Questions to Ask Your Orthodontist
There’s no denying that the prospect of undergoing orthodontic treatment can be stressful and overwhelming. Any orthodontic treatment plan is likely to involve investments of many months (or years) and several thousand dollars. Before making any investment like that — especially an investment in your appearance and health — you should ensure that your orthodontist in Irvine answers all your questions to your satisfaction.
When it comes to getting answers to your questions, a little advance preparation can help. Don’t rely on your ability to think of all your questions in the moment. Instead, consider the issues you’ll discuss and come up with some questions ahead of time. At your meeting with an orthodontist near you, use your list of questions as a guide to your conversation. Here are some questions to include on your list. Who knows? Maybe they’ll prompt some other questions to ask.
What options or choices do I have?
Your orthodontist will explain the circumstances and conditions affecting the alignment and health of your teeth and jaw, and will recommend a treatment plan to improve the alignment of your teeth. Ask your orthodontist to identify all your options, including the least invasive, quickest, least expensive, most complex, longest duration and most expensive alternatives.
Please show me samples of the procedure you’re recommending
Unique as your own situation is, your orthodontist has likely faced similar situations and implemented similar treatment plans with successful results. Ask your orthodontist to tell you about examples of similar treatment plans, and to show you before and after pictures of the patients’ teeth. Just because things turned out one way for the other patients doesn’t mean the same thing will happen to you, but seeing images of real people may help to resolve some of the uncertainty about the whole process.
What will I need to change?
Assuming you go ahead with the treatment recommended by your orthodontist in Irvine, you’ll have a new smile and straighter teeth. What will you need to do to keep those teeth straight and to maintain your newly perfect appearance and smile? Will you need to wear a retainer and, if so, for how long? And how often? Will certain foods be off limits? Can you still play sports? If so, should you wear a mouthguard? Will you have to change the way that you take care of your teeth to preserve your hard-won improvements? Answers to all these questions about the future will help you to choose the best treatment plan in the present. A treatment plan that requires changes you won’t make or maintain will not be the best plan for you. Choose a plan that suits the lifestyle you’re prepared to maintain after your orthodontist’s work is done.
How long will it take?
This is probably one of the first questions that you’ll think of, but don’t forget to ask it. The various treatment options your orthodontist describes may all come with different timelines for completion. The length of your treatment plan — and the cost of each — is an important consideration in deciding whether to accept your orthodontist’s recommendation. Once you know the length of your treatment plan, ask your dentist if there are options for quickening the pace. If there are any options for shortening your treatment plan, they may involve more procedures and more expense, but you should know all the options available before deciding what to do next.
Orthodontic treatment is important, expensive and rewarding. It’s also a service provided to you, the customer. Don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist detailed questions and even to get second opinions about the treatment that is being recommended. Your orthodontist’s goals are the same as yours — to ensure you have the straightest, healthiest and most beautiful smile possible as comfortably and quickly as possible, but for the rest of your life.