You need braces. Now what?
Well, depending on the nature of the problem there may be several differing opinions on what needs to be done! So how do you know what proposed plan is the right decision and how do you choose the right orthodontist for the job? Have you considered getting a second opinion?
When considering which Orthodontist to work with, getting a second opinion is actually a prudent step. It’s also important to know that Orthodontists expect this and know that it is not at all uncommon for patients to look around when they are getting ready to make the decision. Orthodontists also know that price is not the only factor around when choosing which office to work with. Some patients tell us that they were in fact embarrassed to get a second opinion; but you know what? You shouldn’t be. Here’s why:
1) Orthodontics is an important decision. Whatever you choose now will have an impact on you for many years to come. Your relationship with your orthodontist is a long one and you need to be happy with your choice, so you should take your time with that decision.
2) Be sure you’re talking with an orthodontist. This is a big one. Many dental offices now dabble in orthodontics, but they are not specialists in tooth alignment or jaw growth and movement like Certified Orthodontists are. Did you know that Orthodontists are trained as Dentists first and then go on to specialty school for another 2-4 years? >> read this page on choosing the right orthodontist.
3) Your decision should not be based on cost alone. Often times, the cheapest price is not at all the right decision; and in reverse, the most expensive option is not necessarily an indicator of top notch service. Each orthodontist has preferences on materials, techniques, systems they want to work with, etc. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples and most importantly, be sure you even like the orthodontist! Budget is always important to patients but instead of thinking about what you’re about to pay, look at this from the point of view of what you’re buying? What comes with your treatment plan? What kind of support is offered by the office? To what degree can they be relied upon? Again, patient reviews and testimonials will be pretty valuable here.
4) One of the main reasons for getting a second opinion is to be sure that the work recommended is indeed accurate. Getting that second opinion helps to ensure you are confident about the original work quoted. After that, the decision really becomes about how you feel your experience will be with the orthodontist. You should ask to see if they have any reviews of the service. In our opinion, a good orthodontist is never pushy about the service and his or her relationship with their patients is extremely valuable to them. Remember, it’s not just a job to them: it’s their reputation. From my personal point of view, at Palermo Orthodontics, I am deeply mindful that the treatment I render for my patients will be with them for the rest of their life. I treat my patients as I would my own family.
5) Remember when comparing orthodontic offices that each orthodontists may treat the same issue slightly differently and sometimes significantly differently. Different materials, techniques, philosophies, and orthodontic systems may be utilized. These all may have a different impact on the suggested treatment. A thorough orthodontist should be able to provide an easy to understand explanation for the reasons behind any recommended treatment. At Palermo Orthodontics, we know that your understanding and confidence is really important throughout the entire process. We want you to have the best possible experience throughout your orthodontic journey with us.
6) How long did the orthodontist take with you during your initial consultation? Were all your questions answered? Were you even seen by the orthodontist or was it by a delegated staff member, for example a treatment coordinator? That alone should speak volumes. You should never be pressured into making a decision, especially if you are not entirely sure you understand all the options.
We hope these points are helpful in your decision making process. Remember, at Palermo Orthodontics, we strongly believe in transparency and patient support. If you have a question, all you have to do is ask. We will do our utmost to ensure you understand all aspects of your treatment plan and will work very hard to provide you with all possible options for your treatment.
Dr. Pourang Rahimi.