Don’t Look Any Further: How To Find an Orthodontist Near You
When you decide you or your child needs an orthodontist it can be difficult to figure out where to turn. Your dentist may give you a couple of recommendations, but is he getting a kickback from the provider?
If you don’t have insurance, how do you find a doctor who is affordable or will work with you on payments? How do you know if an orthodontist is good? If you’re asking yourself these questions, read on to discover how to find the best orthodontist near you.
Ask for Recommendations
Sometimes the best way is the old-fashioned way. Ask your coworkers, neighbors and friends for recommendations. You may not always find who you want to go to, but you will certainly learn who to avoid.
If you’re brand new to the area and don’t know anyone yet, start looking for reviews. When you go to Google or Yelp you can enter “orthodontist near me” “orthodontist Queen Creek AZ“ or the name of the city or town where you reside.
Whether you ask around, search online, or combine both, take the time to develop a list of questions you’d like answered. The right orthodontist for a middle-aged adult isn’t necessarily the same one who will treat your five-year-old with the TLC she needs to feel comfortable.
Ask about bedside manner, the responsiveness of the office staff and whether they offer special treatment for patients who are especially scared or sensitive. You’ll have your own questions based on your needs. If an online review doesn’t include the detail you need, don’t be afraid to reach out to the original poster for more details.
Once you’ve narrowed your search to five or fewer orthodontists, start looking at credentials. Orthodontists receive the same training as dentists, graduating from a four-year graduate program with either a DDS or DMD degree.
From there orthodontists then complete almost 5,000 hours of additional training and attend a three-year residency. This additional training doesn’t result in a different designation so you have to do some homework.
Look for your potential orthodontists on the website of the American Association of Orthodontists or the American Board of Orthodontics. Also, search your state’s board of dental examiners for specific information about each one. You’ll be able to find what college he attended, when he graduated and whether there are any complaints lodged about his medical services.
Firstly, narrow the field to only two or three potential orthodontists. From there, it’s time to conduct some interviews.
You wouldn’t hire the first contractor you spoke to, so it doesn’t make sense that you’d trust your oral health to the first doctor you meet. Only by visiting in person will you really see how you interact with the front and back-office staff, and get a feel for how the doctor works.
Sometimes the most important judge is your gut. If you don’t get a good feeling, move along to the next candidate.
Here are some questions to ask when you meet with an orthodontist for the first time:
- Do you take care of all the work yourself, or do you have associates who will take care of parts of the procedures? Ask to meet associates and learn about their educational and professional history, too.
- Do you offer any general dentistry services? For example, if you notice a cavity while replacing a wire, will you take care of it?
- What are your office hours and how would someone reach you in an emergency?
- How do you determine pricing and what payment plans do you offer?
When you use these three steps, you’ll not only find a qualified orthodontist near you, you’ll find one with whom you can build a trusting relationship.