What to Consider When Selecting Orthodontic Care


This is a sponsored post for Orthodontic Arts, however all opinions are 100% my own.

Growing up, I was no stranger to orthodontic care. I’m talking braces, a palette expander, and HEAD GEAR…and that’s just from elementary school.

Fortunately for me, I was in the good hands of Dr. David Birdwell and his staff.  While my 8 year old self was less than thrilled with the head gear situation (I may have spent considerable time praying my little brother would meet the same fate), Dr. Birdwell’s team always made me feel totally comfortable, and minimized any anxiety I may have felt by assuring me that I wasn’t, in fact, the only child in Oklahoma who had to wear head gear to sleepovers.

(I was a real hit on the 2nd grade slumber party circuit).

(Also, head gear is rarely needed anymore thanks to the latest techniques. Lucky kids today!)

The staff goes above and beyond to make children and parents alike feel at ease.  My parents were actually willing to drive 45 minutes past other orthodontist’s offices to take my brother and I to Dr. Birdwell – that’s how confident they were that we were in the right hands with him.

As a mama to two little people who may have inherited my terrible teeth, I’m so happy to know that Dr. Birdwell is still practicing here and is conveniently located in Midtown.  I’m even MORE happy that my parents knew just what to look for when choosing the right doctor to fix my myriad of smile related problems. 

We asked the fine folks at Orthodontic Arts to share with us what we should look for when seeking orthodontic care, and here is their advice:

Is the Staff Professional, Well-Trained and Experienced?

Your relation with the doctor is obviously important but second to that is your relation with the staff.  The team members that will assist your doctor with your family’s orthodontic care are also an extremely important component to the orthodontic process.  The staff will assist in many ways to make your experience a fantastic one.  The following are some questions to ask yourself in regards to the staff:

Am I greeted in a friendly and timely manner? Inattentive staff is an early warning sign of what could become a frustrating relationship.  A staff that is caring and presents a sincere servant attitude will blossom into a special long-term friendship with your orthodontist and their staff.

How long has the team worked together? The clinical staff will assist the orthodontist with many procedures.  Significant training and experience is needed to be competent.

Are the procedures the clinical staff performs limited to those that should be done by a staff member?  Placement of braces, appliances and adjustments to the active orthodontic wires are procedures best performed by an orthodontist.  

Does the staff follow through with my requests?  

When I ask questions are they answered and explained well?  

Is the Doctor a Board Certified Specialist in Orthodontics?  

Just like in many professions today, there is a tremendous amount of new information and research that is beneficial in deciding what treatment is best for you.  Your medical doctor specializes in specific areas so that he or she can stay current and prepared.  The same is true with orthodontics.  Ask if the doctor is a board certified specialist in orthodontics and if they have attended an accredited postdoctoral training program in orthodontics.

Does the Orthodontist have clear reasons for starting your child in braces at this time?  Can you trust that your orthodontist is taking a conservative approach?

It’s important to start seeing an orthodontist around the age of seven because the permanent teeth have begun the eruption process. While beginning treatment is often not necessary at this time, an orthodontic consultation does allow for an orthodontist to monitor your child’s growth and development.

Typically, comprehensive orthodontic treatment is best delayed until all of the permanent teeth have erupted or are in the last stages of erupting.  

Also, a well-trained orthodontist will take into consideration your child’s skeletal or bone growth.  Normally, the opportune time to initiate orthodontic care is when an adolescent is nearing their pubertal growth.

That being said, there are obvious indications for early treatment.  Ask the orthodontist to explain why he or she thinks treatment should be started early.  What problems do they see that, if left unattended, will be more difficult to correct in the future?

Has the office kept up with technological advancements?

Let’s face it, no one likes those goop-filled dental impressions. Thankfully, old-school impressions are no longer the only option. Ask the office if they offer digital impressions to keep you comfortable. Oh, and did we mention that these are optical scans and don’t expose you to radiation?  Not only are these scans extremely accurate, but it’s also quick!

Does the office have flexible payment options?

Orthodontic treatment is an investment that will provide a life-long benefit.  It is a purchase that has big rewards for your confidence and the health of your teeth.  A confident smile is shown to affect one’s life in many ways.  Ask the treatment coordinator what flexible options the office offers.  An office with a well-trained staff to help facilitate insurance benefits, as well as help you completely understand what your financial commitment will be, is super important to design a payment plan that fits your budget.

Does the office have an accommodating atmosphere?

Orthodontic treatment is unlike other dental and medical treatments. Your treatment will require an on-going treatment that can last several years.  It’s important that your family feels comfortable! At your first appointment look around to see if there are those special touches such as games and other entertainment for your child when they are hanging out at the office. A great orthodontic office should also accommodate adults since many of today’s patients seeking care are somewhat older.  Since multiple visits will be necessary, inquire as to what times will be available for your appointments in the future

Orthodontic Arts

Dr. David Birdwell has been practicing orthodontics in Metro Oklahoma City for over 29 years. Many staff members are still present that have worked along-side him for more than 20 years.

At Orthodontic Arts, our goal is to provide the best care in the most comfortable way.  We believe early detection can sometimes prevent more complicated problems later.  Certainly, your family dentist will help you decide when to see the orthodontist.  Most commonly, this is around age 7 or when the permanent incisor teeth begin to erupt.

You can find our office conveniently located in the heart of Midtown with easy parking.
Dr. Birdwell treats patients of all ages from Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Yukon, Piedmont, Midwest City and more! He prides his practice on treating each patient as an individual with specific treatment needs for a healthy, beautiful smile.  

You can check out our website at www.orthodonticarts.com or call 405.604.3745 to schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Orthodontic Arts for the smile of your life!


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