skeletal problems, such as a large gap between the top and bottom teeth while biting (also referred as an overbite) may require jaw surgery as an additional procedure which comes at a separate cost. New patients often seek two to three orthodontic (often free consultations) in order to get a better sense of the cost range. Based on the policy of your dental insurance, part of the orthodontic care may be covered in majority of policies. You should call your insurance company to get more information on your insurance plans as part of seeking an orthodontic treatment plan. Most orthodontic offices offer payment options to finance your care.
If you are looking for more detailed information, click here to read more on the cost of braces and aligners.
(iii) Treatment options
Most orthodontic specialists offer you two appliances to choose. Whether you have a deep overbite or small underbite, fixed braces or aligners are a great option to correct parts of the problems. Straight teeth and a beautiful smile come with some discomfort during the treatment, and patients should choose which appliance they feel will be most comfortable. All appliances have pros and cons. The best appliance is the one that patient is comfortable with and matches her life style.
Here is a step-by-step process to identify the best orthodontists near me:
(1) Compile a list of the orthodontists near your area.
- Ask for referrals from your dentist, who will recommend people he or she works with on a regular basis.
- Ask for recommendations from your family and friends.
- Search for local board-certified orthodontists online. Use resources like this Board Certified Orthodontist Locator – just plug in your town and state or your ZIP code and find the most qualified professionals near you.
(2) Find out more information about each practice on your list.
- Both orthodontists and general dentists can offer orthodontic treatment (braces or aligners).
- Review each orthodontist’s website near you and social media. You should be review at least three orthodontics offices. Do they provide what you’re searching for? Are they easy to reach? Do they seem to use the most updated technology? Do they offer braces to children? What kind of appointment will be available to you?
- Given the possibility of future pandemics, see how they managed the patients and are they prepare to handle such unforeseen situations.
- Read their reviews on social media. This step might be the most important, as it shows you other people’s real life experiences with each provider.
- Collect more information about the payment methods each orthodontic clinic offers. Are treatments at fair price and affordable?
- It’s a good idea to make sure that the orthodontist near you is board certified – look up their name on the Board Certified Orthodontist Locator.
(3) Narrow your list and schedule an exam and consultation with your final choices.
- Limiting your list to three choices is a good start. Any more providers on your list makes it harder to select one. Consider levels of experience.
- Based on what you learned going through previous steps, schedule a consultation with the three top choices.
- Many orthodontists provide free or low cost initial consultations, so schedule yours. It’s good to shop around!
(4) Ask before you choose.
- After the initial consultation note whether the orthodontist listens to your concerns and if you feel comfortable with the provider and the team.
- The family orthodontist should be able to explain your treatment issue to you in great detail. You must have a good understanding of it after your consultation.
- Don’t hesitate to ask other questions, whether it’s about treatment (type or length) or costs. You deserve to be educated about your treatment and receive the best service possible.
- Make sure you are well informed and completely comfortable before you sign a treatment contract.
10 essential questions to ask at or after your orthodontic exam to identify the best orthodontist near me:
- How do you develop treatment plans and options?
- What do my treatment plan options entail?
- What are the pros and cons of each treatment option?
- What are the consequences if I choose to not move forward with the treatment?
- How is the treatment cost determined? What’s the breakdown of mine?
- What payment options are available to me?
- Do you accept my insurance plan?
- Would your clinic hours work with my schedule?
- Do you personally do all the orthodontic work on your patients or will some of the work be done by your staff? If so, what is their level of expertise?
- What follow-up appointments should I anticipate with my treatment?
Orthodontists can change your jaw and alignment of your teeth, and with it they change your outlook on life, boost your confidence and help you smile more. Most orthodontists provide braces and aligner to child, teens and adults. The technology has improved and it is easier than ever to seek orthodontic care. Get the smile of your dreams by visiting an orthodontist for a consultation!