With all of the choices available for orthodontists in Kelowna, what makes one better than the others? Is there a list of things we should know about our orthodontist? How can we tell if our orthodontist is the right choice for us?
The Orthodontist’s Education
All orthodontists start out as dentists, and then continue their education with an orthodontic specialty. These specialties demand an additional 2 to 3 years of post-graduate education typically to achieve a Masters degree, and only after this education and certification has taken place can a dentist describe themselves as a “certified specialist in orthodontics”.
With the advent of Invisalign, and other simple orthodontic products with a cosmetic focus like “6-month braces”, dentists are advertising orthodontic options within their own practice. A careful explanation of the pro’s and con’s of each treatment type should be made by the treatment provider so that a prospective patient can select the best choice for their teeth to ensure an optimal outcome.
If you are unsure about your dentist’s qualifications, ask them directly. Beware anyone who becomes evasive, or tries to complicate his or her words to make you feel bad about asking. An orthodontist with the right qualifications should have no problem explaining their qualifications to a nervous patient in order to put them at ease.
Not all orthodontists are made equal. Some will have a better chair-side manner. Some will have newer and nicer facilities. Others may have a healthy working relationship with your family dentist.
The best way to know these things is to ask. Ask your friends and family members if they have had a successful experience with their orthodontist. Remember that stories of uncomfortable braces will be common, but the stories of how their orthodontist helped them through the process should give you an idea of their bedside manner.
Ask your dentist what they think about orthodontists in the area. Your dentist should have suggestions for orthodontists that they are comfortable referring you to.
An orthodontist should also have some testimonials available from previous patients. Two of Dr. Suzuki’s patients were gracious enough to give their testimonials on camera!