Orthodontics is a specialization of dentistry. Orthodontists prevent, diagnose, and treat dental irregularities such as malocclusions — misaligned teeth — that may be indications of jaw problems, congenitally missing teeth, unusually spaced teeth, protruding teeth, crowded teeth, or an unusual number of teeth.
Family dentists who come across malocclusions or any of these issues will refer a patient to a specialist orthodontist for assessment and treatment. An orthodontist’s goal is to help you to experience a beautiful and healthy smile by ensuring your jaw and teeth are properly aligned. In any large Canadian city — certainly, including Toronto — there are many, many dentists who provide orthodontic treatment. Sifting through those many options for retaining an orthodontist may take a lot of time, but this is an important choice to be made when it comes to the orthodontic health of you or your children.
As you select an orthodontist in York to tend to the alignment of your teeth, here are five questions to consider.
Is the dentist in York an orthodontics specialist?
Orthodontics is a specialization of dentistry. Having said that, many non-specialist general and family dentists offer orthodontic services and products such as Invisalign. Depending on the complexity of your teeth alignment needs and issues, you may want to ensure that any orthodontist you retain is a specialist as opposed to a generalist.
Who will actually provide your treatment?
The practice of professional dentistry — including orthodontics — involves a whole team of professionals, including dental assistants and hygienists. No dentist or orthodontist can practice effectively without those team members. Having said that, patients who retain an orthodontist have every right to expect that their core treatment will be provided by an orthodontist with the support of team members, and not by someone other than the orthodontist. As you’re speaking to a potential orthodontist near you, ask what you should expect as far as who will actually provide services.
Will convenient appointment times be available?
Orthodontists aren’t bankers, and the best orthodontist for you and your family may not work banker’s hours. If your personal work or family schedule and obligations mean that you will have difficulty attending appointments at certain times without difficult sacrifices of other important obligations, speak to the orthodontist’s staff about their availability for appointments before and after hours, or even on weekends. Scheduling around everyone’s availability is not easy and may never be perfect, but you should know in advance what to expect as far as scheduling options.
Does the orthodontist in York invest in current technology?
The practice of dentistry in York has progressed by leaps and bounds thanks to constant innovations in procedures, materials, and technology. Those innovations help dentists and orthodontists provide services more comfortably and efficiently, and mean that orthodontists can offer more choices about how to achieve a patient’s goals. Ask your potential orthodontist in York about their recent investments in technology things like imaging, sedation, and services and materials like Invisalign, ceramics, lingual braces, etc. You don’t need to become an expert on these technologies, but should reach some comfort level that your potential orthodontist has made appropriate investments in technology and advanced materials.
Will you be able to reach your orthodontist?
Communication may not seem like a relevant factor for selecting an orthodontist, but it really is. All things being equal — training, location, technology, cost, etc. — consider how easily it is to reach and communicate with your orthodontist and their team. Will you be able to reach your orthodontist when you want to speak to that person? Whether it’s your orthodontist or not, are your calls returned in a timely way with full and helpful answers to your questions? Orthodontic treatment can extend for months or even years, during which time you are bound to have many questions. You deserve answers to them all, and to have them answered promptly and completely.
After using these questions to winnow through potential candidates for an orthodontist near you, contact a dentist in York and ask any questions you have — including these questions — and ask for an initial consultation. We look forward to the chance to meet you, to show you around, and to answer your questions.