No matter how old we get, it’s normal to experience even a little apprehension when going to the dentist. However, if you live in or near Plymouth, MN and need to make an appointment for yourself or your loved ones, there are steps you can take to find an orthodontist that will make you feel more at ease with the dental procedures you need. Whether you think you need braces, want to get information about all your options for straightening your teeth or haven’t been to the orthodontist in a while, there are a few things to keep in mind that will keep you at ease during your next dental visit.
Training and Expertise
Orthodontics is an intricate field, and you’ll need to verify that the orthodontist you’re visiting is properly trained. Be sure that your orthodontist was actually trained in this specialty during school. Any dentist can provide you with orthodontic treatment without having to undergo any additional training. However, a dentist who has studied orthodontics will have more knowledge and expertise in treating specific conditions that require the shaping or straightening of your teeth. You can check for your dentist’s credentials by visiting www.braces.org, which is the website for the American Association of Orthodontists.
Check to see that your orthodontist has been board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics as well. This shows that he/she has done the extra mile to provide you with specialized care and is likely aware of new trends in orthodontics. When you’re searching for an orthodontist for your children, an elderly family member or have specific health concerns about your own teeth and gums, this is very important.
Observe the Office Setting
When you go to the orthodontist’s office, pay attention to your surroundings. Is the office clean and modern? Does the equipment look dated? Even if the waiting room décor looks like it’s been the same for the last decade or so, this could be a sign that the dental staff isn’t using the most modern or improved methods for treatment. Ask if the office using digital x-rays as well. These types of x-rays emit half the radiation of conventional x-rays and are better for your health. Inquire about whether the office has a cone beam x-ray machine as well. This machine is similar to a CAT scan but doesn’t expose you to as much radiation. The cone beam allows your orthodontist to take 3D x-rays to accurately locate teeth that haven’t completely erupted from the gums and impacted teeth.
Teeth Straightening Methods
If you’re interested in improving your smile but don’t want to wear conventional braces, ask your Orthodontist in Plymouth, MN about a 3D scanner. This device will create an electronic mold of your teeth so you won’t have to bite into any substances to create a mold. The electronic mold also makes it easier for the orthodontist to keep your records handy and evaluate your teeth to determine if you’d be an ideal candidate for Invisalign – learn more.
If you decide that Invisalign is right for you, ask your orthodontist how much experience he/she has with this teeth-straightening system. You need to know that the dentist is comfortable with treating your case and helping you achieve the best results.
Additional Procedures and After-Care
Your orthodontist should use a soft tissue laser for minor gum surgeries and procedures. The laser is best for carefully uncovering teeth that are slowly erupting and removing excess gum tissue.
If you decide to get braces, ask your dentist what his/her procedure is when it comes to getting rid of white spots on your teeth that will likely be more apparent after your braces are removed. The spots can come from consuming foods and vegetables high in sugar or not brushing or flossing the teeth enough. It can be challenging to keep your teeth completely clean while you’re wearing braces, so ask your orthodontist about methods like sealants that can protect your teeth against further staining or spotting.
Finally, make sure your orthodontist can offer you more than one method for speeding up your treatment. Your dentist should be able to tell you how to make each procedure more comfortable and offer technologically advanced solutions that help to reduce your fear of going to the dentist.