How Can I Find An Affordable and Good Orthodontist Near Me?
It’s that time. Time for you to think how to ‘find a good orthodontist near you’. There are so many things to think about, not the least of which is how much will they cost? How can we afford braces for our kids? Or ourselves? Financing options are often available and some orthodontists will take insurance for kids and teens. But above that, you need to find someone who you can feel comfortable trusting your smile to for the next two years. Let’s get started with some tips to choosing the right orthodontist.
How to find a good orthodontist?
There are several factors you need to consider when you go for searching the best orthodontist. You will have your braces or clear aligners for several months, if not a couple of years, so you will want to have an orthodontist you can trust and feel comfortable around.
When choosing an orthodontist, check their degrees and their experience. They should not only have been trained as dentists but then also have received an additional two to three years training as an orthodontist near me. You may see a board certification on their website or on their office wall which is not a requirement but it does help demonstrate that they have the additional training that they need. Many orthodontists will list their education on their website but if they don’t you can always call the office and ask. Some specialize in pediatric orthodontics so if you are wondering if they will be good with kids, this might be another factor to look for.
Be sure to ask questions. It’s ok to do that, and a good orthodontist will be more than happy to answer them. If the person you are interviewing doesn’t want to answer them, it’s time to move on. Even during the free initial consultation, they should be willing to answer any questions you might have.
Some questions might include what experience they have dealing with the issue you have, or your child has. You will want to ask how long they think it will take, and then ask what happens if it takes longer than that. Are you on the hook for an increased expense? Also ask what happens if your child forgets to put in their expansion device or they lose their retainer. Are there extra charges if they break a bracket off? A child-friendly superior orthodontist near you will be more than willing to answer these questions.
Ask for referrals from friends and family, or even coworkers. They can tell you all about the intangibles like how the orthodontist is to work with. Your dentist probably also knows who is good and who they can confidently recommend. Even better is to ask general dentists in your area who they would send their own children to. They will only send their kids to the very best, so you know that orthodontist is good.
You can pay visits to the orthodontists on your short list to see if you like all of the office staff and the technicians as you will be working with them a lot as well. Do you feel like you are welcome there?
Since you are making a big investment in time and resources, you will want to know the kind of work the orthodontist does. Do they have before and after photos that you can look at? If they don’t that could be a big red flag. They should be proud of the work that they do!
Another one of the key factors is accessibility. Is your best orthodontist located near you? Do they have hours that will work with your work or school schedule? You should also find out what to do in the event of an emergency. Can you reach someone from the office or do you just call an answering service who will relay the message eventually? Do they give you tips on what to do if a wire springs loose until you can get in to see them?
Last, read reviews from other patients and see what they have to say about the affordable orthodontist near you are considering. Do they talk about how friendly and professional the staff are? How about what they say about the waiting area? If you are looking for a pediatric orthodontist nearby, does the waiting area cater to kids? Do they care about their patients as people?
There are a number of places to read reviews like Google and Yelp, but you can also find testimonies on the provider’s website or Facebook page. Oh, and about that website. We are so many years into the 21st century and it is so easy to use templates to build a website, everyone should have one. If the orthodontist you are considering does not have one, it might also mean that they are not up to date on the most current and effective techniques.
It is ok to take your time choosing your orthodontic specialist to be able to say you found a ‘good cheap orthodontist near you’. This is a very important decision!
Cost of braces
Braces cost anywhere from $3,000 up to $7,000, depending on what needs to be done to straighten teeth. Most folks who need braces will be done in about 1.5 to 2 years. Kids’ braces that are done to help their adult teeth grow in will usually be worn for about 8 months to 1.5 years and run between $1,800 and $4,000. If all you need is to fix a problem with your front teeth, you might only need braces for about a year and it will cost a lot less – between $2,000 and $4,000. Depending on what needs to be done to prepare for braces, including having teeth removed, there may be some additional costs involved.
Adding colored bands or clear brackets might be fun or make the braces less visible, but they are often more expensive. Ceramic braces are made from more costly ceramic instead of metal and can add about $1,000 to your overall treatment costs. Lingual braces are worn on the back side of the teeth and they are definitely more expensive – between $8,000 and $10,000. Your dentist and orthodontist can help guide you to the right solution for you and your particular needs.
Clear aligners cost
Sometimes the branded manufacturers of clear aligners will have a deposit that they require, so financing clear aligners may cost more up front than metal braces do. Generally speaking, clear aligners will cost between $3,500 and $8,000 – about the same as traditional braces.
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Paying for braces
There are several ways to pay for your braces or clear aligners. You can ask your orthodontist ahead of time what kinds of insurance they accept and if they have any payment plans available. Of course, the overall cost will depend on what treatment option you choose. When trying to find an orthodontist free consultation, be sure to accept the offer so you can meet with the orthodontist and see what your options are. These visits often include x-rays and a full exam. Other offices will do an online quote, but the caveat here is that without seeing you, they won’t be able to get a full picture of what you need. And the quote that they give may change after they do see you for the first time, so your budget will need to be adjusted.
Many places will offer installment plans to help manage the cost of orthodontic treatment. By breaking down the full cost into monthly payments the overall costs are much more feasible. One of your other payment options is something called Care Credit which is a way of paying for braces or clear aligners over time. Select orthodontists will accept Care Credit and allow you to finance your braces over terms in six month increments up to 2 years without any interest as long as you charge over $200 and you make your minimum payments. Pay off your account before the end of the financing time and you won’t be assessed any interest. Some dentist orthodontist near me offices will also help you apply for Care Credit so the process is easy.
A lot of orthodontists will accept insurance, and some will accept Medicaid so kids and teens can have their teeth straightened at no cost to you. Medicaid will cover up to 100% of the cost of braces when they are medically necessary. Not every orthodontist will take Medicaid, so you will want to either ask the office if they do or ask for a list of providers from your CHIP/Medicaid contact person. Some dentists and children’s orthodontists near me specifically work with low-income kids to make sure that they get good dental care and braces should they need them. The saying is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the same goes for braces. Correcting a bite in kids when their plates are still forming is ideal versus additional dental issues down the road.
Insurance plans generally do not cover braces for adults but kids and teens can often have coverage up to 50% of the cost with a cap of $1,500. Your orthodontist will work with you to see what kinds of coverage and benefits are available. You may even be able to combine insurance with a payment plan. Most orthodontists do what they do because they love to help, so they will do what they can to work out a program that works for you.
This insurance for military and their families is not always accepted by orthodontists, but there are many that do, so be sure to ask the office if they accept Tricare when you try to find a good orthodontist near me.
FSA or HSA
You can sometimes use your Flexible Spending Account or Health Saving Account to pay for some or all of your braces. That way you can avoid having to adjust your budget too much to be able to afford braces.
Choosing between braces and clear aligners
Sometimes you can choose clear aligners over braces, but other times there is a need to have braces, depending on your need. Aligners are great for adults who don’t want to have visible braces, but who also don’t want the expense of lingual braces (the ones behind your teeth). Clear aligners will not be suitable for people who have teeth that have not descended yet, but they are a great solution for people who want to correct an overbite or underbite, straighten crooked teeth, or who need to close gaps in their teeth.
You also need to be sure about your best orthodontist which is used to clear aligners as this will mean you can expect a better outcome if they are. Invisalign even has their own certification program, so look for an Invisalign elite orthodontist near you. They will be experts in clear aligners. Conversely, you want to be sure about your good orthodontist, who can do a variety of corrective orthodontic techniques because every person’s case is unique. Having a number of ways to correct your bite issues at his or her disposal will ensure that your orthodontist will be the best fit for you.
Summing it up
A great smile is going to take some investment, both in terms of time and also effort. But it will be so worth it in the end! Your smile, or your child’s smile, is more than just a greeting. It’s an indicator of health, and a beautiful smile can be a confidence booster. Many times your smile is what people will notice first about you. Straight teeth are also much easier to keep clean, and a properly aligned bite will mean even tooth wear so your teeth will last a lifetime. If you find a cheap orthodontist, who can make a big differences, then worth it.