How to Choose an Orthodontist

Ten Things You MUST KNOW Before Choosing your Orthodontist:

  1. Is the Doctor a specialist? Orthodontists receive an additional 2-3 years of specialized education, beyond dental school, to learn the proper way to diagnose and treatment plan malocclusions (bad bite) to straighten and align teeth. Orthodontists practice Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics exclusively.
  2. When Should A Patient Schedule An Initial Evaluation? Children should be seen as early as 7-years-of?age to determine the best time to begin treatment. If treatment is not prescribed, patients should be seen every 6-9 months to monitor dental growth, development and jaw relationships.
  3. Am I too old for orthodontic treatment? Orthodontic treatment may be possible at almost any age, but there is an ideal time when most conservative treatment techniques will produce the most desirable outcomes. An orthodontic specialist is trained specifically to make that determination. Skeletal (jaw relationships) discrepancy treatment must be initiated where a patients growth can be utilized to maximize results. Otherwise, compromises and limitations of treatment may be required.
  4. Do you treat adults? Orthodontics is not just for children and adolescents. Almost 20% of orthodontic patients in the United States are adults. Many adults want a straight and healthy smile to create better oral health and increase self-esteem.
  5. How has orthodontic changed over the years? Orthodontic treatment is not what it used to be. Unlike past decades, most “braces” are not bands going around each tooth. Today, most “braces” are bonded directly to the front surfaces of the teeth. Instead of metal ligature ties, today, wires are tied into braces with colorful elastomeric ties. Not all braces are metallic. Today, as additional options, there are amazing esthetic clear brackets, as well as, clear removable aligners for those who qualify.
  6. Is the first Consultation Complimentary? Your first complimentary consultation visit will consist of an initial examination and a discussion of your potential treatment options. This important visit will allow Dr. Hoffman to determine if this is the right time to begin treatment. If he feels the patient is ready, he will recommended obtaining comprehensive orthodontic records and give an estimated treatment cost.
  7. Why are retainers important? The most important part to achieving a beautiful smile is being able to keep it that way. Calabasas Orthodontics includes upper and lower retainers as part of the quoted fee.
  8. Does the office offer flexible financing? At Calabasas Orthodontics, we do our best to not let financial constraints get in the way of you achieving the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve. We offer no-interest, in-house financing options with flexible monthly payments that make your treatment more affordable.
  9. Does the office accept and handle my insurance? It is important to find out if the orthodontist accepts your insurance AND IS IN-NETWORK. Orthodontists may accept your insurance, BUT MAY NOT BE IN-NETWORK with a PPO dental insurance plan. If you have dental insurance that covers orthodontic treatment, Calabasas Orthodontics will apply those payments which will reduce your personal out of pocket costs. As we accept all indemnity insurance plans and are in-network providers for most PPO orthodontic insurance plans, you may find your plan provides enhanced benefits by seeking treatment with us. Prior to beginning treatment, we will verify your coverage and coordinate their estimated payments for you. Once treatment has started, we will process all your insurance forms, file your claims and accept payment directly from the insurance company.
  10. Does the practice charge for emergency appointments? Some discomfort can be anticipated with orthodontic treatment. Adjustments for poking wires and loose braces are typically scheduled based on the severity of the orthodontic emergency and the availability of the doctor without charge. Excessive breakage due to non-compliance with dietary restrictions or habits may result in repair charges. Emergency appointments that cannot wait, requiring an after-hour appointment, will be charged appropriately.