This piece isn’t just for practicing and aspiring orthodontists. This is for everyone out there who might need an orthodontist someday. After reading this, if you ever need the services of an orthodontist, you should be able to tell what orthodontist is best for you and which one is bad news.
Most people, be they adults or kids, visit an orthodontist’s office for the same reason – for the treatment of Malocclusion, also known as overbite or underbite.
An orthodontist specialises in straightening teeth and improving your bite by correcting the setting of your teeth or how your jaws are aligned. Sometimes they make use of braces, retainers, trays/aligners, or other devices such as headgear that’s attached to the neck or head, to give their patients better aligned dentition.
Now that you know the basic skillset an orthodontist should possess, let’s look at necessary qualities he/she should possess that’ll make you as a patient feel you’re in safe, professional hands;
- Character and professional comportment
An orthodontist is a specialist whose job revolves around invading the private sanctum of patients’ mouth with his/her hands and scary tools while the patient is conscious or unconscious, depending on the procedure.
For a patient to trust and be willing to be in such a vulnerable position with an orthodontist, said orthodontist must be able to convey his/her assurances not with words but with their carriage and demeanour. Patients won’t trust or feel comfortable putting themselves in the hands of an untrustworthy, unprofessional looking individual regardless his/her orthodontic accolades.
An orthodontist’s personality and environment should always provide assurances of professional care to patients and allay fears of injury or error. Communicating this assurance should not be with just words, but also with comportment and an air of competence.
- Administrative efficiency
An orthodontist’s firm should be run efficiently to ensure comfort and reliable services for their patients. An orthodontist with a crowded waiting room or with long waiting lines is a clear red flag of poor services to come. Processing and filing of paperwork of patient’s should have a quick and effective system that smoothens workflow.
Most orthodontists outsource to management professionals to handle their practice’s purchasing, patient documentation and financial services, marketing, accounting, human resources, and other orthodontic business and administrative activities. This to ensure the orthodontist can completely devote their time and energy to what’s important – treating patients.
- Compassion and empathy
As a patient who’s in pain or discomfort, last thing you need is to be at the mercy of an insensitive, callous brute in a medical coat. An orthodontist should ooze compassion and show care to his/her patients with a soothing bedside manner. Not only that, the orthodontist regardless the magnitude of a patient’s problem should empathize and be supportive. Patients shouldn’t be viewed as just a paying customer/a pay check, but as someone who has come with a dire need for assistance. If ever faced with a healthcare specialist that’s the opposite of compassionate, please walk away before they can sink their claws into you.
A healthcare professional’s integrity should be unquestionable. Same thing goes for an orthodontist and his/her offices. Within the premises of an orthodontist, patients should feel they are in a reliable establishment that’ll offer fair pricing for their needed procedure. The integrity of the orthodontist should be reflected in his/her supporting staff who have a duty to never breach a client’s trust by being careless with patient information.
If you’re in doubt about the integrity of you orthodontist, you can check their business out on Better Business Bureau (BBB). BBB has a catalogue of businesses which it has ranked with a letter grading system. You can also find complaints that might have been made against your orthodontist or check consumer reviews and testimonials online.
- Convenience of service
Scheduling appointments, getting treatment, and paying for services should be set up to be convenient for patients rather than a hassle. Alongside this, efficient customer service to guide and assist a patient every step of the way should also be made available.
- Orthodontists should be properly trained and certified
Most healthcare specialists make it a point to hang their certifications on the wall of their office. The sight of credentials from notable institutions is reassuring and puts patients under the impression they are dealing with a well trained professional. Displayed accolades such as awards won for excelling in their respective field is also a nice touch to win over a patient’s trust.
Once an unsure client visits a prospective orthodontist’s office, and sees the impressive proof of the orthodontist’s mastery of his/her trade, that client can then confidently proceed to schedule an appointment.
Now that you know the quality of treatment you deserve from any orthodontist or specialist, make sure to never settle for less.