Top Ten Qualities To Seek In A New Orthodontist

As you search for the right orthodontist for you or a loved one, there are a variety of factors to consider – both medical and non-medical. On this page, we highlight some of the qualities that you may want to look for as you search for your orthodontic provider.

Keep in mind – in general, orthodontists won’t offer every single one of these. (If you find one who does, you’ve struck gold!) Different orthodontic offices will offer various combinations of the features on this list. For your own search, we recommend that you prioritize the qualities listed here based on how they apply to your unique needs, and then seek out an orthodontic provider who can meet your priorities.


orthodontist with education and experienceWe just finished saying that your chosen orthodontist won’t necessarily need ALL of the qualities on this list, but this particular quality is a must! When it comes to your or your loved one’s health and aesthetic appearance, you should absolutely seek out an orthodontist with the experience to diagnose you or your loved one correctly, address your particular needs, and recommend the proper course of treatment.

Some of the questions you can ask your potential orthodontist include:

Board Certification

board certified orthodontistCertification through the American Board of Orthodontics isn’t a requirement, but those orthodontists who pursue it show their dedication to and interest in their chosen field. When you select a board-certified orthodontist for your treatment, you can be sure of a commitment to your care. Orthodontists who hold this certification keep abreast of changes in science and technology through required continuing education. This is one way you can guarantee that your orthodontist is applying the latest information in the field to your treatment plan.

Advanced Technology

orthodontist with advanced technology

It’s amazing how quickly the technology changes in our field of orthodontics. If you find an orthodontist who takes the time to research and use state-of-the-art equipment, then you have also found an orthodontist who cares about his or her patients receiving the best possible care. This isn’t to say that older technology is always bad, of course. Sometimes tried-and-true methods may be better able to handle certain orthodontic issues. Nevertheless, you should seek out an orthodontist who at least takes the time to review and consider newer technology before deciding upon more traditional methods.

Here are a few examples of current orthodontic technology and treatments that we like to see in orthodontic offices. Again, an office doesn’t have to have ALL of these to be a great office, but a total lack of any of these should be a red flag.

Consultative Approach

consultative approach to orthodontics

Your smile is unique to you, and your orthodontist should take the same approach to your treatment plan. There is not a single approach that fits every patient. Your orthodontist should be a partner in your care, consulting with you and evaluating your needs at every step, from your first visit to the office to the day your braces are removed.

When you meet with your potential orthodontist, pay attention to the amount of time he or she sets aside to answer your questions and concerns thoughtfully. Also note the questions that the orthodontist asks about you! An orthodontist who takes the time to get to know you is far more likely to design a treatment path for your individual needs. In addition, your orthodontist should take the time to educate you on your orthodontic options and allow you to have a say in the treatment path you ultimately choose. This is how a true consultative approach works.

Comfort & Convenience

orthodontist with comfort and convenience

Your chosen orthodontic practice should feel inviting from your very first visit. Who you choose to provide your orthodontics care is a big decision, and so you should feel comfortable and informed. The staff should be open to your questions and willing to address any concerns you have about your treatment plan or progress. You should expect nothing less from an orthodontics practice. If you don’t feel comfortable after your initial visit, it may be in your best interest to consider seeking a second opinion.

In addition, look for an orthodontics office that understands your time is valuable. Ideally, an orthodontic practice should offer care with little to no time stuck in the waiting room. Your appointment time should be just that – YOUR time. Choose an orthodontist who will be respectful of your schedule, who won’t double book over you or rush you through your appointment in order to get to the next patient. In addition, look for treatment planning that is designed to reduce the total amount of time you’ll need to be under the doctor’s care. The orthodontist should be respectful of your time at every step of the way so that you can show the world your healthy, beautiful smile even sooner!

Same-Day Appointments

orthodontist with same day appointments

Pay attention to the amount of time you must wait before your initial consultation with an orthodontist occurs. With starting treatment, many orthodontists will place you on a waiting list for the first available appointment, and that means your treatment could start weeks or even months after your initial call. If it takes that long to be seen for your initial consult, then how long will you need to wait if an emergency ever arises with your treatment?

During the course of orthodontic treatment, it is not uncommon for braces to bend or even break. Loose bands and brackets or wires that poke your mouth are issues that need to be remedied as soon as possible to keep you on track with your treatment. Your orthodontist should make your treatment a priority and be able to offer same-day or at least next-day appointments to address your discomfort.

Flexible Hours

orthodontist with flexible hours

Many orthodontic offices follow the same “normal” business hours schedule that conflicts with work and school time. This means you have to take time off from work or take your child out of school for treatment. Neither of these is convenient or ideal.

Your orthodontist should offer flexible hours that include early morning or after school appointments. Some practices even have Saturday availability to accommodate the needs of their patients. You should select a practice that can work with your schedule and that offers times to accommodate your busy calendar.


best orthodontist

An experienced orthodontist will have a solid reputation grounded in reviews and testimonials from satisfied patients. A quick internet search will give you a good idea about how current and former patients feel about the practice, their treatment, and the outcome. Your orthodontist should have many 5-star ratings from people who are pleased with their new smiles.

Satisfaction Guarantee

satisfaction guarantee

As a patient, you should benefit from your orthodontist’s expertise and experience, but your orthodontist’s dedication to your final outcome also matters significantly. Braces are an investment, so you need an orthodontist who truly wants to give you a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime. One way to identify the degree to which your orthodontist cares about your outcome is to ask if there are any treatment guarantees. For example, many of the orthodontists we have selected for our database back up their patients’ treatments with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Your orthodontist should stand behind your treatment and be available to you for any questions or concerns that may arise in the future. You deserve nothing less than the best version of your smile!

Flexible Payment Options

Orthodontic treatment is a large investment, especially for patients without dental insurance. When choosing an orthodontist for yourself of a loved one, look for a doctor who will help you obtain treatment that fits your budgeting needs without forcing you to sacrifice on the quality of your care.

Here are a few of the potential ways that an office may be able to help you afford orthodontic treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions before you schedule your first visit!


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Orlando, FL
I love the doctors and staff recommended by Excellence In Orthodontics! All very knowledgeable and always very pleasant at each appointment. They consistently run on time, which is very rare with doctors these days. They are also very willing to work with you on billing arrangements so you can afford a financial burden like braces. I never would have found my Orthodontist without the help of Excellence In Orthodontics!”
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Houston, TX
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Grand Rapids, MI
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Phoenix, AZ
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