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.
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.
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!