Choosing the Right Orthodontist

I’ve had three consultations with orthodontists. I’m looking for clear or invisible braces to straighten my teeth and give me more confidence at work. The first two orthodontists gave me similar treatment options for braces. The treatment period would be about two years and would correct my bite and straighten my teeth. The cost was about the same, too. The third consultation costs less and treatment time is shorter. This is strange to me that there is such a difference in time and cost. Are the first two orthos prolonging treatment or is the third one rushing it and trying to get my business with an offer that sounds better but isn’t really going to give me good results? I am on a budget, but I don’t want to waste time on treatment that doesn’t really work. Thanks. Lorna


Your first two consultations with orthodontists propose aligning your bite and your teeth, which can be done with traditional braces or clear aligners. An estimate of two years for orthodontic treatment is in line with the average time, but a thorough examination and digital x-rays are the only way to get a true estimate.

Two images: one of a woman placing her Invisalign aligner. The other, she's smling with it in.
Invisalign works faster than traditional braces

It seems that your third consultation didn’t include bite correction in the treatment. If the estimated treatment time is one year, it seems that a shortcut will be taken somewhere. Tooth movement takes time, and if you’ve never received orthodontic treatment, accurate alignment often takes longer than a year.

It’s reasonable that the cost for the third option is less expensive than the others because your treatment time is shorter. It’s unclear whether the third option is for full orthodontic treatment or for cosmetic treatment that corrects only the teeth that are seen when you smile.

Orthodontic Treatment with Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

Although you didn’t mention it as a factor, the type of orthodontic appliance used has an effect on your treatment time. For example, Invisalign invisible braces move your teeth with greater precision than traditional braces. And treatment with Invisalign is often shorter—often half the time of traditional braces?

What’s Next?

You can consider calling the third orthodontist and asking what is included in the cost, the type of braces you would receive, and the results you can expect. Weigh your decision carefully, and don’t base your choice of treatment on time and cost alone.

This post is sponsored by Ryan Noah, DDS of Region Dental in Tulsa.

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