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Choosing an orthodontist is a huge decision. Knowing how to find a good orthodontist will determine whether you are happy with a lifelong, beautiful smile. But do you know how to find the best doctor for you? Will they offer the treatment option you want?

We would love to be your orthodontist in Annapolis, MD, Kent Island, MD, or Denton, MD. We know it’s about more than straightening teeth. It’s about building your self-confidence. 

What else should you look for in an orthodontist? We have the answers!

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What is an Orthodontist vs. Dentist?

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. How is that possible? It all comes down to schooling.

Schooling Dentist vs. Orthodontist

Dentists must attend an accredited dental school to earn their certification as dentists. It’s the first step to becoming an orthodontist and the last step to becoming a general dentist. They can go further into specialized fields, such as pediatric dentistry or oral surgery, or add orthodontist schooling. 

Those who want to be orthodontists continue their education in that specialized field. That includes participating in an orthodontic residency program to gain experience and knowledge. They will be certified as orthodontists once their training and education are complete. 

Working With Your Dentist

One thing you’ll want to know when finding an orthodontist is whether they will work with your dentist. Communication is essential, and you’ll want to be sure your orthodontist is willing to work with your dentist. We’re happy to work with your dentist to ensure you have the best, most complete care possible.

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What Experience Does the Orthodontist Have?

What do orthodontists do? It’s far more than just putting braces on teeth and removing them again. You’ll want to know all of the services they offer. You’ll also want to know how much experience they have with braces, Invisalign, and other services. 

Treatment Experience

How much experience does your orthodontist have? What about their staff? Does their experience include working with children or repairing severe cases? These are a few of the questions you may have about the experience. 

Dr. Mary Trahar-Thomas started her orthodontic practice more than 15 years ago. Today, she leads an experienced Smiles by the Bay staff dedicated to providing a great experience and excellent results.

Experience With Children

How much experience does the orthodontist have with children? Often, it’s quite a bit, as children make up 75% of orthodontic patients. You can inquire about their experience with young and older kids. You can also ask if they have worked with children with special needs.

At Smiles by the Bay, we take pride in making everyone feel at ease. That means taking the time to make each child feel comfortable, including children with special needs. We never want your child to fear visiting us.

Experience With Adults

While most patients are children, 25% of today’s orthodontic patients are adults. Do they provide treatment options other than traditional metal braces, such as clear braces or clear aligners? You should have the smile of your dreams no matter your age. We’d love to provide that smile through adult orthodontic care! 

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What Treatments Does the Orthodontist Offer?

You hear “orthodontist,” and you think of traditional metal braces. But today, they have more advanced options available to them. The question is, do they have those options available to you?

Braces and Invisalign

Nearly every orthodontist will offer some metal braces treatment. Many provide traditional metal braces, but do they provide advanced braces? At Smiles by the Bay, we provide self-ligating braces, the next generation of metal braces. They work faster and more comfortably than traditional braces. 

We also provide treatment with Invisalign clear aligners, another technological advance in orthodontics. These clear trays are nearly invisible on the teeth and provide outstanding results without braces’ look or food restrictions. But not everyone will get the best results with Invisalign. Find an orthodontist who will consider your best interests when deciding between Invisalign and braces.  

Other Treatments

Does your orthodontist provide other orthodontic treatments? Are there appliances provided before braces treatment to prepare the mouth for optimal results? Do they provide corrective surgery if necessary?

Smiles by the Bay can perform corrective jaw surgery if we see that braces or clear aligners won’t be enough. We use the latest technology to ensure you get exceptional care and return to your feet quickly. 

What About Braces Emergencies?

How does your orthodontist handle emergencies? Do they work to get you in right away? Do they have temporary solutions for you until you get there? We will give you advice to help you until you can get in to see us for repairs.

Contact us immediately for emergencies, and we’ll determine if an immediate visit is required or if you can wait. Either way, we will be here for any orthodontic emergency throughout your treatment! 

What Financing Options Does the Orthodontist Have?

Perhaps the biggest question you may have for your future orthodontist is, “How do I pay for braces?” You’ll probably get a variety of answers from your orthodontist candidates. 

Smiles by the Bay offers financing options for affordable braces and Invisalign treatment. We charge the same for Invisalign and braces, so you don’t have to worry about affording the treatment you want. We offer flexible down payments and payment plans extending up to 18-24 months. We’re part of the Maryland Healthy Smiles program, which helps those under 21 get the dental care they need.

You’ll want to find an orthodontist willing to work with you to make your treatment fit your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask about your financing options!

Your Choice for Orthodontics in Annapolis, MD

You may have dozens more questions while searching for an orthodontist. A good orthodontist will be ready, willing, and able to answer all of them. We know how vital orthodontic treatment is to oral and overall health. 

We offer a free virtual consultation to showcase our services for you and your child. If you have questions about finding the right orthodontist, Smiles by the Bay has the answers! 

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