orthodontist search - Know Before Choosing An Orthodontist

Choosing the right orthodontist can sometimes be difficult, but it’s important to take the time to get this decision right for you, or your child.  You’ll be interacting with this doctor for awhile on one of the most important facial features – your smile!

While there are many orthodontists in San Diego, results can very greatly depending on who you see. Even the experience of just 1-2 years difference can be worlds apart.

Asking the right questions will help you make the right choice. The following list will help patients & parents decide which specialist will best serve their needs


  1. Is the doctor an orthodontic specialist? Although some dentists do braces or even do Invisalign, they do not have specialty orthodontic training or an orthodontic degree. Specialty training as an orthodontist takes an additional two to three years of post graduate education after the regular dental program.
  2. Are the office hours open enough and are there well-trained staff members/doctors available for any possible emergency visit? Will there be no extra charges for these visits? Can the doctor be reached at any time?
  3. Are retainers included in the total fee? Will you be able to have retainer checks at no charge for at least one year following the removal of the braces?
  4. Are all fees disclosed up-front? Make sure there are no hidden fees for “records” (x-ray equipment should be on-site and included in the total fee), broken brackets, additional appliances, or missed appointments.
  5. Has the doctor been in practice for at least 10 years? Be sure the doctor has been in practice for a good number of years to increase knowledge and experience. Ask about staff experience as well.
  6. Are brackets or any other appliances recycled or re-used? Be sure there are NO recycling procedures being used for braces themselves or any other appliances to be worn.
  7. Is sterilization up to standards and following all regulations? Disposable items should be disposed of and all instruments washed and heat sterilized after every patient.
  8. Does the practice take additional x-rays and/or models throughout the treatment without charge and on site? Periodically, an x-ray or a model will be needed to monitor growth and tooth movement and these should be available at no charge. Do you have to go elsewhere for orthodontic x-rays?
  9. Is the practice focused on the customer service aspect of orthodontics? Will you and/or your child actually enjoy the experience and be treated in a special way and in a caring environment? Will procedures be explained and will the doctor see every patient at every visit?
  10. Is the quality of treatment apparent? Are there actual before and after pictures and reviews of other patients available? Does the doctor place brackets on all of the teeth, even the second molars? Is the bite corrected as well as the teeth straightened?

Armed with this list, you can make the most informed decision to find the perfect orthodontist. Wondering how we stack up? At our clinic, Dr. Henry & staff can proudly answer “YES” to each of these 10 questions. 





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