What to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Making the right decision is always the goal, especially in choosing the right orthodontist for your unique smile needs. Here at Williams Orthodontics, Dr. Kevin Williams, D.D.S. prides himself on making cosmetic orthodontics in El Dorado, AR, and Monroe, LA, affordable and accessible to anyone interested in a healthy and beautiful smile. We believe educated patients can make the best partners in orthodontic treatment. So, we know you deserve an experienced orthodontist that helps you feel empowered from your first appointment to your most recent. 

Dr. Williams and his skilled team use the latest technology to give you practical and efficient orthodontic treatment. You’ll love our welcoming atmosphere, personalized care, and high-tech treatment options. With our caring, fun-loving staff and affordable financing, we know you’ll love your smile transformation and every step of the process with us! But what else should you be asking? To help you begin your orthodontic journey, we’ve put together this list of questions to ask before committing to an orthodontic practice for treatment. 

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

You would think this is a no-brainer for your decision-making, but you might also be surprised to find out that just because your dentist offers orthodontic treatment that doesn’t mean they are specially trained in orthodontics. Many general dentists also provide braces treatment and clear aligner therapy in addition to standard dental services such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. While an orthodontist, on the other hand, specializes only in providing orthodontic services. 

After a dentist has completed their undergraduate medical education, they must attend a graduate school specifically for dentistry and pass a certification exam before beginning their general dentistry work. The same goes for orthodontists, except they must attend an extremely competitive orthodontic residency program after their general dentistry certification. These programs typically last another 2 to 3 years and include full-time training meaning the orthodontist has:

  • Studied the growth and maturation of 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

While there are some exceptions, most dentists simply will not possess this level of in-depth orthodontic training and experience. If you are looking for foundational oral health maintenance, trust your dentist. But, if you need specialized orthodontic care, you can trust that Dr. Williams has the knowledge and experience to provide the specialized treatment with the latest in orthodontic care. At Williams Orthodontics, our expert team wants to help you find your best smile and peak confidence. We admire the close connection we form with our patients!

What to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

Most patients we treat choose traditional metal braces to straighten their teeth, and while this is the most common option, you have several other options available to reach your smile goals quickly and effectively. By pairing state-of-the-art technology with our thorough understanding of the movement of growth of the teeth and jaws, Williams Orthodontics can successfully treat many dental issues based on your unique needs and goals using traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are the most widely used type of fixed orthodontic appliance. Though past incarnations have been bulky, awkward, and painful, today’s metal braces are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable. This method uses high-grade stainless steel brackets and archwires that are gradually tightened to adjust your teeth. You also have the added option of adding colored elastic bands for a smile that matches your personality. 

Clear Braces

Ceramic braces use the same components as traditional metal braces, but instead of metal, the brackets on the front side of the teeth are made of a transparent or tooth-colored ceramic material. This makes clear braces a common choice for teenagers and older patients who do not like the aesthetic of the metal look. Clear braces require more care as the ceramic pieces can break and are prone to staining depending on your eating and cleaning habits. 


Unlike traditional braces, this kind of orthodontic treatment doesn’t rely on a system of metal or ceramic brackets and wires. The Invisalign system comprises a series of invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth by applying steady pressure on your teeth as you wear them. The trays are replaced every 1 to 2 weeks to make this adjustment gradually. Though you can remove them to eat and brush your teeth, you will need to make sure you are wearing them about 22 hours a day for them to be effective. 

How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

You don’t want to move in, but you don’t want to forget you even have an orthodontist treatment in process, right? Well, your exact follow-up timing will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our expert team determine is right for you. Adjustment appointments will be scheduled about every four to eight weeks for most patients. Patients using Invisalign may be seen slightly less frequently, but these appointments are crucial for your overall orthodontic process!

The average process will take anywhere from 12 to 36 months to achieve your perfect smile, but visible results are evident as early as the first few months with most treatment plans. We know you’re busy, and we value your time, just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule, but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as meaningful. 

What to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Trust your smile to the experts at Williams Orthodontics.

If you’re looking for a life-changing smile, see Williams Orthodontics for a first-class boutique experience, and let us help you discover your hidden smile. Our El Dorado, AR, and Monroe, LA offices are conveniently located, making your checkups easier to fit into your everyday life. And, since our sole specialty is orthodontics, you’ll receive nothing but the best in treatments, cost, and efficiency as we work to straighten your smile.

As a member of the Williams Orthodontics family, you’ll get the best treatment using the best technology. And, you’ll love our fun, comfortable offices and exceptionally warm, friendly staff. There’s never been a better time to reach for the smile you’ve always wanted, so get in touch today to schedule your first consultation with our expert orthodontic team!