Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

As you begin your orthodontic journey, you want the right expert to guide you along the way. It’s important to have the right information from the right person when you leave your first appointment. The perfect office for you can give you the confidence to move forward. Luckily, Buttram Orthodontics has a list of questions you can ask to determine the right orthodontist for you.

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

This may seem like an obvious start, but it’s an important thing to consider when seeking an orthodontic expert. This is because some general dentists provide orthodontic treatment, but this does not mean they specialize in it. These dentists may provide braces treatment and learn aligner therapy along with dental services such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. An orthodontist, on the other hand, specializes exclusively in providing orthodontic services. 

This is an important distinction to make. Think about it the way you would think about receiving specialized surgery. Would you want you or someone you love to receive surgery from a general physician, or a dedicated specialist who understands exactly what you need? The same goes for your orthodontic treatment. To guarantee quality orthodontic care, you want a specialist. This means you want an orthodontist who has:

  • Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaw
  • 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

Orthodontic residency programs are very competitive, accepting only the top students in any dental school graduating class. These orthodontic programs tend to last around two to three years in addition to full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and aligners. Most general dentists do not have this same level of in-depth orthodontic training and experience. Dentists are essential for fundamental oral health maintenance. But for specialized orthodontic care, you want someone who knows the specifics of what you need. Buttram Orthodontics knows this. Dr. Buttram has provided better smiles to patients for over thirty years, and our team of well-trained, eager orthodontic experts has the experience and skills to give you exceptional results. If you want a rewarding experience with the right personalized treatment, we’re here for you.

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

Every patient has different needs and different goals, so it’s important to know your orthodontist has exactly the treatment you’re looking for. At Buttram Orthodontics, we offer up-to-date treatment options with advanced orthodontic technology so you can reach your smile goals. We offer three different treatments:

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most widely used type of fixed orthodontic appliance. While older models are known for being bulky and painful, modern advancements have made metal braces lighter, smaller, and more comfortable. At our office, Dr. Buttram will collect photos and X-rays of your mouth to create a customized treatment plan for you based on the information we gather. This option uses a slide mechanism to hold the archwire, reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth and allowing teeth to move more freely, quickly, and comfortably. 

Clear Braces

Also known as “ceramic braces,” clear braces are similar to metal braces with a more discreet appearance. The brackets are made from a tooth-colored ceramic material that gives them an almost invisible appearance. This is a popular choice for adults and older teens who want a less obvious appearance compared to metal braces. Clear braces require more care, as they can break easily and are prone to staining depending on your eating and drinking habits. But this can be combated with a rigorous oral hygiene routine. While clear braces can be pricier, Dr. Buttram will determine a treatment fee that fits your specific orthodontic needs, and our office will do everything we can to accommodate you and your budget.


If you don’t want to deal with brackets and wires, Invisalign could be a more desirable alternative for you. This option comprises a series of invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth by applying steady pressure on your teeth. You will need to wear them about 22 hours a day for them to be effective, although you can remove them to eat, drink and brush your teeth.

How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

While your specific follow-up schedule will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our team decided is best for you, we will schedule most patients’ adjustment appointments for about every four to eight weeks. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but regardless of treatment, regular appointments with us are crucial for your overall orthodontic process. When seeking the right orthodontist, it’s important to find someone who knows what you need and won’t waste your time helping you get it.

The average process will take anywhere from eight to thirty-six months to achieve your desired smile, but you can begin seeing visible results as early as the first few months with most of our treatment plans. We know you’re busy, so just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule. We value your time but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as important. At our office, we want to work with you to make the most of your time, money, and treatment.

Trust your smile to the experts at Buttram Orthodontics

You deserve to trust your smile in the right hands, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you’re just getting started on your orthodontic journey or looking for a new office to visit, Buttram Orthodontics is your location for modern orthodontic treatment. Dr. Buttram has been in the exclusive practice of orthodontics for over thirty years and is passionate about providing exceptional care to every patient who visits us. Contact us today for a FREE consultation!