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When people have to choose an orthodontist, this process can be made easier by following several steps. It’s important that people work with an orthodontist who is properly licensed, and this information can usually be gleaned by checking with a local or state dentistry or orthodontistry board. There are plenty of other considerations once people have a list of names of licensed orthodontists from which to choose.
A number of people look first to their health or dental insurance companies, which may partly cover the cost of orthodontistry. Many of these companies work specifically with a few practitioners, but that doesn’t always limit choice. Some companies will pay a lower percentage of cost if a person chooses to use an orthodontist who is not a contracted provider, and people must decide if bearing the extra expense would be worth it. They may also have the work of submitting bills for compensation by an insurance company and might need to pay more upfront.
With a list from a health insurance company, people may want to start making inquiries among friends and family to obtain opinions. Even without insurance, people can start asking others for recommendations, and inquire about anything important like whether the orthodontist was available for emergencies, compassionate, and competent. Good people to ask are those who have recently had orthodontic treatment or are currently pursuing it. Parents with pre-teens and teens may be the best source of information, but lots of adults now have corrective work done too. Trusted dentists are also a great source for orthodontistry recommendations.
Cost is a consideration, and a significant one. Orthodontists may vary in what they will charge and some of them have generous payment plans that can allow people to pay for services over time. These specialists may also be able to offer a patient options on care (like having clear or metal braces) that can reduce cost slightly and make orthodontic care more affordable. Some practitioners even have family discounts if more than one family member gets care at the same time.
One good thing about most orthodontists is that they tend to offer free consultations, and will usually render an opinion about what is needed for correction, what it will cost and how long it will take. It’s not a bad idea to have consultations with several orthodontists before choosing the one that makes a person most comfortable. It isn’t uncommon to hear a few different options or opinions on exactly what is required to correct teeth placement or jaw problems.
Since opinions can vary, it may make sense to do some research on the common orthodontic techniques used to correct certain problems. Either after consults, or in advance, a person investigating an orthodontist can help determine whether advice given sounds most accurate. Occasionally, information on the Internet may be incorrect or false, so look for sites like those offered by dentistry or orthodontistry organizations or boards that may give the most accurate details about how treatment is pursued.
Individuals may have particular concerns when they choose an orthodontist. They might want to work with one that is great with kids, or they may want to see a specialist who works most with adults. Some people are deathly afraid of any type of dental work, and could benefit from finding an orthodontist that is particularly sensitive on this issue and has methods for dealing with it. Most important is patient comfort; if a person doesn’t feel comfortable with an orthodontist, he should look elsewhere for another specialist to provide care.