In order to find the best orthodontist near me, you need to be aware of three things: your general budget, any insurance you have (that can help cover costs), and what exactly you’re looking for in an orthodontist. Here are some tips on how to find the best orthodontist near me that will work with these factors!
Consider your insurance options
Health insurance plans differ in many ways and one of those differences is whether they cover orthodontic services. Before you begin your search for an orthodontist, make sure you understand what’s covered under your plan. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all health insurance policies sold on or after January 1, 2014 to provide coverage for certain preventive services including an oral exam and consultation every year. That said, there are a number of policies that do not include coverage for orthodontic treatment—or any other type of dental care. If you need orthodontic treatment, be sure to check with your provider about what is covered before beginning treatment. You may also want to consider using an FSA account or HSA account if your employer offers either option. An FSA account allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible expenses such as medical costs, while an HSA account allows you to save money tax-free specifically for medical expenses. Both accounts can help reduce how much money comes out of pocket when it comes time to pay for orthodontic treatment.
Meet with at least three orthodontists
To find a good orthodontist, you first need to narrow down your search. This means meeting with at least three orthodontists and selecting a shortlist of candidates before narrowing down your final choice. An easy way to find a shortlist of candidates is by asking friends, family members or colleagues for personal recommendations. If you’re an adult looking for orthodontic treatment, you may be more comfortable simply visiting local offices and conducting interviews yourself. In any case, it’s important that you feel comfortable with your decision. When interviewing candidates, be sure to ask about cost so that finances don’t get in the way of finding quality care.
Check out before and after photos on Google Images
Many orthodontists have a page on their website dedicated to before and after photos of their patients. But if you find it too overwhelming to wade through that many photos, do an image search using Google Images. Enter your city and state in addition to orthodontist before and after (or just orthodontist) and press enter. For example, if you’re looking for an orthodontist in Portland, Oregon enter Portland OR orthodontist before and after. This should bring up a bunch of images that can help give you an idea of what results are possible for your situation.
Ask your friends who they recommend
It’s hard to find a trustworthy orthodontist without some guidance, especially since there are so many variables involved with braces. The best thing you can do is ask your friends and family who they’ve seen and how happy they were with their service. You may want to consider finding multiple orthodontists in your area, not just one, so that you can compare price points as well as quality of care. Be sure to check out each clinic’s website beforehand; that way you can determine whether it’s what you’re looking for before even going there in person. Here are some questions to get you started: Does the office have an online patient portal? Do they accept credit cards? Is there an emergency number on-site? Are appointments available on weekends or after hours? What kinds of insurance do they accept? What kinds of payments do they take? How far in advance should I schedule my appointment? Are there any restrictions (i.e., no gum chewing)? If I need additional treatment, will I be charged more later on down the line or will I pay less now if I choose a more expensive package up front?
Consult with a dentist you trust
It’s best to consult with a dentist you trust who can help you figure out whether orthodontics are right for you. If your dentist doesn’t specialize in orthodontics, ask for a referral from him or her. You might also consider consulting an orthodontist before scheduling any necessary dental work (including cleanings). This can give you an idea of what different professionals think about your teeth and whether or not braces will be helpful in reaching your goals.
Don’t overspend on braces just because they are covered by insurance
You don’t have to spend $5,000 on braces just because your insurance will cover it. Not only are there some orthodontists who charge dramatically lower fees than others in your area, but there may be options that can help you cut down on cost even more. If you aren’t happy with how much you have spent on orthodontic work, consider asking for a second opinion from another orthodontist before scheduling any more appointments. You should also be aware of common mistakes that people make when shopping for orthodontic care like putting too much weight into online reviews of dentists and neglecting to look at things like insurance plans and out-of-pocket expenses.