Visiting an Orthodontist for the first time can be an intimidating experience. Knowing the right questions to ask is sometimes half the battle and can help save you time and money.
The first consultation is usually free so be sure to visit as many orthodontists in New York as it requires for you to get comfortable with who you choose.
Here’s our list of what you should be asking at the minimum:
- What are my options? Often times there are than one type of treatment available. For example, if the amount of correction required is minimal, then alternatives to braces such as Invisalign can be explored, albeit at a higher cost. Some of the options you may want to inquire about include:
- Metal vs ceramic
- Lingual brackets (behind the teeth)
- Head gear
- Will any teeth need to be extracted? This is often not required when dealing with children, however, in adults, because tooth formation is for the most part done, extraction may be required. If teeth need to be extracted, you should also ask about Damon brackets which may be an alternative to extractions.
- Will I need jaw surgery? Again, not often an issue with children, but with adults, jaw surgery may be required for certain treatments. This adds additional cost to the treatment and also requires additional healing time. It may also require you to take time off work.
- Can I speak to some previous patients? A good orthodontist will no doubt have some references that you can contact to see what their experiences were like. Be sure to follow-up with people who have had similar treatments to what the orthodontist is recommending to you.
- How often do I need to come in for adjustments? Be sure to factor in your travel time over the course of the treatment! If you have to make the trip monthly from Lower manhattan to queens for example, it could add up quickly and frustrate you.
- How long will this treatment take? The average treatment takes approximately 23 months, but this could vary depending on your needs.
- Finally, how much will this cost? This is a rather loaded question. When asking prices, you should determine:
- The total cost broken down by components
- The ongoing costs for treatments (after the initial fitting)
- The payment terms (and payment plan if applicable)
- Insurance and whether it is accepted or if you’ll have to submit the receipts manually
- Ongoing costs after the braces are removed (for example, retainers may or may not be included in your treatment price.
Bonus: More questions to ask your Orthodontist
- Are rubber bands required to correct my bite?
- Do I need headgear? If so, when do I have to wear it and for how long?
- Is the treatment going to change my facial shape in any way?
- Will this treatment improve my bite as well?
- If I had a poking wire that I needed to get dealt with, can I just call and drop by or do I have to make an appointment?
Photo Credit: Horia Varlan