From which Dental School did you graduate? Where did you complete your Orthodontic Residency Program?
Training matters. Every dental school and training program has a different philosophy that will shape a doctor's diagnosis and treatment options. Asking about your doctor's training will ensure that the doctor has sufficient training to ensure your goals are met.
Do you only perform orthodontic treatment, or do you also offer general dentistry services?
Anybody with a dental license can perform orthodontic treatment. The difference between a general dentist and an orthodontic specialist is not the tools available, but the knowledge and experience. With both Invisalign and metal braces, the quality of the results depends largely on a correct diagnosis and a correct treatment strategy.
Do you personally do all of the work on your patients or will some of the work be completed by other associates?
With proper training, dental assistants can help with certain portions of orthodontic treatment under the direct supervision of an orthodontist. Other parts of the treatment, however, must be performed by the orthodontist and cannot be delegated. These include making any treatment decisions, making any adjustment to the teeth (such as slenderizing or IPR) and using high-speed dental handpieces (such as for removing braces or Invisalign attachments). These tasks cannot be delegated as per the Florida Board of Dentistry.
Are you a member of the American Association of Orthodontists and/or certified by The American Board of Orthodontics?
There are two main organizations for US orthodontic specialists:
- The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) requires members to be orthodontic specialists, meaning having completed an orthodontic residency program (typically 2-3 years).
- The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), in addition to being an orthodontic specialist, requires members to have completed their Board-Certification process.