Important questions to ask your child's orthodontist before treatment begins

Post by 
Clare Evans

he decision to send your child for orthodontic treatment isn’t one you take lightly but it provides them with the foundations for a lifetime of beautiful teeth and the confidence to smile freely. Before doing so, here are some questions to ask your orthodontist before treatment begins. It will give you the confidence that you've picked the right specialist and will answer some of your child's concerns.

Are you a specialist Orthodontist?

Top of your list is determining if your practice is a specialist orthodontic practice. The first point of difference lies in that every orthodontist is a qualified dentist, but not every dentist is a qualified orthodontist. One of the important things to ask an orthodontist in an interview is about their education. He or she should have completed three additional years of orthodontic specialty training. Keep in mind, the level of education and the orthodontist’s amount of experience can vary. Find out more about the orthodontist’s background by asking:

  • Where did you go to dental school?
  • Where did you complete your orthodontic specialty residence?
  • How long have you been practicing?

What are your hours?

An orthodontist should be regularly available during the week. Many orthodontists specialise in treating kids so they should have hours that work around your family's needs.

What treatments options are you suggesting and what results can I expect to achieve

You and your orthodontist need to be on the same page and you need to make sure you communicate what exactly you want addressed. Ask questions about what options are available to you. Your child might not like particular types of braces as they are worried about how they will feel. Traditional braces aren’t the only choice you have.

What Is Your Experience with This Treatment?

When choosing the right specialist orthodontist for your treatment, you want one who has the right experience and skill. Don't be afraid to ask about your orthodontist’s experience with performing a certain procedure, particularly the one he's recommending for you. Because they are postgraduate trained, all orthodontic specialists can justify their treatments on Evidence Based Science. This means that each decision they are making on behalf of their patients has scientific weight and proof behind it. In addition to this all orthodontists will review the Evidence Based Science regularly to keep abreast of recent research

How can I prepare for Treatment?

Before treatment begins, make sure you're properly prepared. Your orthodontist will advise on how to best prepare for the particular procedure that your child will be undergoing. Your orthodontist will also advise regarding the length of time for treatment, frequency of visits, and how to care for braces.

Will it be painful?

There is technology available today that makes braces more comfortable than ever before. However, your child's teeth are moving so there will inevitably be a level of short lived discomfort.

What can I expect after treatment?

Knowing how to take care of and support your child after orthodontic treatment is essential. Your child may suffer mild discomfort, due to tooth movement or rubbing. Ask your orthodontist how to combat this. In addition you will be given advice regarding diet, and any foods or drinks that are best avoided. It's best to know all of this in advance and plan accordingly.

What is the Cost?

Cost will be an important part of your decision making process. Most orthodontists have trained treatment co-ordinators who will talk you through costings and the various payment methods. If there are quotes that are much lower or higher than others, you should ask why. Determine how you can pay (upfront versus payment plan, pay per visit or some variation). The more you are informed the less likely it is that you will be surprised or upset later on.