How to find an Orthodontist
We know it can be confusing. You are seeing ads for braces and aligners (ex. Invisalign) everywhere and some of them are very enticing. How can you tell the difference between an expert providing treatment and a person or company that does not have the expertise to provide this treatment? What does it take to be the best orthodontist? How do you find the best orthodontist for your needs? At Forest Hill Orthodontics in Toronto we always like to focus on the fact that you have one chance to get things right, and you want to take this decision seriously. The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of time, money and energy into treatment and not get an optimal result. Your teeth are an important part of your body, and having them look and function optimally can have a large impact on your overall health and confidence. If your teeth are moved incorrectly or unsafely, there can be many negative side effects on the health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints. Make sure that the expert you are selecting for your treatment is in fact, an expert!
Here are some guidelines to selecting the best orthodontist for you:
- Make sure they are a board-certified orthodontist. In Canada, in order to practice as an orthodontist, you need to complete dental school for 4 years, and then an additional 2-3 years in orthodontic residency to become an orthodontist. Orthodontists spend all day every day straightening teeth and they are experts at creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites. If your “orthodontist” also does fillings and extractions they are NOT an orthodontist. All of our orthodontists at Forest Hill Orthodontics are board certified orthodontists who love creating beautiful smiles for their patients.
- Ask to see before and afters. Many people will promise that they can deliver outstanding results, but how do you know if this is true? Most orthodontists will be able to show you patients who have similar teeth to yours and show you a before and after of their results. Whether you have an overbite, crossbite, spacing, crowding or need jaw surgery, orthodontists routinely treat these patients with braces and Invisalign. Ask to see some other patients and their results to see what kind of results you can expect in your own mouth! This will be a big help in selecting the best orthodontist for your needs. Of course, no two sets of teeth and no two patients are the same, but you should be able to get a sense of the level of expertise you are receiving.
- Ask your dentist, friends, and community. These are excellent sources to get an opinion as to how to choose an orthodontist! Forest Hill Orthodontics has been part of the midtown Toronto community for over 60 years. We are a community-based practice and support many local schools, teams and take our dedication to the community to heart. If you are not sure about which orthodontist to select, your friends and family will be able to tell you about the level of care and expertise they receive at their appointments, and about the friendly welcoming environment you will experience at your visits. Your dentist can also tell you which orthodontists deliver consistently excellent results, leading to a beautiful, healthy smile and bite.
- Meet the orthodontist and ask questions. Did you get to meet the orthodontist who will be delivering your treatment? Did you two “click”? You can expect visits about once every two months, so you should feel comfortable and welcomed by your orthodontist and their team. You should be able to meet your orthodontist and ask questions and be involved in a discussion about your care. If you do not get to meet your orthodontist (ex. with a teledentistry company)- how will you know if they are able to meet your concerns?
- Look into follow up procedures. It is one thing to get your teeth straight, but another big part of treatment is maintaining the results. Ask your orthodontist about retainers and what sort of follow up they provide. Most orthodontists will provide some follow up to make sure your teeth are staying straight with use of retainers. If your orthodontist does not provide retainers, your result is not likely to be stable long term. You want to make sure you get to keep your beautiful new smile for life!
We hope you found this guideline to be helpful when choosing an orthodontist. If you are in the Toronto area and would like to book an appointment with one of our friendly, board certified orthodontists click here