Your smile is the window to your heart. An orthodontist will be responsible for keeping that safe for a long period of time, so it’s important that you choose your orthodontist with care.
The first most important thing that you need to understand here is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist – and orthodontist is a dentist who has pursued an additional 2 to 3 years of dental school in an accredited orthodontic college. The degree offered could be a specialty certificate or a Masters degree. So, bottom line is not every dentist is an orthodontist. However, you might come across advertisements by dentists claiming to be specialists in orthodontics. That could mean that the doctor is pursuing a certificate course in orthodontics, but does not indicate that he is an orthodontic surgeon. To be on the safer side, take an employment from a dentist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. You could also look for a board-certified orthodontic because the American Board of orthodontics that was founded in 1929 allows membership only after a qualified orthodontist has been able to pass all the tests of the board with flying colors.
The second step of the process involves talking to friends and neighbors who have had braces or other orthodontic surgeries. The best way is to ask someone who is currently under treatment and that would give you a fair idea about the kind of expectations to keep from a particular orthodontist and also the kind of money you need to fork out for a particular procedure. You need to understand that it is not difficult to find an orthodontist but any orthodontic treatment such as bracing or teeth straightening would involve some degree of pain and discomfort – a good orthodontic surgeon would be able to minimize this and also there would be reduced risk of infection. So the experience of someone under treatment could give you a proper insight.
If all else fails, you might try talking to a dental insurance company. The good part about this is most insurance companies usually have a credentialing procedure in place to weed out poor practitioners and that simply means the referrals they provide could be trusted.
It would be pertinent to mention here that you also need to understand the domain of an orthodontist because there have been several instances when people looking for of maxillofacial surgery ended up at the orthodontists clinic because they didn’t know whom to talk to for removing a tooth that got pushed deep into the jaw bone due to some accident. And orthodontist would not be that help you if you need a facelift (doesn’t matter if it’s near your mouth) or if you need restructuring of your facial bones. An orthodontist is usually the person to talk if you need some kind of a cosmetic procedure to be performed on your dentures. Treatment procedures are not limited to cosmetic treatments – sometimes corrective measures are also taken, but the matter would have to be essentially with your teeth and not the surrounding structures.