A Few Things to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

A confident smile is life-changing. It makes the best first impression because it allows a person’s inner beauty to shine through. Many people feel insecure about their smile, and we know a successful orthodontic treatment experience isn’t just about receiving professional and gentle care. You also need to trust that your doctor and the orthodontic team have your best interests in mind. 

At The Smile Patio Orthodontics, we believe that the essence of good health is helping people – especially children – feel good about themselves, about us, and about others. Orthodontic treatment is more than just straightening teeth. Orthodontics builds self-esteem and self-confidence and will nurture this kind of good health. 

We prioritize patient education here because you should always know what’s going on with your treatment. So, we know you deserve an experienced orthodontist that helps you feel empowered from your first appointment to your most recent.

But what else should you be asking? To help you begin your orthodontic journey, we’ve put together this list of questions to ask before committing to an orthodontic practice for treatment. 

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

You would think this is easy for your decision-making, but you might also be surprised to find out that just because your dentist offers orthodontic treatment doesn’t mean they are specially trained in orthodontics. Many general dentists also provide braces treatment and clear aligner therapy in addition to standard dental services such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. While an orthodontist, on the other hand, specializes only in providing orthodontic services. 

After a dentist has completed their undergraduate education, they must attend a graduate school specifically for dentistry and pass a certification exam before beginning their general dentistry work. The same goes for orthodontists, except they must attend an extremely competitive orthodontic residency program after their general dentistry certification. These programs typically last another 2 to 3 years and include full-time training meaning the orthodontist has:

  • Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaws
  • 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

While there are some exceptions, most dentists simply will not possess this level of in-depth orthodontic training and experience. If you are looking for foundational oral health maintenance, trust your dentist. But, if you need specialized orthodontic care, you can trust that Dr. Jonathan Albaugh, DMD, is a board-eligible orthodontist with a lifelong passion for orthodontics from his own life-changing experience as a child. 

Dr. Albaugh received a Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, after which he completed a dental residency with Lutheran Medical Center in Boston, MA. Following his dental residency, Dr. Albaugh worked in a few private practices while being a clinical instructor at Boston University. He then completed his orthodontic residency at Roseman University of Health Sciences in Henderson, Nevada.

This experience as a general dentist has given him a more comprehensive approach when treating his patients. He understands the challenges general dentists face and will align your teeth for them, so you get the best aesthetic results. You want an expert orthodontist like Dr. Albaugh to create your new smile–not aligners you order through the mail. 

At The Smile Patio Orthodontics, the relationship between the patient and doctor is truly a partnership in striving for a common goal: to achieve and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime!

A Few Things to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

Most patients we treat opt for traditional metal braces to straighten their teeth, and while this is the most common option, you have several other options available to reach your smile goals quickly and effectively. By pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement during facial growth, Dr. Albaugh can successfully treat many dental issues based on your unique needs and goals using metal braces or clear braces.

Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most widely used type of fixed orthodontic appliance. Though past incarnations have been bulky, awkward, and painful, today’s metal braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable. Our advanced braces are made for efficient tooth movement and optimal patient comfort. No two people are alike, and our variety of colored ties allows you to truly individualize your orthodontic experience and match your style.

Clear Braces

Ceramic braces use the same components as traditional metal braces, but instead of metal, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a transparent or tooth-colored ceramic material. This makes clear braces a common choice for teenagers and older patients who do not like the aesthetic of the metal look. Clear braces require more care as the ceramic pieces can break and are prone to staining depending on your eating and cleaning habits. 

How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

While your exact follow-up timing will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our expert team determine is right for you, we will schedule most patients’ adjustment appointments every four to eight weeks. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but these appointments are crucial for your overall orthodontic process!

The average process will take anywhere from 8 to 36 months to achieve your perfect smile, but visible results are evident as early as the first few months with most treatment plans. We know you’re busy, and we value your time, just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule, but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as meaningful. 

A Few Things to Consider When Choosing an Orthodontist

You can trust The Smile Patio Orthodontics with your smile when considering your options!

The Smile Patio Orthodontics is your location for modern orthodontic treatment. Dr. Albaugh and his skilled team take pride in staying up-to-date on the latest in orthodontic treatment and braces technology. We are conveniently located in Vista, CA, ensuring you get high-quality orthodontic care that is just minutes from your home, school, or work to fit your schedule. 

There’s never been a better time to reach for the smile you’ve always wanted, so get in touch today to schedule your appointment with our expert orthodontic team! You’ll enjoy a comfortable and speedy smile journey because we invest in the latest treatments and technologies available to create the smile you expect and deserve.