An estimated 4 million kids and adults in the US are now wearing braces—a number that’s nearly doubled in the past 30 years. But while braces are now commonplace, you’ll still be faced with a serious challenge after deciding to get braces—how to choose an orthodontist.
Why all the fuss? Aren’t all orthodontist offices pretty much the same? Not exactly. The fact is, getting braces is a serious medical procedure that can have consequences, either positive or negative, that can last a lifetime. When looked at it through that lens, choosing an orthodontist is an extremely important decision—one that should be based on several factors.
What factors you might ask? Well, you’re in luck. Below you’ll find some important factors to consider when choosing an orthodontist.
Quality Comes First
While issues like convenience and budget are not to be ignored, the first factor when choosing an orthodontist should always be quality. Sure, there are some offices that offer braces at rock-bottom prices, but if that price comes at the cost of quality, it’s never worth it. Not only could you suffer the ill effects, pain, and long-term damage from poor treatment, the amount of money to fix those mistakes can easily escalate well beyond what you’d expect to pay from a quality orthodontist.
So what can you do to ensure you get proper orthodontic treatment? The first step is easy: are they in fact an orthodontist? It seems like an afterthought, but the sad fact is that some dentists may claim to be able to put on braces without being an actual licensed orthodontist. To help you out, here’s a little tip to set you straight: all orthodontists are dentists, but only a few dentists are orthodontists. To become a licensed orthodontist, you not only have to complete a four-year medical/dental school, you also have to undergo two more years of orthodontic school to become a licensed orthodontist. The good news is, a simple search online should tell you everything you need to know about their credentials.
Birmingham Orthodontics’ commitment to quality:
At Birmingham Orthodontics, we take the quality of the care we provide very seriously. Each of our five doctors are licensed orthodontists with decades of experience. Under the guidance of our founder, Dr. McCarthy, a Board Certified Orthodontist, all of our doctors and staff have the skills and experience necessary to help transform your smile. Of course, the quality of the staff matters just as much as it does with our doctors. Which is why we conduct monthly staff trainings so that we are continually improving our skills, and even learning new ones. It’s just a bonus that all of our doctors and our staff all happen to be extremely friendly, personable, and just all around great people!
The Necessity of Convenience
Now that you’ve done some homework on your potential orthodontist, what should you look for next? Why convenience, of course! Adding more appointments to already hectic schedules may seem overwhelming at first, but there are several factors that could make it a whole lot easier.
Convenience factor 1: Location, Location, Location
It’s as true for real estate as it is for finding an orthodontist. At first, you might only be looking for offices near your house, but that may be too limiting. Instead, we suggest looking for practices that might be close to school or work, too. And, for the best of both worlds, try finding an office with multiple locations so that no matter where you are, or where you’re coming from, your appointments won’t ruin your commute.
Convenience factor 2: Time
While finding a convenient location, or locations, will save you the most time, another factor to consider is appointment length. Without sacrificing quality, some practices will offer things to help speed up your visits, like no-wait appointments or online scheduling. Another factor to consider, especially for your first appointment, is whether they offer same day treatment.
Convenience factor 3: Hours of Operation
Now that you’ve hopefully found an orthodontic office that is conveniently located and has quicker appointments, the third thing to help make this easier is when are they open? While you’d be hard-pressed to find an office that offers weekend hours, many practices are closed on Fridays, too. So before you commit, call or check online to see when they’re open or if they offer Friday hours.
How Convenient is Birmingham Orthodontics?
With multiple locations (Hoover, Trussville, Alabaster, and Hwy 119), no-wait appointments, Friday hours, and Same day braces, it would be quite inconvenient to find another practice more convenient than Birmingham Orthodontics.
The Affordability Factor
At this point, your next thing to look for is price. The problem with that is most offices don’t list their price outright, and for good reason. Just as no two smiles are alike, no two treatments are alike, making the job of listing a flat price almost impossible. So instead of asking about price, we suggest you instead ask how affordable they can make them.
It varies from practice to practice, but many offer certain programs and incentives that can make the treatment plan more affordable. You’ll also want to check to make sure they accept your insurance. We’ve listed some of these programs you should look for below.
Affordability Programs & Incentives:
- In-house Financing
- No Down Payment
- Full-time Financial Team
- Multiple Family Member Discounts
- Paid-in-Full Discounts
- Free Initial Consultation
- Youth Savings Program
- Accepts Wide Variety of Insurance Carriers
How does Birmingham Orthodontics make braces affordable?
This one’s easy. Our mission has always been to make smiles affordable, without ever sacrificing quality. Which is why we offer every single one of the programs listed above! Along with our programs and incentives, our full-time financial team will work with you every step of the way in order to fit your budget.
Word of Mouth
Ok, so you’ve found a conveniently located practice that provides affordable care without sacrificing quality. Hooray! But with such a big commitment, how can you be completely sure? That’s simple, just ask around!
Talking directly to someone who’s experienced the process for themselves is a great way to learn valuable insights into any practice. Getting answers to questions like, “Are they friendly,” “How were you treated,” or “What was it like,” are all great ways of discovering things about a practice that you wouldn’t find online.
Beyond just asking friends and looking up reviews, another great indicator of service are awards and recognitions. More than likely, if a particular practice has won any awards, they’ll probably showcase them on their website or social channels.
Birmingham Orthodontics’ Recognitions & Reviews:
- Winner of multiple “Birmingham’s Best Orthodontist” awards by Birmingham Magazine
- Awarded Birmingham’s Small Business of the Year by the Birmingham Business Journal
- Check out some of our reviews here
- Over half of all our new patients come to us because they were referred to us by our one of current patients