Seven Things to Know Before Selecting an Orthodontist for Your Family
Choose a SPECIALIST — BOARD CERTIFIED! There is more to correcting a bite then simply straightening teeth. An orthodontic specialist has completed an additional 2 to 3 years of full-time advanced training in an accredited orthodontic residency program. By learning about tooth movement (orthodontics) and guidance of facial development (dentofacial orthopedics), orthodontists are experts in dental and facial development and limit their practices to orthodontic treatment. An orthodontist who is board certified has attained the highest level of certification possible in his or her field. Dentists may offer orthodontic treatment and Invisalign®, but do not necessarily have the knowledge or ability to evaluate every situation fully for proper diagnosis and treatment. Not all orthodontists are board certified. Dr. Donnelly is a part of the 25% of orthodontists who HAVE achieved board certification.
TIMING is everything! Although orthodontic treatment can be possible at any age, there is an ideal time when the most conservative techniques will produce the best results. Orthodontists are trained to evaluate all the factors that indicate a “best time” for treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. An experienced orthodontist can clearly see by age seven whether developmental issues can turn into problems. Most children will NOT require early treatment, but an evaluation and monitoring of growth and development from an earlier age leads to the implementation of the most appropriate treatment and results in a shorter course of therapy in the future. All evaluations in Dr. Donnelly’s office are complimentary.
TREATMENT needs to be the focus! Many practices create a very “fun and frenzied” environment for children; however, don’t lose sight of your real objective: to obtain the best care for you and/or your child! At Donnelly Orthodontics, we like the treatment experience to be personal and enjoyable ... but providing quality care and maintaining clear, concise communication with patients and parents will always be our top priority.
Select an ESTABLISHED doctor. Orthodontics involves a long-term commitment with the possibility of a patient starting at age 7 or 8 and being followed well into his or her teen years. A “hired” orthodontic associate in a practice may move on or be replaced before your orthodontic treatment is completed. This can result in an increase in treatment time, an undesirable orthodontic result, additional costs, and/or the need to find another orthodontist to complete treatment. By choosing an orthodontist who owns his or her practice, you can be more assured of a consistent result due to continuity of care.
Not all doctors REMOVE TEETH for treatment. In our office we try to prevent extraction of teeth as much as possible to preserve the integrity of arches and give broad smiles. Dr Donnelly treats greater than 90% of his cases with a time-tested (60 years), non-extraction approach. Dr Donnelly has obtained his clinical expertise in non-extraction cases in 30 years of private practice using extensive research that started in his orthodontic residency.
AGE is not a factor for successful treatment. Orthodontics/Invisalign is not just for kids. In fact, 1 of every 5 patients in our office is over the age of 21, and our oldest adult patient is 81 years young. Orthodontics can reshape the dental arches, better position the teeth, and produce a fuller more youthful smile — at any age!
ACCEPTANCE of insurance minimizes your cost. Our practice accepts assignment of your insurance benefit, and we are experts at working with your plan to ensure you receive the maximum benefit available. Why settle for anything less, which requires much more out-of-pocket cash from you, while you await reimbursement from your insurance? On average, our patients with insurance coverage have about 20-30 percent of their orthodontic costs covered by insurance. Some have much more. We also assist our patients with Flex Spending Account dollars to ensure that they plan in advance to maximize their benefit. It’s about service to you, and doing what's right!