Here at Krieger 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 too important to trust to anything less than an experienced orthodontist. But what if you’re not sure how to find one?
To get you started on your orthodontic journey, we’ve put together this list of important questions to ask the orthodontists you’re considering in order to make an informed decision on your care. Let’s take a look at what you should know before committing to an orthodontic practice for treatment!
Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?
It may seem obvious, but this is actually the most important question you can ask when exploring braces treatment or clear aligner therapy. That’s because some general dentists are also able to provide orthodontic treatment, even though they don’t specialize in it.
A general dentist will typically offer common dental services such as crowns, fillings, dentures, and occasional orthodontic treatment like Invisalign. An orthodontist, on the other hand, spends their days providing only orthodontic services.
This distinction actually matters a great deal. Imagine for a moment that you or your child required specialized treatment or surgery. Would you feel comfortable with your family physician handling your case, or would you prefer a dedicated specialist?
Orthodontists are essentially dentists who also have 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 biomechanical 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 the top students in any dental school graduating class. These orthodontic programs tend to last around 2-3 years, and include full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and aligners. While there are exceptions to every rule, most dentists will not possess this same level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience.
Dr. Krieger is an orthodontist with training and restorative experience like no other! He spent 20 years becoming an accomplished general dentist before going back to school to pursue his dream of becoming an orthodontist. When Dr. Krieger is treating you, you’ll reap the benefits of that as he looks at your case through the eyes of both an orthodontist and accomplished cosmetic dentist!
For years, patients sought out Dr. Krieger for treatment with veneers or crowns. As a result, Dr. Krieger has hundreds of hours of education and training specifically devoted to the role of individual tooth shape and form play in producing a pleasing smile. Every patient deserves to have a smile designed just for them, taking into account their specific tooth shape, the movement of their lips, and shape of their face. This individualized approach plays a role in what Dr. Krieger calls “smile design,” which you can experience at Krieger Orthodontics.
What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?
Krieger Orthodontics has a wide variety of aesthetic treatments available to patients in The Colony and Carrollton, including clear braces and clear aligners.
Lingual braces are unique in that they are attached to the back side of the teeth and therefore almost completely invisible. Lingual braces are customized to match the shape of the teeth exactly, so each appliance will be created exclusively for that particular patient.
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.
Clear aligners are removable orthodontic appliances that use a series of customized aligners to straighten the teeth. 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. The 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 for every 4-8 weeks or so in the office location most convenient for you. During these visits, Dr. Krieger will replace any worn-out rubber bands, check the progress your teeth are making, and make adjustments to the wires to ensure that the teeth are moving in the right direction.
Patients in clear aligners may be seen slightly less frequently, but these appointments are still an essential part of 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 years 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 Krieger Orthodontics
If you’re looking for the best in orthodontic care, Dr. Krieger is unmatched in skill, expertise, and the attention to detail he offers every patient. Since our sole specialty is orthodontics, 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 the smile you want! There’s never been a better time to take the first step towards a healthier smile, so get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Krieger!