Need to find an orthodontist that is credible, professional and affordable? You’re not alone: Every year, thousands of people—including many in North Carolina—hit the internet in an attempt to find an orthodontist nearby, one and that they can trust with their smile.
Here, then, are six tips and tricks for finding just the right orthodontist for you or your loved one.
How to Choose an Orthodontist: The Basics
When looking for an orthodontist, chances are there will be several options near you. Here’s how to find those offices and narrow down your choices:
- Do a quick search online. Sites such as Google Maps and Yelp can help you find orthodontists nearby, and they often have reviews as well.
- Ask for recommendations. These can be from friends and family, or ask your current dentist (if you have one). Dentists can almost always recommend an orthodontist they trust. If you are moving to a new area, it is still worth asking around to see who families trust.
- Visit the website of the American Board of Orthodontics. If online searches and recommendations from friends and family are not turning up many results, try visiting the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) website. They have a locator tool that can help you find offices near you: https://www.americanboardortho.com/general-public/orthodontist-locator/.
- When you’ve got a list of potential offices, start collecting online reviews. You are not only looking for an orthodontist nearby, but also one that has an established practice and positive reviews.
- Read the reviews…carefully. That said, not all review are legitimate. Find ones that relay a personal story or give details. Also, look at the date on the reviews. Sometimes, older reviews reflect orthodontist that may no longer be with that office or practice.
- Call. You can’t possibly learn everything you need to know from a quick internet search. Call the office and ask many questions. If the fit seems right, you can arrange an appointment to meet the new dentist or orthodontist in person.
What Should You Look for in an Orthodontist?
All that said, what is it you should be on the lookout for when choosing an orthodontist? Here are some things you should look for and/or ask about when doing your search:
Array of Services
Here at the Happy Tooth, we make a point of offering all orthodontic services to our clients and friends in the North Carolina/Southern Virginia area!
The Latest Technology
Believe it or not, there are advances being made in orthodontics every year. This can mean new procedures, new imaging techniques, new materials, and more. Try to find out how the orthodontist keeps up with new trends that could be available.
For Invisalign, Elite Preferred Provider Status
If you are thinking of Invisalign for your teeth, be sure to find an orthodontist with Invisalign Elite Preferred Provider status.
To become an Elite Preferred Provider, an orthodontist must achieve the highest level of Invisalign case experience in the country. This means treating a high number of cases and earning a proven track record of successful treatment. There are only a handful of such offices across the country.
For example, were are one of only a handful of Elite Preferred Invisalign Providers serving the North Carolina and Southern Virginia area. Only about 2% of all Invisalign providers nationwide achieve this status!
It’s no secret that orthodontics can be expensive. The key thing is being able to communicate with the staff about things like insurance, payment plans, and so on. Some offices (including our own) even offer a same-day discount on payment by cash, check, or debit card.
How to Choose an Orthodontist: 4 Bonus Life Hacks for a Faster Search
The above process might sound easy, but it can be rather time consuming. Here are a few little-known tips for making the search go faster:
- Google “orthodontist near me.” It’s simple, but effective. Google (and Google maps) will give you a list of orthodontists closest to your location. Start with these because, all things considered, you’ll want an office that is closer to you than farther. This is a simply way to find an orthodontist worth checking out.
- Read the negative reviews first. You’ve probably noticed that, online, all positive reviews sound the same (“Awesome service! Great job!”) but negative reviews tend to talk about specific problems. Half the time, the negative reviews mention a problem that is not the orthodontists’ fault, or that does not pertain to you. If the negative reviews don’t seem that bad— or if there are none to speak of— you’ve found a good office location!
- Ask if there are any deals. Some offices run regular deals on common treatments, such as Invisalign. But they might not advertise these like we do. So ask!
- Kid friendly? If you are looking for an orthodontist for your son or daughter, it’s worth seeing if the office is kid friendly. Do they treat kids and teens often? Is their office arranged to make kids and teens feel more at home? Try looking up “kid-friendly orthodontist” when you do your search, or call offices and ask if they treat kids often.
Ask for a Free Orthodontist Consultation
Last of all, before you make the final decision on an orthodontist, you should visit the top couple of office on your list.
Most offices will offer a free initial consultation, but you might have to ask for it. If an office does not do free initial consultations, it’s a bad sign!
Make (and keep!) that initial appointment. This is where the orthodontist will discover the right treatment for you— and you can figure out whether or not you are comfortable working with them.
During the initial consultation, there are many questions you will want to ask. That is expected— it is all part of the process of choosing an orthodontist. Here are some questions that you should have in mind:
- How long has the orthodontist been practising? How many patients are treated a year?
- What treatment options are available for cases like yours? How do they compare in terms of time and cost?
- How often should appointments happen? What happens if you need to cancel an appointment?
- What insurance does the office take? (Or, can the office make accomodations for those without insurance?)
- What sorts of things can you expect during treatment?
Seal the Deal
If you live in North Carolina or Southern Virginia and you want an orthodontist that is professional, reliable, and affordable, we hope that you’ll check us out here at the Happy Tooth. Here are our locations and current deals:
So we know a thing or two when it comes to finding the best in clear teeth aligners for your smile 🙂