Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Beginning your orthodontic journey can be daunting, so it’s important to have the right experts to guide you along the way. Your smile deserves a team of well-trained doctors who have your smile goals in mind. At Windy City Orthodontics, we know what our patients need and what we can provide to help them. Let’s take a look at a few questions to ask when choosing your ideal orthodontist. 

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

This may seem like an obvious question, to begin with, but it’s an important factor to consider when choosing your orthodontist. This is because some general dentists offer orthodontic treatment, but this does not necessarily mean they specialize in it. These dentists may provide braces treatment and learn aligner therapy along with dental services such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. However, an orthodontist, on the other hand, specializes exclusively in providing orthodontic services. 

Here’s why this distinction is important: Think about it the way you would think about receiving specialized surgery. Would you want you or someone you love to receive surgery from a general physician, or a dedicated specialist who understands exactly what you need? The same idea goes for your orthodontic treatment. To guarantee quality orthodontic care, you want a specialist. This means you want an orthodontist who 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
  • Focused their continuing education in the area of orthodontic treatment

Orthodontic residency programs are very selective. They accept only the top students in any dental school graduating class. These orthodontic programs typically last around two to three years in addition to full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and aligners. Most general dentists do not have this same level of in-depth orthodontic training and experience. Dentists are essential for fundamental oral health maintenance, but when it comes to specialized orthodontic care, you want someone who specializes in what you need. Our well-trained and educated team at Windy City Orthodontics know this, and Dr. Parkavan has experience and skills to give you the results you want. 

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

Every patient is different, so it’s important to know your orthodontist has exactly the treatment you have in mind. At Windy City Orthodontics, we offer a variety of treatment options with advanced orthodontic technology so you can achieve your perfect smile. We offer three different treatments:

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of fixed orthodontic treatment. While older models from the past decades are known for being bulky and painful, advancements in orthodontic technology have made metal braces lighter, smaller, and more comfortable. Our team will collect photos and X-rays of your mouth to create a customized treatment plan for you based on the information we gather. This option uses a slide mechanism to hold the archwire, reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth and allowing teeth to move more freely, quickly, and comfortably. 

Digitally-Designed Clear Braces

Also known as “ceramic braces,” clear braces are similar to metal braces with a more discreet aesthetic. The brackets are made from a tooth-colored ceramic material that gives them an almost invisible appearance. This is a popular choice for adults and older teens because it has a less obvious appearance compared to metal braces. The digitally-designed LightForce braces we use are designed in the computer to match the shape of your teeth in the position in which Dr. Pakravan designs them to align at the end of treatment.  Pretty cool!

Clear Aligners

If you don’t like brackets and wires, clear aligners like Invisalign or Spark could be a more desirable alternative for your treatment. This option comprises a series of invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth by applying steady pressure on your teeth. You will need to wear them about twenty-two hours a day for them to be effective, although you can remove them to eat, drink and brush your teeth.  Because they are removable, excellent cooperation is essential.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

Every patient’s follow-up schedule will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our team decided is best for each. Typically, we will schedule most patients’ adjustment appointments for about every four to ten weeks. Patients using clear aligners may require less frequent visits as we can more easily monitor treatment progress remotely. Regardless of treatment, regular appointments with us are essential for your orthodontic process. When choosing the right orthodontist, it’s important to find someone who knows what you need and won’t waste your time helping you get it.

The orthodontics process will typically take anywhere from eight to thirty-six months to achieve the desired results, depending on the case and treatment objectives. However, you can begin seeing visible results as early as the first few months with most of our treatment plans. We value your time but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as important. Just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule. At our office, we want to work with you to make the most of your time, money, and treatment.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Get your best smile at Windy City Orthodontics

You deserve to trust your smile in the right hands, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you’re just getting started on your orthodontic journey or looking for a new office to visit, Windy City Orthodontics is your home for orthodontic treatment. Our treatment has helped countless patients across the Chicago area. With extensive and ongoing education and training, and experience as a former clinical instructor at the University of Illinois, Dr. Pakravan is up-to-date on the latest in orthodontic treatment and technology. If you are wondering if this might be the best path to your brightest smile, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation. The right time has finally come for your perfect smile!