Choosing orthodontic treatment is a big decision, one that most patients do not take lightly. The first step towards a straighter, healthier smile is finding an experienced orthodontist, but this can feel a bit overwhelming when there are so many providers to choose from. Knowing the right questions to ask leads to a well-informed decision! Here at Coppe + Sears, we want every potential patient to understand every aspect of their treatment before their orthodontic journey begins. Keep reading below for a list of the most important questions to ask before choosing an orthodontist!
Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?
This may seem obvious, but it is actually one of the most important questions to ask. The majority of dentists tend to offer traditional dental services and innovative cosmetic treatments, but some have branched out into orthodontic treatment as well. Clear aligner therapy has become an increasingly popular service for dentists to offer, for example. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, a general dentist will often lack the extra education and training orthodontists have had in moving the teeth successfully. They will also have a divided focus between orthodontics and dental treatments.
On the other hand, an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Chad Sears has spent many years learning how to manage tooth movement with braces, aligners, and other appliances. His main focus is creating beautifully aligned smiles for patients of all ages, which he has been doing for almost two decades! Orthodontists are more likely to stay within their chosen field and stick to providing certain services. For those nervous about placing their smile in an expert’s care, a specialist like this can offer peace of mind and reassurance.
After completing dental school, orthodontists will go on to earn a Masters of Orthodontics from their chosen school. In their time there, they will learn the biomechanical techniques involved in properly moving teeth, study the development and facial growth of children, and develop specific diagnostic skills. Following this, they will begin treating patients under supervision for 2-3 years in an orthodontic residency program. Patients can be sure they are putting their smile in the best possible hands when choosing an orthodontist like Dr. Sears!
What treatment options are available?
Although traditional metal braces are still the most popular method for achieving a straighter smile, modern orthodontics has made it easier than ever to improve oral health thanks to a number of exciting treatment options. Dr. Sears is proud to offer the following treatments for a complete smile transformation!
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces have a proven track record for successfully treating a wide range of cases, delivering excellent results in everything from simple to complex cases. The brackets are made from a high-quality mix of stainless steel and fixed directly to the front of the teeth with a wire running through them. Adjustments to this wire produce movement in the teeth over time. Today’s braces are lighter, sleeker, and more comfortable than ever before. They are a durable, cost-effective, and efficient choice for improving oral health with orthodontics.
Clear braces function in essentially the same way metal braces do, but use semi-translucent brackets instead of metal ones. This allows them to blend in better with the patient’s natural smile, offering a more subtle way to straighten their smile. This is especially true when the brackets are paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties!
Ceramic braces are strong like metal braces, but the material they are made from can be a bit more prone to chipping or cracking. They are also slightly more costly than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces are often recommended for older teen and adult patients only.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
Invisalign is the most popular alternative to traditional braces. The system uses a series of clear aligners to straighten the teeth instead of brackets and wires, offering patients more freedom and flexibility than braces do. The trays are made of a special thermoplastic resin that is soft and custom-designed to fit comfortably over the patient’s teeth. Because they are removable, there are no food restrictions and oral hygiene is a breeze.
Patient compliance is essential for Invisalign to be successful. Patients must wear the aligners 20-22 hours per day throughout the treatment process, and switch out each aligner out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks. This allows the aligners to keep up with the movement of the teeth. In most cases, Invisalign will be able to straighten the teeth just as well as braces do.
Dr. Sears is also a Premier Preferred Invisalign Provider! Only about 6% of Invisalign providers achieve this status, which is awarded to doctors who have the necessary experience to offer an exceptional Invisalign experience.
What will follow-up visits look like?
Dr. Sears creates individualized treatment plans for each patient, but anyone undertaking an orthodontic journey with Coppe + Sears can also expect regular follow-up visits to our Lexington office. Choosing a practice with a convenient location makes this much less of a hassle! We are conveniently located in Lexington center, just off Massachusetts Avenue. Because we only have one central office, we use it full-time, so we have a larger number of appointments available for patients.
Regular follow-up visits are necessary for checking the progress the teeth are making, replacing worn-out rubber bands, and making adjustments to the wire to ensure teeth are being pulled in the right direction. These will usually be scheduled for every 4-6 weeks or so, although this will depend on each patient’s treatment plan. We know how busy families are these days, and value their time. We do not overbook patients and always do our best to run on time!
Find expert orthodontic care at Coppe + Sears
At Coppe + Sears, patients will find a highly-qualified orthodontist in Dr. Sears, along with an experienced support staff and state-of-the-art office. Dr. Sears has the knowledge, skills, and and experience to provide patients of all ages with the best smile possible in a relaxing and stress-free environment! To learn more about our expert orthodontic care, get in touch to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sears and take the first step towards a healthier smile.