As people become more and more informed about the different ways to straighten crooked teeth we are finding that more people are looking for a good orthodontist locally to them. But how do you go about finding one? If your question is, “How do I find a good orthodontist near me“… then how should this be answered?
In this blog post we take a look at different ways to find a good orthodontist how to be sure you get the treatment you want and deserve.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
Did you know that all orthodontists are dentists? Yet all dentists are not orthodontists!
All orthodontist have originally trained with an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in dental science (BDS), once this qualification has been passed orthodontists then go on to do further qualifications as a Master’s degree in science (MSc) in orthodontics. The simplest way to spot this is to look for the initials in the qualifications after any dentists name.
But what difference does this make?
Because an orthodontist has this additional Masters level training they have been fully trained and understand the concepts and problems which can occur during tooth movement.
- How much can a tooth move before problems occur?
- What are the multiple ways in which a tooth can be moved?
- If a tooth is moved what impact does this have on the teeth around it?
- If a tooth is moved what impact does this have on the way the teeth meet and bite together and consequently how are the surrounding muscles affected?
So many things to consider when moving teeth!
Moving teeth without adequate training, knowledge and experience may result in patients finding it difficult to bite together which can, in some circumstances, result in other problems such as headaches and/or migraines.
An orthodontist also has training in a wide variety of techniques to move teeth, a general dentist (BDS) that offers orthodontic treatments we usually only have training in one or two systems. The old phrase “If all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail” has an element of truth about it. If someone is only trained in one or two ways to move teeth then the natural inclination will be to use these techniques… But are they the best?
An orthodontist has the widest range of different orthodontic systems in their toolkit and can therefore ensure that you receive exactly the correct treatment which fulfils your tooth movement requirements as well is your lifestyle, timeframe and budget.
How to Find a Good Orthodontist
We have a few recommendations on how to find the best orthodontist near you:
- Ask around [TOP TIP]- your friends and family may also have used a local orthodontist and have a recommendation for one that they trust with their own treatment alter the treatment of their children.
- Search on Google – a quick search for something like “Orthodontist Ewell” or “Orthodontist Guildford” may yield some results from where you can begin further research.
- How is treatment delivered? – Many orthodontic practices will use a multi-surgery approach. This involves having many different Open Plan chairs in a single room, sometimes up to 4 or 5. Each chair will have a different patient and that patient will be seen by an orthodontic therapist. The orthodontist will simply float between all of these chairs and therapists overseeing 4 or 5 patients at once. This clearly makes for a very efficient business of orthodontics but, in our opinion does not make for a friendly, warm and personalised approach to treatment. Our advice is that you seek out an orthodontic practice where you visit the orthodontist ONLY and have their full and undivided attention.
- Does the orthodontic practice have good reviews? – Have a look on the practice website at the testimonials section, are there good reviews to be seen? Also look for unfiltered reviews on Google or Facebook. Google and Facebook reviews can be a great way to decide if this is a good orthodontic practice, these reviews are largely unmoderated by the business themselves and so cannot be manipulated.
- Are you seeing a dentist or orthodontist? An orthodontist is a specialist and can offer a wider range of treatments, if you are unsure then check the qualifications of the person you are seeing on the General Dental Council website
What treatments does an orthodontist provide?
Treatments are very often categorised in to either:
- Treatment type.
- Problem resolved.
Treatment types – the different types of braces
Braces are usually categorised as either:
Fixed braces can either be conventional train track metal braces or the more modern invisible fixed braces. Invisible fixed braces are either tooth coloured/clear brackets and wires on the front of your teeth or metal brackets and wires which fit on the inside (tongue side) of your teeth.
Removable orthodontics most often include treatments such as Invisalign, this is virtually undetectable clear aligner which moves teeth imperceptibly
What problems does an orthodontist treat?
Another way to answer the question about what orthodontists treat is to look at the different types of problems that can be resolved with tooth braces, typically these include:
- Crowded teeth.
- Teeth which have drifted.
- Buck teeth.
- Protruding lower teeth.
- Overlapping front teeth.
- Gaps and spaces.
- Protruding canines.
When you find a good orthodontist near you they will look at all of the treatments available to help solve whichever problem it is that you have.
Faiza Lewis (nee Darugar) has been a Dentist for over 26 years and a Specialist Orthodontist for 17 years. She graduated from Birmingham Dental School in 1993 and from Guy’s Hospital in Orthdontics in 2002. She has had a variety of hospital jobs in maxillofacial surgery and working for the Wandsworth Community Dental Service before starting the 3 year Specialisation Programme in Orthodontics. She started work at Ewell Orthodontics in 2002 knowing her friend, Richard Williams was working there too and in 2012 became a joint owner with him.