Chances are you’ll be under and orthodontist’s care for a number of years, so you’ll want to choose the right doctor. Also, a very visible part of your body is being treated and you want the highest level of skills.
Follow these guidelines in your search for an orthodontist.
Orthodontics is a specialization within dentistry, which requires a degree in dentistry plus an extra 2-3 years in an accredited orthodontic program. Completing the residency program provides an orthodontic specialty certificate and often a master’s degree. Ask if the doctor you are considering is a specialist with the required training. You can verify this information by checking to see if the doctor is a member of the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO).
Many qualified orthodontists are certified through the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), which orthodontists voluntarily join in order to have their skills and competency evaluated. This certification demonstrates the orthodontist’s dedication to excellence and continued proficiency in this specialization.
Your general dentist can be a great resource for referring you to a qualified orthodontist. Ask your dentist about a specialist in your area who has a good reputation.
Friends, neighbors and coworkers are all good sources for orthodontist recommendations. Take note of those you know with braces or whose children have braces, and ask them about their experience with that provider.
The internet, magazines and newspapers are good places to look for ratings of orthodontists. Find specialists in your area and scheduled consultation appointments to make sure it’s the right fit for you.