Whether you’re an adult looking to undergo orthodontic treatment or you are seeking an orthodontist to assess and treat your child, finding the right professional to work with is critical.
The orthodontic journey can span years and should see you emerge at the end with a beaming smile that sets you up for better dental health and wellbeing for life.
So, what should you expect from an orthodontist?
From the moment you meet them, your orthodontist should offer clear communication about the orthodontic process.
This communication extends from diagnosis to treatment plans and the options available that suit your specific circumstances.
Clear communication allows you to understand what your current situation is and how it might benefit from orthodontic treatment. It also gives you an idea of what to expect from treatment, the timeframe involved and why the orthodontist is proposing that course of action.
Ultimately, this clear communication allows you to make informed choices and sets you up for a positive working relationship that will extend over a significant period of time.
Orthodontic treatment should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Why? Because teeth are as individual as the people they belong to.
When your orthodontist discusses treatment options with you, they should have clear information about your specific circumstances.
At Norwest Orthodontics, we use state-of-the-art diagnostic technology to analyse what treatment will suit the individual. We then harness the latest technology to carefully plan out treatment options tailored to this individual assessment.
We believe that offers our clients the best treatment in the long run, and in the short term also assists them to understand what will be involved and what they can expect.
This should almost go without saying, but you should expect your orthodontist to be suitably qualified.
In Australia, specialist orthodontics are required to first study general dentistry for five years. They then undertake two years clinical experience working as a dentist, before completing a further three years study to specialise in the field of orthodontics.
But as Orthodontics Australia notes it can quickly get confusing:
“As well as specialist orthodontists, there are also many general dentists who offer basic orthodontic services so knowing who you should see can be confusing. There are also potentially dangerous mail-order ‘DIY’ treatment options appearing on the market – these should definitely be avoided.”
Meanwhile, Orthodontics Australia offers a guide to what you should look for to ensure you’re working with a specialist orthodontist.
They note the following:
- If your orthodontic practitioner also offers general dental services, such as cleanings, fillings and teeth whitening then they are almost certainly not an orthodontist.
- Look for the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) or the Orthodontics Australia logos. These logos will be clearly displayed at their practice or online, and only qualified orthodontists are eligible to become members of the ASO and have access to these materials.
- Check their official registration details with AHPRA at www.ahpra.gov.au. This government regulatory body keeps track of all practicing health practitioners and their qualifications. An orthodontist will be registered with AHPRA as both a general dentist and a specialist dentist. If your orthodontic provider is missing the second qualification (i.e. no “specialist dentist” registration), they are not a specialist Orthodontist.
Additional credentials to look for include the highly-regarded industry accreditation that is board certification.
An orthodontist who has achieved board certification is not only a registered specialist orthodontist, but has also treated cases assessed by the Australasian Orthodontic Board.
At Norwest Orthodontics, Dr Shimanto Purkayastha is the only Australian Orthodontic Board Certified Specialist Orthodontist in the Norwest area.
In addition to your orthodontist being suitably qualified and clear in their communication, you should also feel comfortable in their clinic and with their approach to care, and that comes down to the service they offer.
When it comes to that service, you should expect you orthodontist’s clinic to be:
- Warm and inviting
- Up-to-date and clean
- A nurturing environment with caring staff
- Clear with pricing and payment options
About Norwest Orthodontics
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.
We also have a suite of treatments available that include discreet, removeable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.