3 Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

When it comes to exploring orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, we know it’s not something you take lightly. After all, it’s a major decision and an investment of both your time and finances. While the internet is great for researching your options, there are a number of important factors to consider before taking the leap into treatment and it’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by information. If you’re feeling a little unsure about where to start, Selden Orthodontics is here to help!  

We only get one smile, and it’s too important to trust to anything less than an expert. The first step towards improved oral health should be finding an experienced orthodontist you can trust to deliver the results you want. We believe that every patient should feel empowered by their orthodontic journey! One way we can facilitate that is by sharing a list of the questions you should always ask before making an informed decision about who’s in charge of your orthodontic care. Keep reading below to learn more.

Is the doctor a trained orthodontist?

Yes, this is definitely a thing you should ask. As a matter of fact, it’s probably the most important thing to know when looking for an orthodontist! That’s because some general dentists are also able to provide orthodontic treatment. However, the majority of them don’t tend to specialize in it, and that’s a difference that matters.

Dentists generally offer common dental services such as cleanings, crowns, fillings, and dentures. Occasionally, you may find one that offers certain orthodontic services as well. For example, quite a lot of dentists are currently offering Invisalign clear aligner therapy alongside their regular services. An orthodontist, on the other hand, is focused on providing only orthodontic services to patients in their community.

That distinction is significant. Here’s why: would you feel comfortable letting your family physician perform a complicated surgery on you or your child? Or would you prefer having a specialist who knows their way around a surgical suite? Orthodontics may not treat life-threatening conditions, but we think your smile deserves an equal amount of consideration! 

An orthodontist has had all the same education and training as a dentist, but also completes several additional years of specialized training and experience. When you visit an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Selden, you can be sure that he has:

  • studied the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
  • been introduced to numerous case studies
  • developed crucial diagnostic skills
  • learned biomechanical techniques to properly move the teeth
  • studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial  growth of younger patients
  • and more!

Additionally, orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive. They tend to accept only the top students in any given graduating dental class. These programs usually last two or three years, and include full-time training with a particular focus on using orthodontic appliances to correct a range of issues. There are always exceptions to every rule, to be sure. But most general dentists just won’t possess this same level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience!

Dr. Selden graduated with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Chemistry, then received his DDS degree with the highest honors from the UNC School of Dentistry, where he received a DDS degree with the highest honors. He then completed his residency training at UNC’s Department of Orthodontics. He has maintained close ties with the school, and is actually an adjunct professor in the Department of Orthodontics, teaching future orthodontists how to create beautiful smiles. 

At Selden Orthodontics, our entire focus is on orthodontic care and treatment. We perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and our talented team stays up to date on the latest in industry practice through both online and in-person continuing education courses each year.

3 Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

There have been many advancements in orthodontic technology and technique in the last several years. This has resulted in more treatment options than ever before! Our practice is proud to offer the following treatments to our patients in Charlotte and Huntersville.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces, and the most easily recognizable. Made of high-grade stainless steel, they straighten your teeth over time using metal brackets and archwires. Today’s braces are more comfortable and efficient than ever before, and you even have the option of adding colored rubber bands for a smile that matches your unique personality!

Clear Braces

Also known as ceramic braces, they work the same way metal braces do, but the brackets are made of a clear material instead. That makes them a subtle option for patients who are image-conscious or prefer a more discreet way to straighten their smile. While they are less noticeable, the ceramic brackets are a bit larger and more prone to breakage than their metal counterparts. For this reason, we use them more frequently on the upper front teeth than the lower. We also tend to recommend them mainly for our older teen and adult patients. 

Champagne Braces

Our popular champagne-colored brackets are just as durable as traditional metal braces, and as discreet as ceramic braces, too! The unique color blends in beautifully with your smile and the brackets are just as sturdy as metal braces. The low-profile, contoured design is comfortable and light, and when you match them up with gold wire and clear ligatures, you get a great aesthetic option that lets your natural smile shine through. 

Invisalign Clear Aligner Therapy

Instead of brackets, bands, and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of customized aligners to straighten your teeth gently over time. These aligners are almost invisible and also removable, giving you the freedom to eat and drink what you want while in treatment. This also makes it easier to brush and floss properly! The aligners are designed to fit comfortably over your own teeth, and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. We also offer Invisalign Teen, which has special features designed specifically with the needs of our teen patients in mind. 

How frequent are follow-up visits with the orthodontist?

No matter what treatment option you decide on, you should expect regular follow-up visits at your orthodontist’s office. These are an essential part of the treatment process, so you should try your best not to miss them. Depending on the appliance you’re wearing, we will usually schedule you for an appointment every 4-8 weeks or so. This is when Dr. Selden will check the movements your teeth are making, make any necessary adjustments, and replace any worn-out rubber bands if you’re a braces patient.

The total treatment time will vary from case to case since every patient responds to treatment in their own way. However, the average patient will spend anywhere from 12-24 months in treatment. Because you’ll be seeing your orthodontist regularly over this period of time, it’s important to choose a doctor, team, and office that you feel comfortable with!                                                                                                                 

3 Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

Find your best smile at Selden Orthodontics

At Selden Orthodontics, our goal is to provide top-quality care and world-class service to patients of all ages in Charlotte, Huntersville, and the surrounding communities. If you’re ready to start your orthodontic journey, we’d love to meet you and walk you through our treatment options. We are available for in-office appointments as well as virtual consultations, so get in touch today to learn more about how you can transform your smile!