How to Choose an Orthodontist

We Americans love our freedom, and I’m thankful that we have the freedom to choose who we use as our healthcare providers. When it comes to getting our teeth straight and healthy, there are quite a few options, and while it’s great to have choices, having so many alternatives can make our decision confusing. The goal of this post is to help you make an educated decision in getting that beautiful, healthy smile you’ll love to share.

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a general dentist and an orthodontist. Upon graduation from dental school, the future orthodontist must be accepted as a student in an accredited orthodontic residency program, then successfully complete a minimum of two academic years of study. The orthodontic student learns the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). Orthodontists are uniquely qualified in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of orthodontic problems. They dedicate their professional lives to creating healthy, beautiful smiles in children, teens and adults.

Once you have decided to use an orthodontist, you must then decide which doctor to entrust your care. Orthodontic treatment can last months to years, so it is important to make a wise decision, because braces and Invisalign are certainly not the same wherever you go. Just like not all cars are the same, not all hamburgers are the same, and not all auto mechanics are the same, not all orthodontic practices are the same. There is a wide spectrum in personalities, standards of quality of care, and levels of dedication to service among offices. You must choose what is important to you and then refuse to settle for anything less. In the end, it is important for you to feel comfortable with your doctor and trust his or her commitment to not only your oral health, but to your best interests as well.

At Tennison Orthodontics, we provide a free initial consultation because of our belief in the importance of getting to know your orthodontist and feeling comfortable with the office. We are committed to the highest standards in how we treat our patients, both clinically and relationally, and we trust that you will recognize those values when you come to visit.


We will do our best to accommodate your busy schedule. Please schedule an appointment today!

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