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What to Know Before Choosing Your Orthodontist

Choosing to have orthodontic treatment for yourself or for your child is an important step toward addressing both functional and aesthetic concerns. Of equal importance is the person you choose to perform orthodontic treatment, and making sure your chosen orthodontist has the right credentials and experience to create the best possible results.

Here are a few things to consider as you research your options:

  • Although many general dentists offer orthodontic procedures, not all dentists are orthodontists. Professional orthodontists have pursued additional training beyond dental school, typically from a certified orthodontic residency program. This extra training provides a specialty focus on the improvement of teeth and jaw alignment. Dr. Chris Murphy is certified by the American Board of Orthodontics and is also a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. These are two indications that an orthodontist meets strict criteria and have proven experience in the specialty field of orthodontics.
  • While many areas in the U.S. have laws designed to prevent patients from being mislead by dentists claiming to be “specialists” in certain areas if they have not fulfilled the necessary education requirements, it doesn’t guarantee that some individuals won’t still claim proficiency with orthodontics. This makes it very important that patients looking for an experienced orthodontic specialist understand the differences between a dentist and an orthodontist.
  • As you research orthodontists in your area, it’s a good idea to look for a recognized specialist that has studied from an American Dental Association-approved curriculum.
  • You do not need a referral from a dentist in order to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist. In fact, many of our patients have their first appointment without being referred from another practice.
  • An orthodontist should be honest, attentive, and forthcoming. In some cases, children are not quite ready for orthodontic treatment. If it is better to wait on orthodontic treatment until your child’s development has continued further, Dr. Murphy will recommend that treatment be postponed so that the best possible results can be achieved.
  • The location of your orthodontist’s practice is always something to consider. It’s a good idea to ask the person you are considering to perform treatment whether he or she has any moving plans for their office. Many orthodontic treatments require long-term commitments, so it’s better to have some assurance that your orthodontist will likely still be in the area for some time to come. This can help you avoid having to find another orthodontist to finish the treatment and other issues that may affect the outcome.
  • Take a look at the options available from the orthodontist you are considering. The field of orthodontics has advanced greatly over the years, and new techniques have made many treatments simpler, more comfortable, and even more discreet. With options such as traditional braces, as well as Invisalign®, clear braces, lingual braces, and others, patients can have a broad selection of choices if they know where to look.

Contact Murphy Orthodontics

If you would like more information on the background and experience of our board-certified orthodontist, or if you would like to schedule a consultation here at our practice, please contact us today.