7 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

At Dillehay Orthodontics, we know that choosing the right time to get braces is an exciting and important milestone. Making the decision to move forward is taxing enough but selecting the orthodontist to help you on your journey to smile success? That can feel impossible. When it comes to researching which orthodontist is the right match for you, we know that it can be more than a little intimidating. Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your smile, after all, and knowing who to partner with is just as important as the investment itself. 

Although you might feel a little nervous about how to make such a big decision, you have come to the right place – Dillehay Orthodontics is here to tell you just what questions you should be asking your orthodontist before partnering with them for your smile. 

“Are you trained in the field of orthodontics?”

You may naturally assume that the person recommending your orthodontic treatment is a trained orthodontist, but this is not always the case. Because dentists and orthodontists undergo much of the same training at the beginning of their schooling, orthodontists are dentists at their roots – but dentists are not orthodontists. Just like with any area of medicine, you want to be sure your treating physician is trained in the specific area that they are treating you for. Although dentists are great for advising on cavities and crowns, you want a trained orthodontist to take care of your braces. 

It is always a good idea to make sure that your orthodontist is trained in the following areas: 

  • how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
  • the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
  • biomechanical techniques to move teeth properly
  • numerous case studies
  • diagnostics

Before moving forward with a treatment plan, you need to know that your care will be overseen by someone who has had this extensive training and experience. 

“Can you explain a little more about your background in orthodontics?”   

Professional experience is important; understanding the specifics of that experience is vital. You’ll want to have several questions lined up for the orthodontist at your first consultation so that you know if their level of care is right for you. 

Be sure to ask them the following: Where did you go to school? How long have you been practicing? How do you keep up to date with the latest research and treatment options? A qualified individual should easily be able to answer these questions, and you should not be shy about looking deeper into their responses. 

Another good place to look for this information is the orthodontist’s website. Do they have a section that highlights their training and education? You can view our doctors’ qualifications here. 

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“What should I expect from treatment?”

Orthodontic treatment is a unique process intended to match the needs of every individual, so if you want to get an idea of what you should expect from your time spent with braces, you should ask your orthodontic specialist several questions. For example, how long do they expect treatment to last? How often are follow-up visits? Who will be overseeing your care? 

“What are my treatment options?”

Knowing which treatment options the orthodontist specializes in is an extremely important factor when it comes to making a decision about which practice you want to work with. Getting braces is a lengthy process that requires years of work in some cases. Because of the duration of the process, you should carefully consider the methods that would be available to you at the orthodontic office in question before you make a commitment to work with them.  

Dillehay Orthodontics offers a wide range of orthodontic treatment options, including: 

Metal Braces

As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first that come to mind when considering orthodontic treatment. These braces work by tightening the wire attached to a bracket glued to each tooth. With gentle, continuous pressure, your teeth are aligned over a period of 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.

Clear Braces

Clear braces work the same way as metal braces. The difference is that clear braces use white, ceramic brackets that blend in with the color of your teeth and provide a less noticeable appearance.


This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without the use of wires or brackets. Because they are clear, this option allows you to straighten your teeth with a look that is almost invisible. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time. 

Lingual Braces

This virtually invisible alternative to traditional braces is applied to the back of your teeth for a far more comfortable experience, both physically and emotionally. If that weren’t enough, this treatment method can even render results in as little as 12-24 weeks. 

“Do you offer a free consultation?”

Moving forward with an orthodontic treatment plan is an exciting step toward a brighter smile – but it is also an important financial decision. A free consultation takes the pressure off of your decision and allows you to focus on the health of your smile and the facts of the practice without distraction. 

At Dillehay Orthodontics we offer a free consultation so we can put our best foot forward, giving you the opportunity to ask questions without the pressure of commitment. 

“What are my payment options?”

Your smile is an investment, and you deserve to understand the financial commitment that comes with it. Be sure to ask questions about financing options, payment plans, and insurance policies before you move forward. 

Dillehay Orthodontics accepts a wide range of insurance policies and offers flexible, zero-interest payment plans that can make your dream for a beautiful smile a concrete reality. 

“What are your other patients saying about your practice?”

Last but certainly not least, make sure you know how other people in your shoes have experienced care with the orthodontist you are considering. Sometimes the simplest reason to move forward with a particular doctor is that their treatment is tried, true, and universally valued! Ask if the office can direct you to any reviews they might have received and feel comfortable trusting what your peers think. 

Dillehay Orthodontics is a huge supporter of our transparent review system. Read up on our own patients’ experiences by clicking here. 

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Trust the Reliability and Experience of Dillehay Orthodontics

In many ways, you and your orthodontist will become partners in your smile success story. That is why it is so essential to have a complete understanding of your orthodontist’s background, your treatment options, and your payment plan before you make a final selection. If you’re ready to get started with your orthodontic journey, let’s get you scheduled for a free consultation with one of our doctors today!