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How to find the best orthodontist in Mallorca?

Finding the best professional in any specialty can be tricky. With dental offices around every corner it can become confusing and overwhelming when trying to choose the right one to go to. Since orthodontics is an area of dentistry where the treatment is lengthy, you will be under the care of a professional you choose for many months or even a couple of years. Costs of orthodontic treatment are also higher compared to simpler dental treatments so it is important to find the best orthodontist in Mallorca from the start to avoid having to pay for re-treatment. We hope that this post will guide you in what questions to ask, help you spot red flags and ultimately, reach a straight smile safely and without avoidable issues along the way.

1. Their experience

Do not shy away from asking the professional how many years of experience they have. It takes decades of independent work after graduating from dental school to become fully confident in dental procedures so when looking for the best orthodontist in Mallorca, seek out someone with at least 15 to 20 years of experience. This is important because only when someone has worked in the field for this long, can they really have treated enough patients to have developed high sensitivity for spotting discreet worrisome signs and symptoms and to have found the most effective ways of treating crooked teeth.

2. Their choice of systems

Every dentist has their preferred systems. For example, many young, inexperienced dentists prefer to use aligners because aligner treatment is designed by the aligner manufacturer who also provides the dentist with clear instructions on what to do and when. There are also those who chose to use old fashioned systems, whether because they are more cost effective or because of old habits. For example, despite their wide use, braces which use metal bands placed around teeth and those where the wire is kept in place with ligatures (small elastics) are old fashioned and inferior to the more modern self-ligating brackets. When deciding on your appliance, choose renowned brands, backed up by extensive research and do not be afraid to question the specialist's choice of appliance.

3. Their view on extracting teeth

If your dentist wants to extract your teeth before starting orthodontic treatment, always be sceptical and seek a second opinion. Although, extracting wisdom or baby teeth is absolutely the appropriate thing to do, extracting healthy adult teeth is absolutely not needed in the majority of cases in modern orthodontics. The reason why some dentists extract teeth before starting orthodontic treatment is basically to make their job easier because the fewer teeth you have, the more space there is in your arches to move them to the desired positions. However, this is an old fashioned approach and if your dentist is trying to persuade you that it is necessary to remove healthy adult teeth, this suggests that they are using an old fashioned technique. Not only is every extraction a small surgical procedure with its own potential complications, but removing teeth will also make your arches narrower which is the opposite of what we want to achieve with orthodontic treatment. Using modern appliances, such as the Damon braces, we are able to treat even severe crowding of teeth without extractions allowing us to create beautiful, straight, wide smiles.

4. Their quality of service

During your initial consultation the first two questions you should ask are:

  1. ''Will I receive a direct telephone number to the specialist in case of any questions or concerns I might have during treatment?'' and

  2. ''On my review appointments, am I always going to be seen by my dedicated specialist or by someone who does not have a dental degree?''

Having a direct point of contact is extremely important. Wearing braces for the first time is an unusual sensation and takes some getting used to. A caring professional should allow you to get in contact with them at anytime of day or night to ask if what you are experiencing is normal. From experience, we know how our patients appreciate that we guarantee them this point of contact, as it gives them a peace of mind.

With regards to review appointments, it often happens (especially in chain clinics), that patients are seen by different professionals on every visit or are seen only by auxiliary staff who are not dentists or orthodontists. When deciding on a clinic, look for one where you will be under the care of a single professional who will supervise your treatment from the initial consultation, moving on to the fitting of the appliance, all the review appointments and finally finishing the treatment. This way, they will know everything about your case, will be sensitive to the small changes which occur between appointments and will be better able to configure the treatment based on your progress.

5. Taking X-Rays before treatment

You can't feel X-Rays passing through your body so many people do not think much of it when a dentist tells them they need to take one. However, we should all be conscious and remember that X-Rays are harmful and every exposure should be justified because after all every X-Ray exposure has the potential to cause mutations in our DNA which can lead to cancer. Qualifying someone for a large X-Ray just because they are starting orthodontic treatment is not an appropriate justification in most cases. It is very common for orthodontic clinics to require you to have an OPG scan on your initial appointment even before seeing the dentist. This is something which quite frankly is unacceptable. They often justify it by saying that they need to see the position of your teeth in the bone, however a dentist with many years of experience is able to tell a lot about your teeth and the underlying bone by performing a thorough examination and, in many cases, X-Rays are not needed before starting orthodontic treatment. A notable exception is when a patient suffers from gum disease as this has to be supervised very closely. Another case in which it is essential to take an X-Ray or an OPG is when deciding whether or not to extract wisdom teeth before starting orthodontic treatment or when evaluating whether a child with over-retained baby teeth has adult teeth in their bone. There is a number of clear indications for the use of radiography before orthodontic treatment but taking X-Rays should never be routine especially when we talk about OPG scans which deliver a considerable amount of radiation. Remember: all X-Ray exposures MUST be justified, the benefit of taking the X-Ray must overweigh the risks associated with the exposure and your informed consent should always be sought beforehand.

To conclude, here is a list of questions to ask an orthodontist on your initial appointment:

  1. ''How many years have you been doing orthodontics for?''

  2. ''Which appliances do you offer and why?''

  3. ''Do you often extract teeth before starting orthodontic treatment of crowded teeth?''

  4. ''Can I contact you directly at any time if I have any questions or concerns during the treatment?''

  5. ''Will I be seen by you on every review appointment?''

  6. ''What is the exact reason why you want to take an X-Ray of my teeth before starting the orthodontic treatment?''

Have you been thinking about improving your smile but you're unsure which solution would work best for you? Don't worry - we are here to help you, so book a consultation today!

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Are you planning a holiday in Mallorca? Did you know that you can have a complete makeover of your smile while on vacation? You could return home not only rested but also rejuvenated and with a better smile.

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