9 Important Questions to Ask During An Orthodontic Consultation

Going to the orthodontist can feel like a big step. After all, the choices made here can lead to big, beautiful smiles down the road.

It’s important to know what to ask during that first visit. Every patient deserves clear and thorough answers. With the right questions, you can be sure to make the best decisions for your smile.

How much experience does the orthodontist have?

Let’s talk about experience and the difference between a dentist doing orthodontics and an orthodontist. An orthodontist with years under their belt has treated lots of smiles and knows how to handle different orthodontic situations and bites. Ask them about their journey in the field, if they attended a 2-3 year orthodontic residency, and if they are board certified.

Is the orthodontist board-certified?

Choosing a board-certified orthodontist is vital as it ensures they have undergone specialized training, confirming their expertise in orthodontics. Dentists receive zero hands-on orthodontic training in school, so without a residency, your dentist has never been taught orthodontics in a clinic.  Board certification from the American Board of Orthodontics guarantees you’re receiving treatment from a highly skilled professional who adheres to the highest standards of care, leading to better treatment outcomes.

What treatment options are available, and which do you recommend for my specific needs?

Everyone’s teeth are unique. The treatment that worked for your best friend might not be the best for you. There are many tools in the orthodontic toolbox: braces, clear aligners like Invisalign, and even special retainers.

Ask the orthodontist about all the options and which one they think is best for you.

What is the estimated treatment timeline?

Everyone wants to know how long it will be until they reach that perfect smile. Some treatments take a few months, others might take a couple of years. It all depends on what your teeth need. Always ask for an estimate.

Can I see before-and-after photos of similar cases you’ve handled?

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to seeing the magic of orthodontic work.

Before-and-after photos can show the real results the orthodontist has achieved. Asking to see these photos can give you a feel for the kind of work they do.

How often will appointments be scheduled, and what’s your policy on rescheduling or emergencies?

Regular check-ups are part of the orthodontic process. But how often are these appointments scheduled? It’s good to know upfront.

Some treatments need monthly visits. Others might be every few months.

Plus, life happens. Occasionally, you may need to reschedule or have an issue that needs attention.

Ask about how flexible they are with changes and how they handle those unplanned moments.

What are the costs involved, and what’s covered by insurance?

Money talk can be awkward, but it’s important. Braces or aligners are investments in a beautiful smile. It’s key to understand the costs from the get-go.

What about insurance? Some dental plans pitch in for orthodontic care. Always check with the orthodontist about what might be covered.

How do you handle complications or issues that may arise during treatment?

Even with expert care, things don’t always go as planned. A wire might poke your gums, or a bracket might break while you’re eating. Ask the orthodontist how they tackle these challenges.

It’s reassuring to know there’s a game plan for any bumps in the road.

What post-treatment or long-term care is required?

Hitting the finish line with orthodontic treatment feels amazing. But sometimes there are a few steps to keep that new smile looking its best.

Retainers are a post-braces solution for all patients. It’s a good idea to ask what kind of long-term care might be part of the package and what retainers are included in your treatment.

Start Your Smile Journey Today

Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing a beautiful smile looking back at you. With Dr. Pratt Manning, that vision becomes reality.

Reach out, ask questions, and discover what’s possible for your smile. Contact Dr. Pratt Manning’s office today  281-367-0050 (The Woodlands) or 936-596-1200 (Montgomery) to schedule your free initial orthodontic consultation.