A successful orthodontic treatment experience isn’t just about receiving professional and gentle care. You also need to trust that your doctor and the orthodontic team have your best interests in mind and heart. Here at Delplanche Orthodontics, we prioritize patient education because you should know what’s going on with your treatment. So, we aim to give you an experienced orthodontist that helps you feel empowered from your first appointment to your last.
But what else should you be asking? To help you begin your orthodontic journey, we’ve put together this list of questions to ask before committing to an orthodontic practice for treatment.
Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?
You would think this is a no-brainer, but this is the most important thing you can ask! Your dentist might offer orthodontic treatment, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are specially trained in orthodontics. Many general dentists provide braces treatment and clear aligner therapy in addition to standard dental services such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. On the other hand, an orthodontist specializes only in providing orthodontic services.
After a dentist has completed their undergraduate medical education, they must attend a graduate school specifically for dentistry and pass a certification exam before practicing general dentistry. The same goes for orthodontists, except they must complete an extremely competitive orthodontic residency program after their general dentistry certification. These programs typically last another 2 to 3 years and include full-time training meaning the orthodontist has:
- Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaw
- Been introduced to numerous case studies
- Developed diagnostic skills
- Learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
- Learned how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
While there are some exceptions, most dentists won’t possess this in-depth orthodontic training and experience. If you are looking for foundational oral health maintenance, trust your dentist. But, if you need specialized orthodontic care, Dr. Delplanche has the experience and expertise you need. At Delplanche Orthodontics, we’re a family, and we work as a unit to make sure patients receive top-quality care in a professional, comfortable environment.
What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?
At Delplanche Orthodontics there are several options available to reach your smile goals quickly and effectively. We can successfully treat many dental issues based on your unique needs and goals using metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign by pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement during facial growth.
Here at Delplanche Orthodontics, more than 80% of our patients choose Invisalign and it’s easy to see why! Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign doesn’t rely on a system of metal or ceramic brackets and wires. Instead, it uses a series of invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth by applying steady pressure on your teeth as you wear them. You’ll replace your aligners every few weeks and while you can remove them to eat and brush your teeth, you should wear them for 22 hours a day to be effective. There are also fewer emergencies with Invisalign since the technology is clear and comfortable.
Traditional metal braces are the most commonly used type of fixed orthodontic appliance. Though past incarnations have been bulky, awkward, and painful, today’s metal braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable. And at Delplanche Orthodontics, we use mini metal braces to allow for a more flat and comfortable profile.
Ceramic braces use the same components as traditional metal braces, but instead of metal, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a transparent or tooth-colored ceramic material. This makes clear braces a common choice for teenagers and older patients in Beaverton and Lake Oswego who do not like the aesthetic of the metal look. Clear braces require more care as the ceramic pieces can break and the clear adhesive used to attach them to your teeth is prone to staining depending on your eating and cleaning habits.
Retention is how you maintain that smile you and Dr. Delplanche have worked hard to achieve. When your braces are removed, you will be given two retainers, one on the upper and one on the lower. Both retainers are removable and are worn only at night time. Dr. Delplanche may prescribe a different retainer that fits your specific needs and will likely recommend wearing your retainers indefinitely.
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 6 to 12 twelve weeks. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but 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 of treatment. 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 important.
Trust your smile to the experts at Delplanche Orthodontics
At Delplanche Orthodontics, our team is committed to giving you a smile you’ve always wanted – and the one you deserve. We are the location for modern orthodontic treatment. Our Beaverton and Oswego offices are conveniently located to serve our community better, and this means excellent orthodontic care is only a few minutes from your home, school, or work.
There’s never been a better time to reach for the smile you’ve always wanted, so get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with our expert orthodontic team!