Choosing Your Orthodontist

10 Things You Should Know Before Choosing Your Orthodontist

1. Straight teeth are essential to optimal health

Straight teeth help you to effectively bite, chew and speak, but did you know that straight teeth are less prone to decay and injury than crooked teeth? Misaligned jaws can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces and excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth and the jaw joints. Early correction of tooth and jaw misalignment can help prevent these problems and may be less costly than treating more serious problems that can develop as a result of delaying treatment.

2. Straight teeth boost self-esteem

Teeth that work better also look better! A beautiful smile is a benefit of orthodontic treatment. It contributes to good self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image – important qualities at an early age. In this way, orthodontic treatment can benefit social and career success, as well as improve a person's general attitude toward life.

3. You should choose a certified orthodontic specialist

An orthodontist is a dentist who, after graduating from dental school, completes additional full-time university education in an accredited orthodontic residency program supervised by actual orthodontists. This specialized training lasts at least 2-3 academic years, and sometimes longer, making orthodontists educated experts in a specific field of dentistry that straightens teeth and aligns jaws.

Orthodontists limit their practices to orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics, which means they specialize in orthodontic treatment only. They diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. Selecting an orthodontist who is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is your assurance that you have chosen an orthodontic specialist.

4. You should research before you choose an orthodontist

Most orthodontists have a biography on their websites. If not, you will want to call the office to find out where he/she went to school, if he/she is board certified, if he/she treats children and/or adults, how long he/she has been in practice, if he/she offers the treatment you are interested in, if he/she has received any awards, etc.

5. Orthodontics is affordable

Orthodontics is a great investment and orthodontists strive to make orthodontic care affordable for your family. Most practices offer FREE initial orthodontic exams and evaluations. To make payment easy for the rest of your treatment, practices will offer payment by most major credit cards and a variety of payment options. Many offices accept insurance plans and are experts at maximizing your available benefit. Check with your orthodontist to see what is available in his/her office.

6. Treatment times are shorter

Due to the many technological advances available today in the field of orthodontics, such as clear aligners and self-ligating braces, many patients are enjoying significantly shorter treatment times. Treatment is shorter, more comfortable and requires fewer appointments – making it easier for busy, active families to fit it into their schedules.

7. Less noticeable cosmetic treatment options are available

Today, orthodontic specialists can offer several cosmetic treatment options, such as clear aligners, clear braces, and lingual braces (braces behind the teeth) that are virtually invisible!

8. Children should receive an orthodontic evaluation before the age of 7

Although orthodontic treatment is possible at any age, there is such a thing as the ideal time. Starting treatment at the right time gives the patient more conservative treatment choices, which can prevent the need for extractions or surgical procedures later. That's why the American Association of Orthodontists advises early orthodontic screenings. Most orthodontists offer free orthodontic examinations for new patients. With no obligation, an initial exam will give you the expert information to direct your treatment choices as well as the opportunity to meet the orthodontist and his/her team.

9. Orthodontic treatment is available for adults

Orthodontics is not just for children anymore. There are many treatment options available for adults from Invisalign® and retainers to full comprehensive treatment. Many adult patients are finding out now how a healthy, attractive smile can enhance their careers and social lives. It's never too late to start building the smile you deserve.

10. Schulman Study Group orthodontists are special

Schulman Study Group orthodontists are a very special group. Members of this professional group are committed to supporting each other in pursuing the most progressive and innovative treatment techniques. Excellence in practice and care is the mission that unites and drives the members of the Schulman Study Group. When you choose a Schulman Group orthodontist, you are choosing a specialist that is committed to being the best and giving you the best treatment and care possible.

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The Schulman Study Group is a nationally recognized association for orthodontists and orthodontic practices. Orthodontists who have been awarded memberships to the Schulman Study Group share in their commitment to patient care, experience, and continuing education as they uphold the SSG philosophy and continue to build on the organization's rich history.