How to choose an orthodontist who will make you smile

Choosing an Atlanta-area orthodontist is an important decision for you and your family. When you consider...

Choosing an Atlanta-area orthodontist is an important decision for you and your family. When you consider how long and involved orthodontic care can be, it's easy to understand why you should take your time and make an informed choice. Keep these tips in mind while doing your research, and you're sure to be left with a brand new smile.

Why do I need a specialist?

Orthodontists have had two to three years of study in addition to dental school. They specialize in straightening teeth and correcting bad bites through the use of braces and other equipment. While your general dentist may be able to provide some basic orthodontic treatment, he or she will likely refer you for most long-term treatment. Besides simply wanting to have a nice smile, if you have crooked teeth, they can be harder to keep clean and can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Do your homework

Don't be afraid to ask questions--lots of questions. Find out as much as you can about the specialist you are considering before making a choice. Most orthodontists offer low-cost consultations, so you may want to consider visiting a few before selecting one. You and your teeth will be seeing a lot of the orthodontic specialist you choose, so you want to be absolutely sure you and your family feel comfortable seeing this person for the next several years.

  • Before your appointment take a look at the practice's website.
  • Ask friends and family who have had orthodontic work done if they have any experience with the specialist you are considering.
  • Write down any questions you have about procedures, costs and future appointments.
  • Find out how many of the office visits and procedures are covered by your dental insurance and if you will need to pay anything out-of-pocket. If so, you may want to ask if they have any payment options, depending on your budget.

Higher cost doesn't mean better teeth

The cost of orthodontic care will vary depending both on the provider and your dental insurance, but there are certain things you can take into consideration to keep costs lower. Prices can vary simply because of the neighborhood the office is in or how many patients are seen per day. Some offices offer amenities such as flatscreen TVs and DVD players, and while these extras can make your orthodontist visit more comfortable, they won't improve your teeth and may add to the costs of care.

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