Selecting an orthodontist that is right for you and your family is the first step to attaining the healthy and attractive smile that you’ve always wanted. The process can be challenging and intimidating so we have put together some important questions that you should ask about the orthodontist and their office before getting started.
- Are they a specialist?
Orthodontists have completed 2-3 additional years of training after dental school and have mastered diagnosing and treating all types of malocclusions (bad bites) using various techniques. While several general dentists offer orthodontic services, such as Invisalign, it’s important to realize that they have not received the additional training, or have the same experience as an orthodontic specialist.
- Do they use the latest technology and offer all of the available treatment options?
The field of orthodontics has evolved a great deal to include many technologic benefits that didn’t exist in the past. This can make the process more precise and efficient.
- Do the orthodontists or the assistants do the work?
While licensed orthodontic assistants are trained to do a few things to help the office run smoothly, only the orthodontist should manage your adjustments and overall treatment. Ensure that your orthodontist is providing doctor-focused care.
- Is the first visit free of charge?
Your first exam is a chance to get to meet the orthodontist, the office, and staff. The orthodontist will have a chance to examine your bite and offer you some options. At our office and a few others this initial visit is offered at no charge to you so that you can make an informed decision for you and your family.
- Is the final quoted fee all-inclusive, or are there hidden charges?
It’s important to know what the final quoted fee includes (are retainers, emergency visits, and treatment extending beyond the forecasted time included?).
- Are the orthodontists available during off hours?
Fortunately, the orthodontic process is relatively straight-forward but on the rare occasion, when you find yourself needing to speak to your orthodontist and the office is closed, you should know if you will be stuck with an answering service. At our office all emergency calls are forwarded directly to the doctors.
- Do they treat adults and children?
Orthodontists can help both adults and children achieve a beautiful and healthy smile. You should make sure that your orthodontist feels comfortable treating patients of all age groups.
- Do they offer flexible payment options?
Orthodontic treatment is certainly an investment but it shouldn’t drain your wallet. Make sure you understand different payment options and ways to maximize your insurance benefits. Ensure that the orthodontist will submit all claims for you even if you have an out of network plan and that they offer interest-free payment options.
- Will my treatment be personalized?
It’s important that your orthodontist spends time with you to explain the entire process, to review the risks/benefits/limitations of orthodontic treatment, and to help manage your expectations. An orthodontist should also explain how the treatment will affect the esthetics of your smile and face.
- Are there flexible office hours?
Finding an orthodontic practice that will work with your busy schedule ensures that there will be minimal interferences with making appointments, emergencies will be accounted for, and it allows your family to receive the attention it deserves.
Eleni Michailidis, DDS, and Abraham Chahine, DDS
Dr. Eleni Michailidis’s extensive educational credentials include a BA, DDS, MS, and MPH all from Columbia University. Dr. Abraham Chahine studied at excellent schools, including the University of Washington, Columbia University and Stony Brook University. Both doctors completed a rigorous and intensive three-year residency program which earned them a certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. You are always welcome to schedule a complimentary consultation or second opinion by calling us at 718-767-8400 or visiting our website at AvenueOrtho.com. We look forward to meeting you soon!