It’s easy to do so many things these days with the click of a button. Order shoes! Get a ride across town. Watch your favorite blockbuster movie! It seems like every day there’s a newer and easier way to do almost everything. We’ve been programmed to accept that anything can be ordered online and delivered right to our front door. However, at Mitchell, Bartlett & Bell Orthodontics, there is one thing that we believe has no easy replacement: orthodontic treatment. There is no match for a trained, experienced professional when it comes to your oral health.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) agrees. They recently issued a Consumer Alert listing key questions to ask about direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies. You can download a print-friendly version here.
The issue is that many direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies don’t involve the in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision of your treatment that we provide at Mitchell, Bartlett & Bell Orthodontics. In-person supervision and expertise are important because there is more to creating a healthy, beautiful smile than moving the visible portions of your teeth. If not done correctly any dental work can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changed bites, and other issues.
The Top 10 Questions To Ask
The AAO advises that when researching orthodontic treatment (including treatment models from direct-to-consumer companies like SmileDirectClub, SmileLove, Candid Co., SnapCorrect, Orthly, etc), you should consider many key questions, some of which include:
- As part of your treatment, are comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays taken before your treatment?
- As part of your treatment fee, do you receive any in-person visits to a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office during your treatment?
- Is only one treatment type offered (such as invisible aligners or a certain appliance)?
- If a dentist or orthodontist is involved with your treatment, do you know the name of the dentist or orthodontist who will be specifically involved with your case (for example, is it available on the company’s website or elsewhere)?
- What are the possible risks (financial, health, etc.) associated with your orthodontic treatment?
- Who is responsible for detecting any issues that may occur during your orthodontic treatment? Is it you? If it is a doctor not associated with your treatment, who pays for those check-ups?
- If a doctor is involved with your orthodontic treatment, how can you contact him or her over the course of your treatment? How can you contact him or her if an emergency arises?
- If an emergency arises, does the company have a dentist or orthodontist in your area that you can see in person? If not, who would cover the costs associated with seeing a dentist or orthodontist in your area?
- If you are injured or have another dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, how is it handled (litigation, arbitration, etc.) and what rights do you have?
- Does the treatment model comply with the dental laws in your state? To check your state’s dental laws, click https://www.aaoinfo.org/state-laws-and-regulations. Information for your state dental board can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info.
Where You Receive Your Health Care Is A Very Important Personal Decision
Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – it is a professional, medical service. Dr. Kelly Mitchell received her dental and orthodontic degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Brian Bartlett from Northwestern University Dental School and The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, and Dr. Carrie Bell from the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee. Each doctor has spent years providing orthodontic treatment to their patients and has received numerous awards and honors. (See our site for details!)
Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having a complimentary in-person consultation at Mitchell, Bartlett & Bell Orthodontics. We recognize that all our patients are unique and deserve to receive orthodontic care that reflects their individual needs. Our experienced and talented team is committed to working with you and your family to create a comfortable, stress-free, and rewarding orthodontic experience every time you visit our practice.
Contact us today for a free consultation at either of our 2 convenient locations! We’re happy to answer all questions and we’ll make sure you or your child receives the right treatment plan for them.