These days you can do almost anything with the click of a button. Order school supplies. Get a ride across town. Watch your favorite movie. Order food delivery. It seems like every day there’s a newer and easier way to do almost everything. We’ve been programmed to accept that anything can be ordered online and delivered right to your front door. However, at Whitlock Orthodontics, there is one thing that we believe has no easy replacement: orthodontic treatment. There is no match for trained, experienced professionals when it comes to your dental health.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) agrees. They recently issued a Consumer Alert listing key questions to ask about direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies. You can download a print-friendly version here.
The issue is that many direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies do not involve the in-person evaluation and/or in-person supervision of your treatment we provide at Whitlock Orthodontics. This type of supervision is important because there is more to creating a healthy, beautiful smile than moving the visible portions of your teeth. If not done correctly any dental work can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage such as tooth and gum loss, changes to your facial profile, and other issues. An orthodontist like Dr. Whitlock has many tools in his arsenal to help create your beautiful smile – Invisalign, for example, is just one of them. It’s important to have a fully qualified and certified orthodontist involved when making any changes to your teeth.
The Top 10 Questions To Ask
The AAO advises that when researching orthodontic treatment (including treatment models from direct-to-consumer companies like SmileDirectClub, Candid Co., Smilelove, SnapCorrect, Orthly, etc), you should consider many key questions, some of which include:
- As part of your treatment, are comprehensive diagnostic records like x-rays taken before your treatment?
- As part of your treatment fee, do you receive any in-person visits to a dentist’s or orthodontist’s office during your treatment?
- Is only one treatment type offered (such as invisible aligners or a certain appliance)?
- What are the possible risks (financial, health, etc.) associated with your orthodontic treatment?
- Who is responsible for detecting any issues that may occur during your orthodontic treatment? Is it you? If it is a doctor not associated with your treatment, who pays for those check-ups?
- If an emergency arises, does the company have a dentist or orthodontist in your area that you can see in-person? If not, who would cover the costs associated with seeing a dentist or orthodontist in your area?
- If you are injured or have another dispute involving your orthodontic treatment, how is it handled (litigation, arbitration, etc.) and what rights do you have?
- Does the treatment model comply with the dental laws in your state? To check your state’s dental laws, click https://www.aaoinfo.org/state-laws-and-regulations. Information for your state dental board can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info.
Where You Receive Your Health Care Is A Very Important Personal Decision
Remember that orthodontic treatment is not a product or device – it is a professional, medical service. Dr. Whitlock earned his dental degrees (DDS) at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and went on to fulfil his post-graduate residency in Orthodontics. He has a commitment to regular continuing education and have years of experience providing high quality orthodontic treatment to their patients.
Before making any decision about orthodontic treatment, consider doing some research and having a complimentary in-person consultation at Whitlock Orthodontics. Our friendly team is waiting to answer any of your questions and start you or your child on a path to a gorgeous smile.
Click below to schedule a complimentary consultation at any one of our three locations: Springdale, Fayetteville or Fort Smith. We look forward to getting you the smile you’ve always wanted, for you or your teen!
Don’t feel like clicking? Give us a call at any one of our three local offices:
Springdale: (479) 751-1103
Fayetteville: (479) 527-6998
Fort Smith: (479) 434-4332