In the previous 2 blogs we looked at the reasons why things can go wrong with your tooth straightening. In this final blog I will cover how to get things right the first time around and provide you with some valuable questions to ask at your consultation and before you start treatment to help you decide if you’re in the right place to get the best result.
It’s better to get it right the first time – but how do you do that?
Although it may seem expensive to have consultations it may be the most valuable stage of your treatment journey. You need to become an expert in your own orthodontic condition! For you to gain this knowledge you need to find out what the problems are that have to be solved in order for the result to be as good as possible. You also need to know ALL the options for your treatment. For this you need to see someone who is also an expert in dealing with your problems. That really means visiting an experienced Specialist Orthodontist – these are dentists that have had specialist training in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning and passed high level exams in order to be registered as specialists with the GDC.
Bear in mind you may also need to see more than one specialist! You can expect different orthodontists to come up with different treatment plans from each other as well – this is quite normal.
I think gut instinct does come into play here too – you will feel very comfortable and reassured if you have found the right person and place for your treatment.
To help you decide here are a few questions to ask to help give you peace of mind before starting treatment
- What types of treatment do you offer? – if they only offer one type of treatment they may have limited experience in orthodontics and so may not be able to give you the full range of options.
- What are the alternative options available? – it could be there are only two options and one of them should be to do nothing. If you’re dentist is offering you the treatment they should also be offering you the choice of a referral to see a specialist for an opinion. Make sure you get all the options explained to you properly including their pros and cons.
- Have you treated cases like mine before? – they should be showing you pictures of treatment they have completed. The more treatment they have done the more “evidence” they will be able to show you.
- What is included in my fees? – some patients find themselves paying more than their original quote for hidden extras. Make sure to get a detailed plan outlining everything included and what is NOT included so there are no hidden surprises.
- What should I be aware of before I go ahead with treatment? You need to know how long you are likely to be in treatment, what to expect in terms of comfort, diet and cleaning your teeth and braces. You should also be made aware of any side effects of having treatment and their consequences.
- Are there any limitations of the treatment? – hairdressers will tell you at the height of “Friends” droves of women would turn up clutching a picture of Jenifer Aniston and ask them to make them look like “Rachel”. Sometimes there are limits to what you can achieve and it’s important that you know this from the start. Some things will not be fixed with braces alone. You may be looking at further investment for cosmetic dental procedures to get the most pleasing result. Other things may never be fully corrected (especially jaw mismatches) and this can affect the result so it’s imperative to know what will and wont be fixed with your treatment.
- What happens at the end of my treatment? Its good practice to follow up patients for a period of time after the treatment has been completed to check that the teeth are stabilising and there are no issues with the retainers
I hope these 3 blogs have been helpful to you and good luck with your tooth straightening!