Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

As you start your orthodontic journey, you need the right team to guide you along the way. Whether you’re seeking treatment for the first time or want to keep your new smile in its pristine shape, you need an orthodontist who has your goals in mind. Lucky for you, Clauss Orthodontics knows what orthodontic patients need. Let’s take a look at a few questions you should ask when searching for an orthodontist.

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

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

It’s important to make this distinction. Think about it like this: 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 ensure the right orthodontic care, you want a specialist. This means you want an orthodontist who has:

•Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaws
•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 of additional 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. General dentists are essential for oral health maintenance. But for specialized orthodontic treatment, you want someone who knows exactly what you need. Dr. Clauss and our team of well-trained, eager orthodontic experts have the experience and skills to give you the perfect smile. If you want a rewarding experience with the right personalized treatment, we’re the office for you.

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

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

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most widely used, and widely recognized, type of fixed orthodontic appliance. While older models are known for being bulky, awkward, and painful, technological advancements have made metal braces lighter, smaller, and more comfortable to wear. When you visit us, Dr. Clauss will take photos and X-rays of your mouth to create a customized treatment plan for you based on the information that’s gathered. 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 called “ceramic braces,” clear braces are similar to metal braces with a more discreet aesthetic. The brackets are made from a tooth-colored ceramic material that gives them a more discreet appearance. This is a popular choice for adults and older teens who want a less obvious treatment 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 strong oral hygiene routine. You don’t need to worry about the brackets themselves staining, however, the elastic ties can become discolored through habits like smoking or drinking black coffee or wine regularly.


If you don’t want 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 twenty-two hours a day for them to be effective. However, you can remove them to eat, drink and brush your teeth.

How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

Your individual schedule will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our team decided is best for you. Typically, 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 your treatment, regular appointments with us are essential for your overall orthodontic process. When looking for the right orthodontist, it’s important to find someone who knows what you need and won’t waste your time helping you reach your goals.

On average, the process will take anywhere from eight to thirty-six months to achieve the desired results; but you will likely see 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. Your time is valuable, 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 for the exceptional results you deserve.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Trust the experts at Clauss Orthodontics

A smile like yours deserves the right team to get it just right. Whether you’re looking for braces, aligners, or just want to know more, we’ve got you covered. If you or someone you love is considering orthodontic treatment, we want to provide the proper information and treatment to help you along. Our experienced team at Clauss Orthodontics in Watertown and Middlebury knows that an informed patient is more likely to participate in their treatment. If you have any more questions or wonder if you may be a good fit for Invisalign treatment, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Clauss to start your smile journey.