Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

When you’re in the field of orthodontics like the team at Scaffidi Orthodontics, you learn a thing or two about what patients want to know when they’re considering treatment. From finances to treatment options, you should feel confident in your orthodontist’s answers to your questions before moving forward with treatment. If you’re revving up to get braces, here are five questions to ask when choosing an orthodontist. 

Question #1: Do you offer a free consultation?

When you’re choosing an orthodontist to shape your new smile, the easiest way to decide whether you want to move forward with treatment is by attending a free consultation. This appointment gives you the opportunity to meet the orthodontic team you’ll be working with, learn more about the available treatment options, and talk with your treatment coordinator about financing and insurance. With a free consultation, you won’t feel pressured to stay with an orthodontic team you aren’t sure about. 

Question #2: Are you a trained orthodontist?

We know this seems like an obvious answer, but in reality, many dentists will offer orthodontic treatment without the necessary training or skills required to do so. Orthodontists are specialists in their field. Dentists are more like general practitioners. 

When it comes to rearranging the bones in your mouth, you want to stick with someone who has spent years studying how to do just that. 

To become a certified orthodontist, an individual must complete their undergraduate medical education, attend a graduate program specifically for dentistry, and pass a certification exam. In addition, they must also compete for a position in a rigorous orthodontic residency program after their general dentistry certification. These programs usually last two to three years and include full-time training, meaning they have:

  • Learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
  • Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaw
  • Developed diagnostic skills
  • Been introduced to numerous case studies
  • Studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients

There are exceptions to every case, but most general dentists do not have this depth of training under their belt. 

Just like with any medical field, it is important to see a specialist for the area of care you require. If you are looking for foundational oral health maintenance, you’ll want to visit your general or pediatric dentist. If you are looking to change the structure of your jawline or alter the alignment of your teeth, you will need the care of a trained orthodontist for the best results. 

Question #3: What treatment options do you offer?

Knowing which treatment options the orthodontist specializes in is a critical factor in deciding on the practice you want to work with. Getting braces is a lengthy process that requires years of work in some cases. Because of the duration of the process, you should carefully consider the methods that would become available to you at the orthodontic office in question before you commit to working with them.  

Scaffidi Orthodontics offers a wide range of orthodontic treatment options for all ages, including: 


This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without wires or brackets. Because they are clear, this option allows you to straighten your teeth with an almost invisible look. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time.

Traditional Braces

Metal Braces: As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first that come to mind when considering orthodontic treatment. These braces work by tightening the wire attached to a bracket glued to each tooth. With gentle, continuous pressure, your teeth are aligned over a period of 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.

Clear Braces: Clear braces work the same way as metal braces. The difference is that clear braces use white ceramic brackets that blend in with the color of your teeth and provide a less noticeable appearance.

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Question #4: What are my finance and insurance options?

Your smile is an investment, and you deserve to understand the financial commitment that comes with it. Be sure to ask your treatment coordinator about financing options, payment plans, and insurance policies before you move forward. 

At Scaffidi Orthodontics, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to receive the best orthodontic care whenever you need it. Our practice accepts most major credit cards and insurance policies, and we offer flexible payment plans and automatic bank drafts for your convenience. Our goal is to provide outstanding value for a reasonable price. Treatment fees vary depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, but our team is here to work with you every step of the way so you can afford the beautiful smile you deserve. 

Question #5: How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

While your exact follow-up timing will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our expert team determine is right for you, we will schedule most patients’ adjustment appointments every four to eight weeks. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but regardless, these appointments are crucial for your overall orthodontic process!

The average process will take anywhere from 8 to 36 months to achieve your perfect smile, but visible results are evident as early as the first few months with most treatment plans. We know you’re busy, and we value your time, just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule, but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as meaningful. 

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It’s No Question: Scaffidi Orthodontics Is the Best Around!

Choosing to get braces or Invisalign to straighten your smile is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Our trained team of professionals is here to help reduce your anxiety, so you can leave our office feeling confident in your treatment plan. If you’re ready to get started, schedule your free consultation with Dr. Scaffidi in Kenner, New Orleans, or Slidell today!