Top Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

We’ve seen many exciting advancements in orthodontic technology and technique in recent years. These have made it easier than ever to get the smile you want! In fact, there’s never been a better time to explore everything orthodontics has to offer. There are a variety of affordable and efficient treatment options available, but there’s another factor involved in achieving long-lasting results you’ll love—an experienced orthodontist!

You only get one smile, so you don’t want to trust it to anything less than an expert. If you’re thinking about treatment, it’s important to find a qualified provider who has the training and skills to best meet your specific needs. Not sure where to begin? Daniel & Jones Orthodontics is here to help! Let’s look at the questions you should always ask before choosing an orthodontist. 

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

You may be wondering why it would even be necessary to ask this question since the answer seems pretty obvious. You’d be surprised, though! We’ve listed this first because some dentists now offer orthodontic care in addition to common dental services. However, most do not specialize in orthodontics. 

Even if a dentist offers certain types of orthodontic treatments alongside their cleanings and crowns, they don’t tend to be the main focus of their practice. An orthodontic practice like ours, on the other hand, is focused on providing only the best orthodontic treatment and services.

To better understand why this matters, think about your health in general. Let’s say you needed your appendix removed or your tonsils taken out. A general physician might be able to pull off these procedures, but wouldn’t you prefer a highly trained surgeon who performs them regularly? Your smile deserves a similar level of consideration!

When you choose an orthodontist, you’re getting a dentist who has also had several additional years of specialized training and education. That means they’ve: 

  • studied the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
  • been introduced to numerous case studies
  • developed specific diagnostic skills
  • learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
  • studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and positively influence the facial  growth of younger patients

Orthodontic residency programs also tend to be very competitive. They last two to three years and generally accept only the top students in any dental school graduating class. These programs include intense full-time training on how to correct orthodontic issues safely and effectively. While there are exceptions to every rule, most general dentists won’t possess this same level of training and expertise.

As you can see, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become an orthodontist! Our doctors are a perfect example of this. Dr. John Daniel attended the University of Arkansas and University of Central Arkansas  before going on to earn his Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Subsequently, he completed an orthodontic residency at St. Louis University and earned his Master of Science in Dentistry. 

Dr. Alex Jones graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas before attending dental school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He stayed in Memphis to complete his Orthodontic Residency at UTHSC and holds both a Doctorate of Dental Surgery and a Masters of Dental Science.  

Our sole focus is on providing patients with unrivaled orthodontic care and treatment. Dr. Daniel and Dr. Jones perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and our team takes advantage of various online and in-person continuing education courses throughout the year. Your smile will be in the most capable hands when you choose our practice for all your orthodontic needs! 

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

When it comes to treatment, what works for one patient may not be a good fit for another. That’s why it’s important to work with an orthodontist who will create a personalized plan for you based on your specific needs and goals! That plan will include the most appropriate treatment for your smile. We’re proud to offer patients of all ages the following options from our three conveniently located offices in Little Rock, Bryant, and Benton, AR. Top Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Metal Braces

Today’s metal braces have come a long way from previous designs. The brackets are much smaller and no longer wrap around the entire tooth. Thinner archwires are used to move the teeth with more comfort and speed. You can even insert a pop of personality into the treatment process by choosing fun colors for your elastic bands! Metal braces are a cost-effective option with a long track record of successfully treating a wide range of cases, from simple to complex.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but use transparent or tooth-colored brackets to blend in better with your natural smile. When paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored elastics, they provide a more subtle way to straighten your smile. While the ceramic brackets are durable, they do tend to be a bit more prone to breakage than metal brackets. For this reason, we usually only recommend them for our teen and adult patients.

Clarity aligners

Instead of brackets and wires, the Clarity aligner system uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth. These are made from a special thermoplastic resin and customized to fit over your teeth firmly but comfortably. Because they’re removable, they provide patients with a bit more freedom and flexibility than braces. They also allow you to brush, floss, and eat as you normally would! Aligners can often be just as effective as braces when patients are fully compliant and wear the aligners exactly as directed. 

How frequent are follow-up visits with the orthodontist?

Whatever treatment option you choose with your orthodontist, there will be regularly scheduled follow-up visits throughout the treatment process. We will usually schedule these for every 4-8 weeks or so, depending on your treatment plan. During these appointments, Dr. Daniel or Dr. Jones will monitor your teeth to ensure they’re moving safely, make any necessary adjustments, and replace worn-out elastics if you’re wearing braces. They may choose to change the wire at this time as well. 

The total time in aligners or braces varies from case to case, since every patient will respond to treatment in their own way. In general, however, the average treatment time is anywhere from 12-24 months in total. Follow-up visits are an essential part of the process, so you should always do your best to keep these appointments! Since you’ll be seeing your orthodontist regularly over this period of time, you’ll want to be sure to choose a doctor and practice you feel comfortable with.                                                                                     Top Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Trust your smile to the expert team at Daniel & Jones Orthodontics

Here at Daniel & Jones Orthodontics, we work hard to provide our patients with compassionate care and a stress-free experience. If you’re looking for personalized treatment with exceptional results, you’ve come to the right place! Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our talented team and take the first step towards the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!