What’s Important When Choosing an Orthodontist

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Dr. Nathan Helm, Helm Orthodontics Blog

I understand that choosing an orthodontist can be overwhelming. A common misperception among new patients and parents is that they will receive the same orthodontic care and results anywhere they go, so it’s just a matter of finding the lowest price. Unfortunately, that is not true. There is a wide range of treatment philosophies, levels of training and experience, corporate structures, and financial and insurance considerations that affect your orthodontic treatment results and experience. Here are five criteria you should consider before choosing an orthodontist.

Choose a Board-Certified Orthodontic Specialist: You want to choose an orthodontist (not a General Dentist) who has proven themselves at the highest level. I am a specialist, which means I have gone through 3 extra years of specialty residency beyond dental school to learn how to move teeth with braces and Invisalign® at a high level. I have completed my voluntary board-certification through the American Board of Orthodontics, an accomplishment that less than 50% of practicing orthodontists have completed.

Choose a Private Practice: By choosing a privately owned office (private practice), you are choosing a doctor that has the ability to make decisions that are in your best interest; not corporate’s bottom line. I have owned and operated my practice since 2010, which has allowed me to focus on building relationships with families and treating them the way I would want my own family to be treated. Since I am the only doctor in my practice, your care will not be in the hands of someone different every appointment. I am in complete understanding and control of your treatment plan, and that provides the continuity of care that you deserve!

The Orthodontic Staff: Let’s be honest, most of your experience during your office visits are going to be with your orthodontist’s staff. You want to feel comfortable with them and know they are there to take care of you. I have hand-chosen my Helm Ortho team; they are exceptional at what they do! They are what makes our office feel like a family, and it is important to them that you feel a part of that. Whether you are an adult, child, teen, or parent, they will make sure you feel comfortable and informed throughout the entire process.

High-Quality Orthodontic Care: You want your smile to be perfect, no details skipped or missed! Not all orthodontists are detail-oriented enough or willing to take the time to give you this. My approach is to first determine your unique needs and concerns and to make you a personalized treatment plan. Then, there are no cutting corners to achieve the goals we have set for your smile. I will see you at every appointment to ensure your treatment is progressing on schedule, and we get every last detail right.

All-Inclusive Treatment Fees/In-network Insurance: Fees don’t have to be complicated. First, start with finding an orthodontist that is in-network with your insurance plan. Next, ask questions. Some offices will nickel-and-dime you to remove your braces at the end or to make you retainers. The fee quoted in my office will always include all aspects of your orthodontic treatment. You will know your financial obligations upfront — no surprises! I am in-network with most major insurances to help you take full advantage of your insurance benefits and minimize your out-of-pocket expense. I have created our Reasons to Smile Plan to help those without insurance benefits.

I take seriously the responsibility that comes with treating you and your family and want to make sure that your experience in my office is first-class. At Helm Orthodontics, we set the bar high in our community for orthodontic care, and I believe that my team and I are uniquely qualified to provide you and your family care that you can trust.