Here at Bluebird Orthodontics, we want our patients to feel informed and empowered from their first appointment to the last. After all, choosing to improve your oral health with orthodontic treatment is a big decision! As an educated patient, you’ll know that your smile is much too important to trust to anyone other than an experienced orthodontist. But what if you’re not sure where to find one? We’ve put together a list of three questions to ask when choosing an orthodontist to help!
With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to find what you need. By asking these questions when choosing an orthodontist, you’ll have everything you need to make the best choice for your care. Let’s take a deeper look at what you need to know before committing to an orthodontic practice for your treatment!
Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it’s the most important one you can ask when exploring braces treatment or clear aligner therapy. That’s because some general dentists are also capable of providing some basic orthodontic treatment, even though it isn’t their specialty.
A general dentist will usually offer common dental services such as crowns, fillings, dentures, and occasional orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign. However, an orthodontist spends their days dedicated to only providing orthodontic services.
This distinction matters a great deal! Think about it this way: if you or your child required specialized treatment or surgery, would you feel comfortable handing your case over to your family physician, or would you prefer a dedicated specialist?
Orthodontists are essentially dentists who have had several years of additional specialized training and experience. This means an orthodontist has:
- studied the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
- been introduced to numerous case studies
- developed diagnostic skills
- learned bio-mechanical techniques to properly move teeth
- studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
To give you an idea of how competitive orthodontic residency programs are, they only accept the top students from any dental school’s graduating class. These orthodontic programs tend to last around 2-3 years and include extensive full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues using braces, aligners, and other orthodontic treatments. While there are exceptions to every rule, most dentists will not possess this same level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience.
Dr. Dorie Frank is an orthodontist with training and restorative experience like no other! As the daughter of an orthodontist, she spent her childhood watching smiles be transformed. This led her to pursue her own dream of becoming an orthodontist, attending the University of Maryland before returning home to work at her father’s orthodontic practice. She went on to earn her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland Dental School.
Dr. Frank went on to complete her general residency in New York, followed by a three-year Orthodontics Residency at Stony Brook University. After completing her residency, Dr. Frank went on to lead the re-launching of Bluebird Orthodontics, where she has been creating healthy, beautiful smiles for patients in Commack and the surrounding communities.
What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?
Bluebird Orthodontics offers a wide variety of aesthetic treatments available to patients in Commack and the surrounding area, including clear braces and Invisalign clear aligner therapy.
Traditional metal braces have come a long way since the days of bulky brackets and clunky headgear. Today’s technology has led to braces that are more lightweight and comfortable than ever before! You can even choose from a selection of fun multi-colored bands to add a pop of personality to your smile.
Sometimes called ceramic braces, these function in the same way metal braces do, but are made of clear materials instead of stainless steel. Because they are less visible than traditional braces, they’re popular with older teens and adult patients who may be more image-conscious. They are larger and more brittle than their metal counterparts, so we tend to use them on the upper front teeth more often than the lower teeth.
The innovative Invisalign system is made up of clear aligners that are completely removable and nearly invisible. Because the aligners are clear and can be removed, patients can eat and drink as they normally would, plus brushing and flossing effectively is easier to achieve. Invisalign aligners are custom-made to fit snugly but comfortably over the patient’s own teeth.
How frequent are follow-up visits with the orthodontist?
Whatever treatment option you choose, you can expect relatively frequent visits to your orthodontist. For most patients, adjustment appointments will be scheduled about 4-8 weeks or so. During these visits, Dr. Frank will replace any worn-out rubber bands, check the progress your teeth are making, and make any necessary adjustments to the wires to ensure that your teeth are moving in the right direction.
Patients in clear aligners may be seen slightly less frequently, but these appointments are just as essential to the orthodontic process, so you don’t want to miss them.
While treatment time will always vary from case to case, the average patient will spend anywhere from 12-36 months in treatment. You’ll be seeing us regularly throughout your orthodontic journey! We know families these days are busy, and we value your time, so we never overbook patients and always aim to see you at your scheduled time.
Leave your smile to the experts at Bluebird Orthodontics
If you’re looking for the best in orthodontic care, Dr. Dorie Frank is unmatched in skill, expertise, and the attention to detail she offers every patient. Since our sole specialty is orthodontics, you can feel confident knowing that you’ll receive nothing but the best in treatments, cost, and efficiency as we work to give you a stunning smile that’s unforgettable!
If you’re ready to take the first step in your orthodontic journey, we would love to meet you and talk more about your smile goals! There’s never been a better time to get a healthier smile, so get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Frank!