When to See an Orthodontist
What orthodontists do, how to choose one, and what you may pay.
Choosing an Orthodontist
To get her son’s teeth straightened, Henson asked family and friends for recommendations. She then interviewed three orthodontists. She decided to use her son’s doctor for her own braces because she liked her son’s treatment plan and the results - well, they made her smile.
The orthodontist also offered a family discount. And his office was convenient. That was a big plus for Henson, since she has appointments every six weeks.
Heller recommends asking how easy it is to schedule appointments. Whether a practice is right for you has a lot to do with the personality of the orthodontist and how good you feel when you’re there.
“The way the office runs and the way the patient is treated can vary quite a bit based on the practice’s philosophy, the personality of the doctor and how friendly the staff is,” Heller says.
Many orthodontists offer free or low-cost consultations. Rogers’ is 45 minutes long. It includes a panoramic X-ray that gives a full-mouth view, photographs, and a medical history.
Among other things, he measures how wide a patient can open her mouth and whether there’s jaw muscle tenderness or clicking, which may indicate grinding. He also measures the protrusion (how much teeth are jutting out) and crowding of the teeth.
Before they leave, patients get an estimate of treatment cost, length, and goals.