What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodontist?

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What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodontist?

#1 Post by frankie81 »

Hi, new to the board and in learning so much !

I've just seen two ortho practices and while the pricing is wildly different there are done other big variations that I have to consider. That said, which would you guys go with?

Practice 1: SPAMS and free snacks
- big fancy practice
- orthodontist availability was pretty good since they have only 2 locations
- recommended ceramic braces cost of approx $7000
- said I was not a candidate for Invisalign
- the free consult took a bunch of photos and head X-rays
- asked me if I was happy with my side profile - which I'm not
- about a 30 min drive from my house (if I'm only going once every two months this isn't too much of a consideration I guess?!)

Practice 2:
- less frills than practice 1
- they have about 10 locations so the orthodontist that I would be seeing is only in the office 4 days a month
- said that I could do either traditional braced or Invisalign ?
- they did take an X-ray of my side profile but didn't see any problem with my protruding mouth
- cost was about $1000 less than practice 1 ; pricing quote was the same for either treatment option
- friendlier orthodontist
- drive is about 45 min from our house

Wondering why there's such a large price difference ? and why I'm getting conflicting advice re: Invisalign?

As an aside, any recommendations for the Milwaukee area? I might want to visit a few more !!

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#2 Post by Sugarfly »


I've had the same experience, one ortho said invisalign wouldn't work for me and another said I could have it... The ortho who sad I could have invisalign didn't take X-rays or impressions etc where as the other did... I think some just try to tell you what you want to hear whereas others are more honest. Frustrating though as it can be impossible to know which ortho is telling you the truth!

Is the more expensive ortho better qualified or more experienced? Perhaps they will see you more often or offer better brackets etc...?!

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#3 Post by Sallee »

I'm not sure I'm much help as I'm going in with no experience too, but I've chosen between 2 practices. Both are obviously good orthos. One would only do old school metal all over, and has a great reputation for results. I felt weird about metal but my deciding factor to leave a week before brace day was that the office staff were absolutely useless. The next place I went does the more modern looking brackets, has as good a reputation according to my dentist, would do some clear brackets ($1000 difference in price for clear), and the clincher was communication. I liked him, he wasn't condescending, and the office staff are very on the ball with email reminders and no losing of files.

If they're both equally recommended I'd go with your gut. Even if your gut is saying "meet with a third option". I don't know what to say about invisalign- all 3 sources (dentist and both orthos) say they only work for minor corrections, not great for moving teeth one over, pulling my top ones outwards and so on. I'd be suspicious of being told yes if you need a lot of movement but maybe your third opinion will set that straight.

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#4 Post by WiredOldLady »

I went with the one that was recommended by a friend of mine who had her husband and both her kids treated there. He has 2 offices, both are fairly close to my house, one is close to the site I occasionally work at, the other is easy to get to from my office. The price wasn't bad, by the time insurance got done, my end was 2400.00. The office is great and my initial consultation was extremely thorough. X-rays, panoramic xray, the whole deal. I was told I was a candidate for Invisalign, but it was up to me. I chose to go with traditional braces and the orthodontist agreed that I would have better results. I got my braces on and a couple of days later, my arch wire on top started jabbing me in the cheek. I called the office and they got me in right away to get it trimmed.

Oh...and during the last Broncos game, the ortho, one of the techs and I were having a great smack-talking conversation via text message :)
Braces off on 8/26/14 after a year!

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#5 Post by sirwired »

If you can't look for a third choice, my choice would be number 1. An office 30 minutes away won't be a great help if you need a non-scheduled adjustment and you have to drive to some remote office to get it done. And 1 is also the one that at least asked you about your side profile, but you'll have to ask if he can do anything about it.

Invisilign is kind of a funny thing... what can be done with just a set of stock trays is indeed pretty limited. But if the ortho wants to get fancy and creative with various attachments, holes, and even rubber bands, he can accomplish quite a bit, it with a lot more hassle and tediousness vs. brackets.

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#6 Post by mysticgirl916 »

How I got my braces was kind of a special case: my dentist is taking orthodontics courses and she was looking for patients to work on, so she suggested I be one of her test subjects. I've been going to see her for over 5 years and the office doesn't have a lot of frills, but for $3,000 I'm getting treatment from a very kind dentist with some of the most modern technology the office has

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#7 Post by vvirag »

Hi, I was also in trouble to choose the orthodontist. Where I live there is one at every corner.. (no joke)

However, finally I decided based on the information about them available on the internet. I know, maybe this sounds too newage, but I think it's important. First, I searched for the name for experiences and recommendations by former or current patients, and I've read all of them, it's a good indicator. Second, I searched for other information, like websites, blogging, participation at conferences, devices used by him, and so on. If there is no information available, then it is always strange (of course "noname" orthodontist could be good, but I had to filter somehow..).

In the office look for certificates on the wall :) I wanted an orthodontist, who is well-prepared and knows cutting-edge technologies, to make the best possible decision for me, and not the "usual" one.

About the different opinions on Invisalign: this was a huge confusion for me at the first time. Every braced-blogger mentioned to go 3-4-5-... orthodontists before your decision. Some of them blogged what kind of opinions they got. Nearly all of the treatment plans differed!
This is because 1) the orthodontist don't have the same knowledge and experience with the different appliances. They usually learn about them in a further training, not at the university. 2) there are really more ways to do the treatment. First, I think there is no guarantee that everything will work out as they plan today (quality and time), and second, they can achieve straight teeth in different ways (with smaller or bigger arch for example).

There could be many reasons, why people get braces 2nd time, but in many cases, it's because the 1st time didn't solve all of the problems or didn't solve it well. (To watch some stories, just google for "facefocused/adultsummary" )

I think that's why it's reallllly important to choose a well-qualified, open-minded orthodontist!

The distance: however, I live in the same city, I have to travel 1 hour to get my orthodontist, but I think, it's worth it (once in a month at least). The only inconvenience could be the emergency situation, when something breaks or so. The 1 hour is still not a problem, but if you can reach your ortho only 4 days/month, then it does not sound good..

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#8 Post by Sita »

Location. Location, location, location. Small town, one practice. Closest alternatives were an hour away. I have neither the good health nor the money required to travel that far everytime I need a wire trim or anything like that. The practice I go to has been around for a couple of decades so if they were bad everyone would know.

Ceramic uppers, metal lowers put on March 6 2012 to fix spacing issues and traumatic malocclusion. Estimated treatment time is 24 months.

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Re: What was your deciding factor when choosing an orthodont

#9 Post by xanidu2012 »

For me it was a no-brainer. This is the same Orthodontist that gave my son his beeee-u-ti-ful smile :jump:

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