When it’s time to decide which orthodontist is the best fit for you or your child, it’s important to have your questions answered so that you can be confident in your choice. You should meet with more than one orthodontist, and ask each of them questions that will tell you whether or not this is the orthodontist for you. Virginia Orthodontic Partners offers complimentary consultations that allow you to ask questions and understand your options before you decide on treatment.

These 10 questions and their answers will help you determine which orthodontist you want to work with. 

How do I know I need the treatment your proposing?

Questions to ask your orthodontist

The orthodontist should be able to give you a specific answer to this question by showing you exactly where the problem is and how the solution being proposed will solve it. Don’t settle for an orthodontist who isn’t prepared to give you a detailed explanation of how the treatment they’re proposing will help you. 

What problems will the treatment fix?

Your orthodontist should be able to answer this question by visually showing you the specific problems that their treatment plan will address. 

What are the possible consequences of not following the treatment plan you’re proposing?

Treatment plans usually involve several steps. Understanding what will happen if you opt to delay a step or if you want to avoid a step altogether is crucial to knowing whether or not this treatment plan is best for you. Your orthodontist should be able to give you all the information about what will happen during each step of treatment, along with what consequences may occur if you neglect to adopt any part of the treatment plan.

If you needed braces, how would you choose your orthodontist?

This question can give you insight into what the orthodontist considers to be the most important elements of choosing a doctor. This question is a bit more personal than others and can be a great way to determine how honest and trustworthy an orthodontist is. Look for a candid answer that doesn’t automatically assume the orthodontist you’re speaking with is the best one for your situation.

What makes a good orthodontist?

This is another question that can give you some insight into the character of your orthodontist. They should stand behind the answer they give with their actions and their track record. For instance, if they say that a good orthodontist spends time with each patient, and they only spend a few minutes with you during your consultation, you’ll know that they don’t stand behind their own beliefs about how a good orthodontist should operate.

What are the practice’s office hours?

This question is important, especially if you have a busy schedule and cannot make appointments during business hours. Ask if they’re open during the evenings and on weekends, and also find out how difficult it is to get an emergency appointment. The availability and accessibility of an orthodontist can make all the difference. 

Do you provide patient references?

Talking to patients is a great way to find out about the orthodontist’s bedside manner, treatment plans, payment plans, and overall ability to provide a great experience. Any good orthodontist should be able and happy to provide you the contact information for at least a few of their happy patients. If they aren’t, see if you have friends or family members who have gone to the orthodontist you’re talking to. 

Who will be performing the actual orthodontic work and what are their credentials?

Often, orthodontists don’t perform the work of attaching brackets, bending wires, etc. They have associates who do the work for them. Find out if that’s the case and, if so, what experience and qualifications the associates have. 

What are your billing options?

Understand billing and payment plan options upfront to avoid problems later on.

What are post-treatment plans?

You shouldn’t start working with an orthodontist until you have a very clear idea of what the plan is before, during, and after treatment. At this point, you should also get a timeline of how long everything will take, including post-treatment.

At Virginia Orthodontic Partners, Dr. Ellis, Dr. Lindgren and Dr. Lee work together to provide you with a unique treatment plan so you’ll get three great orthodontic minds without paying more! Call us today at (703) 750-9393 to make an appointment at our Annandale, Burke or Lorton office.