What do you look for in a medical professional? I’m sure that above all else, you want them to know what they’re doing, but what else is important to you? Sometimes we don’t really know what we want until we know what we don’t want after having a bad experience with someone who didn’t seem to appreciate you. If the best M.D. in town was a total jerk, would you still want to see him or her for your annual checkup? If the best dentist in town didn’t seem to care about the amount of pain that you were in after a root canal, would you go see them again? If the orthodontist that you knew in town only offered one option for braces but was the best at applying them, would you have them take care of you or your family’s orthodontic needs? Well, unless you live in a really small town with poor access to medical professionals of all kinds, you’ve probably got many options and you don’t have to make too many difficult choices. Most doctors understand that no matter how good they are at what they do and how well they did in medical school, their ability to listen and be sensitive to their patients needs are perceived to be as or more important that anything else. It’s not like when you walk into a medical office you see the grades that the doctor got in college posted on the door like it was a shady Chinese restaurant with its latest health code review slapped on the window. If the doctor passed his or her exams and has met whatever requirements there are to start a practice, then you’ll be learning from experience and you’ll be doing it blindly unless you get a trusted recommendation from someone who’s opinion is relevant to you.
Let’s focus on orthodontists for the rest of our time together for the sake of not having to be ambiguous. If you’re specifically looking into finding yourself an orthodontist, there are a couple of questions that you might want to have in mind. First of all, are you looking to straighten your teeth in your adult age, or are you looking on behalf of your child or a loved one? I ask and you should too, because some orthodontists specialize in working with children and there are some who have gained a reputation of working particularly well with adults. Second of all, have you done any research into your options of your own volition? I ask, because we live during a time where a wealth of knowledge on almost anything that you could ever want to know is available on the internet and as a consumer, and especially as a patient, you should be as educated as you can be about any given matter before you consult an expert about their personal knowledge. Third of all, what kind of options do they have available or what kind of specialty, if any, do they have? This is important because if after doing your research you find that you’re most interested in a specific kind of teeth alignment method, you probably want to know if someone happens to be the best at it or if everyone has what might be considered an equal skill set.
If you’re an adult who is looking into your smile correction options, my recommendation is to move onto the second question that I asked immediately and start doing some of your own research. Some of your research could involve just picking your own brain and answering some of your own questions. Have you ever seen another adult wearing traditional metal braces? If so, what did you think about them? Do you remember the first impression that you got upon noticing that the person you were talking to had braces? If you think like a lot of other people think, then your answers to these questions may be more telling than anything and your research could get a lot simpler based on your answers. If you got a negative impression, for whatever reason, it’s safe to assume that others could get a negative impression of you when they discover that you’ve got adult braces. Maybe you looked at the person and admired their courage and feel like others will admire yours too if you decide to get metal bracket braces. However it is that you answered those questions, understand that you’re not driving yourself into a dead-end regardless. You just might want to consider ceramic or clear braces if the metal brackets and wires were a bit too much for you, or even look into Invisalign if you’re a good candidate. Well, at least now you’ve scratched the surface, so good luck on the rest of your journey on figuring your orthodontic needs.