Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stouffville Orthodontist FAQ- How do I choose an orthodontist?

Your Stouffville braces orthodontist at MCO has the experience of thousands of orthodontic patients.  In fact, we see nearly 1000 new patients every year.  One of the biggest questions we get asked is how to choose an orthodontist.

We understand that there are a number of factors that lead to you choosing your orthodontist including:

-treatment plan
-comfort level with doctor and office
-experience and results

You want to make sure the office is convenient to your home/work place with ample parking or public transit.  As you visit your orthodontist every 8 weeks, it is ok to travel to find the right doctor.
Make sure the office offers hours that are convenient to you, including after school or work visits.  Almost as important is the amount of time you have to wait at each visit.  Offices that see their patients on time show that they value and respect their patient's time.  In this day and age, offices can be extremely popular but still see their patients without delay.  Make sure there is someone in the office during regular business hours in case you need to speak to someone or stop in at the office.

The overall cost for treatment must compare equal things.  There are certain aspects that are easily quantifiable such as retainers, x-rays, photos, mouthguards, etc included in your treatment.  Most offices will offer some sort of payment plan to divide up the cost of treatment over part of the duration of treatment.  Check for hidden costs that may be incurred.

However, it is not possible to compare the actual treatment.   Unlike purchasing things like TVs or appliances,  orthodontic treatment is not the same everywhere, whether it is Invisalign or braces.  Rather than looking for overall cost, it is better to look at the value that you receive in your treatment.  Paying a little bit more for your treatment may be worthwhile when looking at the overall experience and results.

Treatment Plan
Ask the doctor to explain the rationale for your treatment plan.  There should be reasons why certain appliances are required and it should be very clear why certain movements of the teeth are required.  While it is sometimes a good idea to seek more than one opinion, it is also not prudent to seek out a number of opinions to find the one you agree with, if it is so different from all of the others.

Comfort Level
As you will be under a couple of years of care, you want to make sure you feel comfortable with the doctor and the rest of the orthodontic team.  Doctors and teams that have had orthodontic treatment themselves are often more empathetic to the needs of their patients, as they have been patients themselves!

Does the office treat primarily children or is there also a good mix of adults?  Is the environment one that welcomes families into the office to follow along with treatment?

Experience and Results
This is a tricky one because there are a lot of results that you will see online that are not actual patients treated by the doctor.  Make sure you ask to see patients that have been treated in that particular practice, and even better if the before and after are similar to your situation.

In terms of experience, it is important to make sure that it is the right kind of experience and staying up to date.  Doctors that have treated thousands of patients may not stay up to date on the newest technologies and treatment techniques, while newer doctors do not have the experience to make guarantees about their treatment.

It's a great idea to read reviews on different offices, but be wary about which ones you are able to trust, as many offices will have a number of reviews in a short period of time.  This commonly happens when offices provide some sort of incentive for reviews to be written.  This skews the reviews in a positive way and provides a biased report.

Another great idea is to find a recommendation from local dentists or those in the dental industry.  Where do those dentists send their own family members for treatment?  Who do the hygienists and staff choose?

Finally, don't be afraid to ask some of the patients who are in the reception area while you are waiting to be seen at your consultation.  Make sure that the exam is thorough and you feel that you have all the required information before beginning treatment.

Good luck with your search for an orthodontist!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Toronto Invisalign Experience at MCO Orthodontics

Ever wondered what it would be like to go through the Invisalign process?  Take a look at one of our hygienist's blog about her Toronto Invisalign journey!

At MCO we feel that it is important for our team members to understand exactly how our patients feel during treatment.  Since most of us have had treatment by Dr. Tam, we truly know what our patients want and are going through on their path towards and MCO smile :).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Annual Meeting of Some of the Best Orthodontists in Toronto and North America

The end of March is an exciting time.  We have a lot of new patients from the rush during March Break and it also means the time for our annual study club meeting of orthodontists that work with Hummingbird Associates.  This year's meeting was in Chicago at the Wit Hotel, a nice downtown location a few steps from N. Michigan Avenue.

Dr. Jason Tam spent the first afternoon with Dr. Bob Hatheway and his potential associate before getting down to a nice dinner with 8 other doctors at Sixteen, the famous restaurant at the Trump Tower Chicago.  Our business is very much like the restaurant business.  We must be on time with appointments as they do with reservations, we must explain treatment options as they describe menu options, and there is often a premium to be paid for fantastic service.  It was a wonderful dining experience with fantastic conversation.

Meeting for two full days in a hotel for a weekend shows the amazing dedication of this group of elite orthodontists.  We discussed topics from Invisalign to marketing to patient flow to associates, with an openness and collegiality second to none.  Here is a picture of Dr. Tam with the Dr. Anil Idiculla and founder of Hummingbird, Karen Moawad.

With many ideas and advice for ways to improve our patient outcomes and service, it will be another exciting few months as we continue to make MCO Orthodontics your choice for orthodontics!