3 Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

Choosing to improve your oral health with orthodontic treatment is a major decision, and one we know you don’t take lightly. With so many important factors to consider before taking the leap, it’s normal to find yourself feeling slightly overwhelmed. If you’re not sure where to start, Zeifman Orthodontics is here to help! 

We believe that all patients should feel educated and empowered when it comes to their orthodontic journey. Your smile is unique, and too important to trust to anyone less than an expert. That’s why your first step should be finding an experienced orthodontist you can trust! We’ve put together this list of important questions you should ask before making an informed decision about your orthodontic care. Keep reading to learn more!

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

This probably seems like a really obvious question, but it’s actually the most important thing you can ask when looking into treatment for yourself or your child. Some general dentists are also able to provide orthodontic treatment, even though the majority of them don’t tend to specialize in it. 

You’ll normally see dentists offering common dental services such as cleanings, crowns, fillings, and dentures. Occasionally, you may run into one that offers orthodontic treatment as well. For example, more dentists than ever are currently offering Invisalign clear aligner therapy along with their regular services. In contrast, an orthodontist focuses on providing nothing but orthodontic services to patients of all ages in their community.

This distinction matters, and here’s why: would you feel comfortable letting your family physician remove your appendix, or would you prefer a doctor who knows their way around a surgical suite? Your smile deserves the same amount of consideration! An orthodontist is a dentist who has also had several years of specialized training and experience. An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Zeifman has:

  • studied the growth and maturation of the 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

And that’s just for starters! Orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, and generally only accept the top students in any dental school graduating class. The programs usually last two or three years, and include full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and aligners. Although there are always exceptions to every rule, most general dentists just won’t possess this same level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience.

Dr. Zeifman has spent years creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in Florham Park and the surrounding communities, and has completed hundreds of difficult orthodontic cases throughout her career, including surgical, open bite, crossbite, craniofacial, cleft lip and palate, and syndrome cases. She’s also experienced in many orthodontic techniques, like lingual braces, Invisalign, removable appliances, clear brackets, expanders, and temporary anchorage devices.

That’s not all! Dr. Zeifman is also a board-certified orthodontist. That means she has passed a thorough written exam and presented patient cases to independent examiners for evaluation. Less than 30% of all orthodontists ever become board-certified, so you can be confident that your smile is in the very best hands when you choose Zeifman Orthodontics

As a practice, our only focus is orthodontic care and treatment. We perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and our entire team keeps up to date on the latest in industry practice through online and in-person continuing education courses. 

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

There’s truly never been a better time to explore orthodontic treatment! Advancements in technology and technique have resulted in more treatment options than ever before. Zeifman Orthodontics is proud to offer the following treatments.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.

Clear Braces

Sometimes called ceramic braces, this option works like metal braces but is made of clear materials and therefore a more subtle option. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, ceramic braces tend to be used more on upper front teeth than on lower teeth.

Inbrace Lingual Braces

Inbrace is the newest in orthodontic technology! This lingual bracket system uses just a few robotically bent wires behind the teeth to create a beautiful custom smile, so there are no visible braces and no plastic aligners to keep up with. After taking an impression of your teeth, we’ll send it to a dental laboratory who will use it to create the lightweight customized wires. The process takes about six weeks altogether and allows Dr. Zeifman to cement the braces onto the backs of your teeth in specific ways that are unique to your smile. 

Invisalign Clear Aligner Therapy

Instead of brackets, bands, and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of customized aligners to straighten your teeth gently over time. These aligners are almost invisible and also removable, giving you the freedom to eat and drink what you want while in treatment. This also makes it easier to brush and floss properly! The aligners are designed to fit comfortably over your own teeth, and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.

How frequent are follow-up visits with the orthodontist?

Whatever treatment option you decide on with your orthodontist, you can expect relatively frequent visits to the office throughout the treatment process. These check-ups are an essential part of treatment, so you should try your best not to miss them! Our office normally schedules them for every 4-8 weeks or so, depending on the appliance you’re using. During these visits, Dr. Zeifman will check that your teeth are moving safely, make any necessary adjustments, and replace any worn-out rubber bands if you’re wearing braces.

Every smile is different and each patient responds to treatment in their own way, so the total time in aligners or braces will always vary from case to case. In general, however, the average patient will spend anywhere from 12-24 months in treatment. You’ll be seeing your orthodontist regularly over this period of time, so it’s important to choose a practice you feel comfortable with!                                                                                                         

Trust your smile to the experts at Zeifman Orthodontics

If you’re looking for a rewarding and stress-free orthodontic experience, Zeifman Orthodontics can’t be beat! We have a talented team with years of experience in providing the top-quality care and world-class service, and Dr. Zeifman has made it her goal to offer personalized treatment with outstanding results. 

If you’re ready to take the first step in your orthodontic journey, we’d love to meet you and walk you through our treatment options. There’s never been a better time to transform your smile! Although our office is currently closed except for emergencies due to COVID-19, we remain accessible through virtual visits and consultations. Get in touch today to learn more!