While general dentists and online companies sometimes offer teeth-straightening services, getting care from an orthodontic specialist is key. A certified specialist in orthodontics undergoes extensive training after dental school solely focused on preventing, diagnosing and treating irregularities of the teeth and jaw.
But how do you go about finding a good orthodontist? And, should you get more than one opinion? Juneau, Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek orthodontist Dr. Richard Chan is weighing in on the topic.
Why Should You Get a Second Orthodontist Opinion?
Orthodontists, just like any type of doctor, can have different opinions about a diagnosis and different preferences when it comes to treatments. The cost of braces or Invisalign®, the length of treatment, the technology used, and the insurance plans they accept can also vary depending on the practice.
If you visit an orthodontist for a consultation, you love the office, and you’re happy with the proposed treatment plan and fees, you might not need a second opinion. However, getting a second orthodontist’s opinion can be incredibly helpful if:
- You don’t feel a connection with the doctor or team members.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment and you’ll spend a good amount of time at your orthodontist’s office. You should feel comfortable and confident that the orthodontist and staff have your best interest at heart. Ultimately, you’ll want your smile journey to be a positive experience. Dreading every appointment will make you miserable.If the doctor or team members aren’t accommodating, don’t take the time to listen to your concerns or needs, or your instincts are telling you that it’s not a good fit, schedule an orthodontic consultation at another practice before committing.
- The practice doesn’t use modern technology.
Dated decor is one thing, but dated technology is entirely different. When a doctor is still using old technology and older treatments, it means that they haven’t kept up with innovations in orthodontics. It will impact your results, your treatment experience and, in some cases, even your oral health.Getting braces or Invisalign from an orthodontist who stays on the leading-edge of the field will help you achieve the best outcome more efficiently and comfortably. So, consider scheduling another visit at a more modern practice.
- You’re told your young child needs lengthy interceptive orthodontic treatment.
Interceptive orthodontic treatment, also called early orthodontic treatment or phase 1 orthodontic treatment, has become more popular over the years. This is where the orthodontist uses appliances while a child is still growing and has some baby teeth to guide jaw development and make room for the permanent teeth to erupt properly.There are absolutely cases where interceptive orthodontic treatment will help your child get the most stable results and avoid the need for jaw surgery or extractions later. However, often times, we can achieve outstanding results without interceptive treatment.At Richard Chan Orthodontics, we treat young patients very conservatively and only recommend phase 1 treatment in rare cases. So, we’d highly recommend a second orthodontist’s opinion if you’ve been told your child needs early interceptive orthodontic treatment, especially if the treatment seems long, elaborate or unnecessary.
- You’re diagnosed with a complex orthodontic problem that will require extensive and/or costly treatment.
If you have a complex case and the treatment plan is expensive or complicated (i.e., involves tooth extractions, years in braces, etc.), it doesn’t hurt to get another quote. This will help you decide if the costs and treatment plan are reasonable.
- The orthodontist recommends surgical orthodontics.
Surgical orthodontics is when we combine braces or Invisalign with corrective jaw surgery. It’s reserved for adult patients with certain severe skeletal issues that can’t be corrected with braces or Invisalign on their own. The process takes several years, involves major surgery and a serious recovery period, and it can be expensive.While sometimes it is the best option, whenever surgery is involved, you should always get a second opinion. With today’s technology and techniques, surgical orthodontics is becoming less common and many cases that would have required surgery in the past can be treated with orthodontics alone.
- You’re told you’re not a candidate for Invisalign.
A second Invisalign opinion is important if it was determined that you’re not a candidate for clear aligners. Of course, some orthodontic problems respond better to one treatment versus another.However, many times, patients are told Invisalign won’t work for them because the orthodontist doesn’t have the product familiarity or case experience to feel comfortable using the treatment for anything more than a mild issue. Getting a second Invisalign opinion from an experienced provider could mean that you can actually get clear aligners without compromising your results. Today more and more complex cases can be treated with Invisalign.
- You don’t feel confident about the treatment plan, cost of braces or Invisalign, or any other aspect of your care.
Listen to your instincts. It’s your smile and oral health, and you shouldn’t feel bad about wanting a second opinion from an orthodontist. If you’re not comfortable about any aspect of a proposed treatment plan or a practice, schedule a consultation at another orthodontic office.
Does Insurance Cover a Second Opinion on Braces or Invisalign Treatment?
Insurance coverage for orthodontic treatment varies greatly depending on the dental insurance plan. You’ll want to check with your insurance provider about coverage for treatment, as well as diagnostics, consultations, and second opinions on braces or Invisalign.
That said, many orthodontists offer free consultations and second opinions, Richard Chan Orthodontics included. Whether you have insurance or not, the exam, diagnostic records, and treatment recommendations are complementary at our practice.
If you’re wondering how to get a second opinion from an orthodontist, in most cases, it’s as simple as calling the practice and scheduling a consultation. We can’t speak for every office, but at ours, no referral is necessary to book a visit.
How to Choose a Good Orthodontist
Here are some things to look for when choosing an orthodontist:
Even if you find the best orthodontist, if the office is an hour away, committing to appointments can be tough. At Richard Chan Orthodontics, we have convenient locations in Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek, WA and Juneau, AK. You can choose the office that’s closest to you.
- Orthodontist’s Training and Experience
Be sure the doctor you’re seeing is a certified specialist in orthodontics. Don’t be afraid to ask how long they’ve been practicing and if they’ve treated cases like yours before.
- Braces or Invisalign Cost
When Dr. Chan started Richard Chan Orthodontics, his goal was to make high quality treatment accessible to everyone. Our braces and Invisalign are affordable and we accept most insurance plans. We also offer flexible, in-office financing options, including braces and Invisalign for as low as $129 per month.While the braces and Invisalign cost will vary depending on the severity of your case, the practice, your location, and other factors, you shouldn’t have to feel stressed about affording it. When you have treatment that works for your budget, you can focus on doing your part to get great results instead of worrying about the cost.
- Modern Technology
When choosing an orthodontist, ask about the technology the practice uses. Orthodontic technology has really evolved and staying up-to-date on it is essential. At our practice, we use advances like digital x-rays, the iTero digital scanner, treatment planning software, and even 3D printers. This allows Dr. Chan to design a smile for you based on your unique facial features. It also helps him achieve the results he promised in a way that’s safe, comfortable, and effective.
- Treatment Options
Being happy with your treatment modality will make for a better experience. If you have your heart set on clear braces, be sure the orthodontist offers them. If you want Invisalign, check that the orthodontist is an experienced Invisalign provider.
- Clean Office
The pandemic really put a spotlight on hygiene and disinfection practices. But, the truth is, that has always been important in oral health fields. You want an office that’s clean and follows all guidelines for infection control. Any good orthodontist will make your safety a top priority.
- Friendly Team
Last, but not least, when choosing an orthodontist, look for a practice with a friendly, welcoming team. If the doctor and staff are nice, informative, and willing to answer your questions, it’s a good indicator of the kind of care they’ll offer.
Book a Free Second Opinion at Richard Chan Orthodontics
The bottom line is, you should feel confident and informed about your treatment and excited to get started. If you’re unsure of an orthodontist’s diagnosis or treatment plan, schedule a complimentary second opinion with our Juneau, AK or Monroe, Bothell, Mill Creek/Everett, WA orthodontist today! There’s nothing to lose with this no-obligation, no-pressure visit and peace of mind to gain. Still need a first opinion? Schedule a complimentary consultation here.