Ladera Ranch, CA – If you or your child are in need of orthodontic treatment, chances are good you are turning to family, friends, colleagues, and the internet for advice. Dr. Robert Gire and Dr. Reza Salmassian of Ladera Orthodontics compiled the most asked questions that they’ve encountered in private practice.
- Should I just get braces or clear aligners at my general dentist’s office? Today, more and more general dentists are offering orthodontic treatment in their offices. While it may seem convenient to get your braces or aligners at their office, it’s important to remember the difference in training. All orthodontists are dentists but only a fraction of dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists perform this kind of treatment all day, every day, while a dentist may only offer it occasionally. An orthodontist spent additional years in school and training after graduating from dental school and will have the knowledge, skills, and expertise you deserve.
- Is the orthodontist board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics? Only 25% of practicing orthodontists are board certified. It is an optional process that orthodontists pursue to achieve excellence in their day to day care. There are no checks and balances in most dental offices, unlike physicians in medicine, and that’s why you should always seek out a board certified orthodontist. Their techniques and abilities are tested to ensure their treatments are above and beyond the standard of care. Both of the orthodontists at Ladera Orthodontics are board certified.
- What type of orthodontic treatment is the orthodontist suggesting and why does he or she believe this is the best course of treatment? If you are visiting more than one orthodontist before making your final decision, this is an important question. There are a lot of treatment options available today and you want to be sure your orthodontist is offering a treatment that is ideal for your situation and not just a one-size-fits-all approach. Materials, techniques, and protocols are constantly improving with technology and you want to ensure you’re getting state of the art care. Some offices will push a certain type of treatment option simply because they get quantity discounts from a certain lab or company. Always ask why they are promoting the treatment they are offering.
- What are the pros and cons to the treatment options offered? Every treatment will have things that set it apart from other forms of treatment, both good and bad. For example, metal braces are still used frequently because they are very reliable and effective. But, they are the least aesthetically pleasing option available today. Spark or Invisalign clear aligners are some of the most aesthetically pleasing options but they may not be right for your lifestyle, budget, or malocclusion. If you can have a clear understanding of both the pros and cons of the options, you can make an informed decision about your treatment.
- Are before and after photos of actual patients available? Your orthodontist may tout a wonderful track record but can he or she provide before and after photos of actual patients so you can see results for yourself? Every one responds to treatment in different ways but if you can see actual results it may make you feel more comfortable.
- How will orthodontic treatment change your life? It is important to have a realistic expectation of what is to come. You may think clear aligners are the right option for you because you love the aesthetics of it, but if you aren’t prepared to wear the aligners 22 hours a day, treatment may not go as smoothly as you had hoped. If you have a clear understanding of what to expect going in, it will make the experience much easier.
- How much is treatment going to cost? This is an important one. Be sure you get an understanding of the cost of treatment and everything that cost includes before agreeing to treatment. Some offices will offer a reduced fee but then add on additional fees for x-rays, photos, or retainers. Always ask for the TOTAL cost of treatment. And remember, there is a lot that goes into that cost – including the expertise of your orthodontist and his or her staff.
- How long will treatment take? While this is the most commonly asked question, there is not a straight-forward answer. Treatment time depends on the individual patient, the severity of the malocclusion, the treatment option chosen, and how well the patient responds to treatment.
There are many things to consider when choosing the right orthodontist for you. You may have additional questions and that’s exactly what the initial consultation is for. To schedule a complimentary consultation at Ladera Orthodontics, please call 949-272-8782 and we’ll be happy to answer any and all questions that you may have.