Home Health A Quick Guide to Choosing an Orthodontist

A Quick Guide to Choosing an Orthodontist

by Donna Corn
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Problems with an overbite or underbite as well as crooked teeth mean you need to visit an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in the alignment of the teeth and jaw.

When you need to find an orthodontist in Arvada, start by doing online research or asking your dentist for recommendations. While it may seem tempting to choose the first name on the list, you should obtain at least three recommendations and check the background of each.

While your dentist probably recommends colleagues known from college or professional interactions, ask your family and friends who they use as well. They know who made the process of getting braces or treating TMJ easier. They can tell you which orthodontist has the best chairside manner, so to speak.

Your background check should also include their schooling and licensing. On top of the four years it takes to earn a dental degree, an orthodontist also earns an advanced degree that requires three more years of school. On top of all of that, they, like your dentist, must obtain board certification.

Many dentists and orthodontists now host websites for their practice. This likely includes a before and after the section with close up photos of dental work. You will get to see what the patient’s teeth looked like when they entered the practice and when the work was complete. That might mean when they got their braces off or finished using the re-aligning trays, etc. These examples will not include the patient name since that would violate HIPAA, a health information privacy protection law. They will include non-identifying information such as the age and gender of the patient and a description of the problem for which they sought treatment. For example, “40-year-old male with an overbite” or “30-year-old female with crooked and overlapping teeth.” This lets you compare the results they achieved with the medical problem you need to treat. This lets you see if they achieve the type of outcome you want.

If the orthodontist offers a low-cost or free initial consultation, make an appointment. These sometimes include a dental x-ray so they can fully discuss your alignment and teeth placement. This provides you an opportunity to determine how well you get along with the dentist and how comfortable you feel with the person. Your choice should be the orthodontist with which you feel the greatest comfort, who achieves the results you want to see in your smile.

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