How to Find the Best Orthodontist in Philadelphia
When entrusting your oral health or your child’s oral health to an orthodontist, you don’t want to make a hasty decision. Each orthodontist may differ not only in their bedside manner, but also in which treatment options they prefer and how much treatment costs. They may also differ in what type of payment plans are offered. It is a major investment in time and money so you want to get it right.
For straighter teeth, there are typically two options: Invisalign and traditional braces. Invisalign are clear, plastic aligners that are custom-made for your mouth. There are no brackets or wires to contend with, but every two weeks you need to get a new set of aligners. The Invisalign plastic trays are only put on a few teeth at time so each time you get new aligners different teeth are being focused on.
Traditional braces are the metal braces with brackets and wires that need to get tighten at your follow-up visits. Anyone from adolescents on up can get braces or invisalign. There is no upper age limit, although your overall oral health becomes a bigger factor as you age. If you have gum disease, weak tooth bone, or loose or missing teeth, these problems must be addressed first before you can proceed with braces.
While each person has their own particular criteria for what makes for the best orthodontist in Philadelphia, there are certain steps you should take to help in your decision making:
Get referrals from family and friends
Ask the people you trust if they would recommend a particular orthodontist. Ask about their particular experience and any pros and cons about the dentist that they can share. Your regular dentist is also a good person to ask for a referral. See if they will share who they chose for orthodontic work for their own children. While not everyone is looking for the same criteria, gathering referrals will at least give you a best sense of your options.
Do a google search
It is also a good idea to do some internet searching as well. Start by googling orthodontist in Philadelphia. Look for reviews and check out the websites of orthodontists in the Philadelphia area to get an initial feel for who is out there and what they offer.
Also make sure that any orthodontist you are interested in is a licensed member of the American Association of Orthodontics. This will give you extra confidence that they are up-to-date on all the newest technology and treatments. The best orthodontists are up to date on all the cutting edge technology and latest trends in treatment. Their website is also a good place to find other referrals.
Set up a consultation
Most of the time, we can’t really get a good feel for a new doctor or dentist until we go in for a visit so it is important to set up a consultation with at least a few orthodontists. While it can be time-consuming, it can really help you feel more confident about your final choice.
Here are some questions you should ask?
- What are their credentials and specialties?
- How many years of experience do they have?
- What are their office hours? (Some are more flexible than others)
- What are treatment options and costs? Ask about Invisalign and accelerated orthodontics.
- Ask for references from current or past patients.
- What is their policy for emergencies?
While you are there, you should pay attention to your surroundings. Is everything clean and sterile? Are they using the latest technology? Do they keep their patient’s comfort in mind at all times? Is the office comfortable and the staff friendly? Also pay attention to how the orthodontist interacts with you. Is he very brusque, acting like he doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with you? Or does he really sit down and get to know you and what your needs are? If you have a fear of going to the dentist, make sure that the orthodontist you choose has a gentle chairside manner. Everyone has their own needs when it comes to which types of personalities they prefer to interact with so make sure you are going to be comfortable because you are going to be spending a lot of time with this doctor and his staff. Orthodontic treatment can least between 1 year to about 3 years.
If you think you are interested in Invisalign in particular, make sure you find an orthodontist who specializes in this sort of treatment.
Once you pick an orthodontist, you will be given a treatment plan based on your needs and any cost considerations. Some options are a little more expensive than other so weigh the pros and cons for each. The orthodontist can give you all the pertinent information you need to make a decision. If your dental insurance do not cover braces in its entirety, then you have other payment options like a healthcare credit card like CareCredit and a dental savings plan.
While the financial cost can be an especially daunting aspect of getting braces, don’t let that be the only barrier to a healthier smile. Straighter teeth also improve your overall oral health so it is crucial that you don’t just chalk up crooked teeth to an aesthetic issue that can be ignored. Talk with different orthodontists to find the most affordable path for you to take.
It is important that you don’t rush into an important decision like this. Once you have gone on a few consultations, sit down with all the information and weigh your options. Like any big decision, you should look at it from all angles before making your final decision. Don’t be afraid to call back to different orthodontists with follow-up questions. They should want to talk with you and offer you advice. Your gut reaction can also be an important component as well. If at any time, you feel uncomfortable in the office or with what is being planned, then you should listen to your body. You don’t want to feel stressed and worried every time you step into the office. Check out the top orthodontists in Philadelphia.