With so many options available for just about everything these days, it can be hard to know if you are making the right decision. That decision is crucial when choosing the right orthodontist for your unique smile needs. At Innovative Orthodontics, Dr. Waters, Dr. Clayton, and their team believe everyone deserves a healthy, aligned smile. We’ll work with your budget to help make treatment affordable for your entire family. We believe educated patients can make the best partners in orthodontic treatment, so we’ll help you feel empowered from your first appointment to your last.
But what questions should you be asking when choosing an orthodontist? To help you begin your orthodontic journey, we’ve put together this list of questions to ask before committing to an orthodontic practice for treatment.
Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?
You would think this is a no-brainer for your decision-making, but you might also be surprised to find out that just because your dentist offers orthodontic treatment, they don’t have specialty training in orthodontics. Many general dentists also provide braces treatment and clear aligner therapy in addition to standard dental services like cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. On the other hand, an orthodontist specializes only in providing orthodontic services.
After a dentist has completed their undergraduate medical education, they must attend a graduate school specifically for dentistry and pass a certification exam before beginning their general dentistry work. The same goes for orthodontists, except they must attend an extremely competitive orthodontic residency program after their general dentistry certification. These programs typically last another 2 to 3 years and include full-time training meaning the orthodontist has:
- Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaw
- Been introduced to numerous case studies
- Developed diagnostic skills
- Learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
- Studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
While there are some exceptions, most dentists will not possess this level of in-depth orthodontic training and experience. If you are looking for foundational oral health maintenance, trust your dentist. But, if you need specialized orthodontic care, you can trust that Dr. Clayton and Dr. Waters have the knowledge and experience to provide the specialized treatment with the latest in orthodontic care. At Innovative Orthodontics, we base our expert care on honesty, integrity, and excellence.
What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?
Most patients choose traditional metal braces to straighten their teeth. While this is the most common option in Georgia, you have several other options available to reach your smile goals quickly and effectively. Innovative Orthodontics can successfully treat many dental issues based on your unique needs and goals using traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign clear aligners by pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement during facial growth.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most widely used fixed orthodontic appliance throughout Savannah, Rincon, and Pooler. Though past incarnations have been bulky, awkward, and painful, today’s metal braces are smaller, lighter, and much more comfortable. This method uses high-grade stainless steel brackets and archwires that are gradually tightened to adjust your teeth. You also have the added option of adding colored elastic bands for a smile that matches your personality.
Ceramic braces use the same components as traditional metal braces, but instead of metal, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a transparent or tooth-colored ceramic material. This makes clear braces a common choice for teenagers and older patients who do not like the aesthetic of the metal look. Clear braces do require more care as the ceramic pieces can break and are prone to staining depending on your eating and cleaning habits.
Unlike traditional braces, this kind of orthodontic treatment doesn’t rely on a system of metal or ceramic brackets and wires. The Invisalign system is made up of a series of invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth by applying steady pressure on your teeth as you wear them. The trays are replaced every 1 to 2 weeks to make this adjustment gradually. Though you can remove them to eat and brush your teeth, you will need to make sure you are wearing them about 22 hours a day for them to be effective.
How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist?
You don’t want to move in, but you don’t want to forget you even have an orthodontist treatment in the process, right? Well, your exact follow-up timing will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our expert team determine is right for you. For most patients, adjustment appointments will be scheduled for about every four to eight weeks. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but regardless, these appointments are crucial for your overall orthodontic process!
The average process will take anywhere from 12 to 36 months to achieve your perfect smile, but visible results are evident as early as the first few months with most treatment plans. We know you’re busy, and we value your time, just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule, but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as important.
Trust your smile to the experts at Innovative Orthodontics
Innovative Orthodontics is your local office location for modern orthodontic treatment. Our offices are conveniently located to serve our community better. This means great orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, school, or work. And, since our sole specialist in orthodontics, you’ll receive nothing but the best in treatments, cost, and efficiency as we work to straighten your smile.