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Maintaining healthy teeth, gum, and jawbone structure begin from infancy and continues into adulthood. It is essentially a lifelong process of visiting your dentist for routine checkups and cleaning and your orthodontist for specialized care. Children, teenagers, and adults typically see their orthodontist for problems such as overcrowding teeth, underbites, overbites, receding jaw, or protruding jaw.
When it comes to getting treatment for these and other orthodontic problems, going to a good orthodontist can make a huge difference in the experience and results. However, finding a good orthodontist can be less difficult than you think if you know what characteristics to look for.
Who is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist that helps correct issues with the teeth and jaw with the use of dental appliances such as braces and retainers. This specialist also performs oral surgeries, e.g., orthognathic surgery, to fix problems associated with the face and jaw. Surgery may be necessary in cases where these dental appliances cannot achieve the desired results.
To avoid poor orthodontic treatment, you should consider several factors when choosing an orthodontist. For starters, check out their academic and professional background and experience. Plus, their personality and people skills, and whether they put the patient’s interest first. Vetting them thoroughly using these 8 traits as a guide should help you narrow the search down to someone who has earned a good reputation.
8 Traits to Look for When Choosing a Good Orthodontist
Certified and Licensed to Practice
Always ensure the orthodontist is certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and have the requisite accreditations. The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) has an online search platform that allows you to search for the specialist by name to verify their credentials. Board certified and licensed orthodontists are required to complete 2 years of specialized training after dental school. Knowing that your orthodontist is properly educated and licensed to practice his trade can reduce the chance of bad orthodontist results.
Expertise in the Field
Orthodontic mistakes are likelier if you choose an orthodontist who does not have the expertise to perform the type of specialized treatment or procedure required. A lack of experience can result in pain, infection, or injuries from using the wrong tools or performing the wrong treatment. For example, if you’re a mom between the ages of 20-45 who needs braces, you will need an orthodontist with several years of experience in installing this appliance in adults whose teeth and jaw are fully developed. If you decide to gauge their expertise from online reviews, be mindful that a highly recommended orthodontic practitioner is not necessarily one who is an expert in this area of specialty.
Professional in Performing Duties
Being professional in performing duties is not necessarily an innate trait of all orthodontists. It is one that is developed and displayed bearing in mind that a high level of respect should be given to all patients, regardless of their ethnic background or social status. Being professional includes speaking courteously to patients and staff, as well as protecting the patient’s choices and privacy. It also includes recommending or advising on treatment options. Allowing you to ultimately determine what is best for you rather than forcing you to decide on a particular treatment.
Good Communication Skills
Good communication by the orthodontist can make you feel at ease. It is key to helping you understand what oral problem exists and what can be done to correct it. Whatever needs to be said should be communicated in a kind and caring manner. Your orthodontist should explain the information to you in simple terms to make it easier for you to understand. An orthodontist that communicates well also listens carefully to the patient without interrupting, allow him or her to ask questions, and give answers in a clear, concise, and professional manner.
Passionate About Their Work
Not intelligence, not good looks, but being passionate about their work is what set good orthodontic specialists apart from the rest. They come to work with a positive attitude and are always ready to help you. They are enthusiastic and do their best to understand your needs, without judgment and without providing hasty solutions. Instead, they will consider a treatment that is ideal for you. Putting your well-being first is a hallmark of their integrity and allows them to be compassionate towards you.
Pays Attention to Details
Poor orthodontic treatment can result from a lack of attention to details. A professional orthodontist who is passionate about their work tends to be detail-oriented. This requires careful listening to learn about your symptoms in order to make an accurate diagnosis and administer proper treatment. Being detailed makes it easier to detect bite problems or jaw misalignment, for example, and treat you early to prevent discomfort or costly treatments down the line. It also involves following dental procedures correctly to prevent orthodontic mistakes and give you a positive experience.
Trustworthiness is another attribute to look for, and it is usually accompanied by friendliness. When you encounter a friendly orthodontist, it gives you unwritten permission to let go of any inhibitions or prejudices you may have about the specialist or their practice. A friendly smile, careful listening, and gentle advise help to build trust. Seeing the orthodontist carry out duties in a professional manner and communicating with you every step of the way also engenders trust. You are less likely to feel judged and may more readily discuss sensitive or private information with your doctor.
Performs Treatment in a Hygienic Environment
Orthodontists are required to perform treatment in a clean and hygienic environment and use sterile gloves, tools, and devices to reduce the risk of bacterial infection. An orthodontist who follows these best practices often leaves a good first impression on patients. A clean and organized waiting area backed by a friendly and professional staff also enriches the experience. This positive experience may encourage you to return for further treatments or even recommend the specialist to others.
Connecting with an Expert Orthodontist
Choosing an unlicensed or inexperienced orthodontist can lead to bad orthodontist results. Dr. Stephen Tisseront, D.D.S., M.S., of Tisseront Orthodontics, specializes in children and adult orthodontics, including braces installation. He is board certified with 15 years plus experience in private orthodontic practice. He has served many clients in the Reston, VA, areas.
Just give us a call today at 703-773-1200 to schedule an appointment or use the online form to book one. Our orthodontist will do a thorough assessment and evaluation before deciding on a treatment plan that is suitable for you.
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11720 Plaza America Drive, Ste. 110
Reston, VA 20190
Phone: (703) 773-1200
What Are The Signs (of a Good Orthodontist)
After attending the University of Paris VII School of Dentistry in Paris, France for both my undergraduate education and my Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree, I continued on to the prestigious Orthodontic Program at Oregon Health Sciences University’s School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon. During this three year comprehensive Orthodontic Graduate Program, I earned my Master of Science Degree in Orthodontics.
I participate in regular continuing education to keep abreast of the latest techniques in orthodontics available today. My bio-mechanics background coupled with my passion for orthodontics is a winning combination for all of my patients. Participating in classes and seminars allows me to stay current with all of the latest trends in orthodontics to pass on to my patients!