How do patients choose their Orthodontist

Choosing an orthodontist carries great responsibility, as it has a very clear effect on a person’s aesthetics and health. The majority of orthodontic patients are children, leaving the responsibility on parents to choose the right caregiver and treatment type. This task is taken very seriously, and followed by weeks of research.

In this article, we have gathered the considerations that help parents and patients in general make up the final decision – who to choose as their Orthodontist.



Awareness and knowledge – of the treatment’s importance, orthodontist’s existence

Acknowledgement of orthodontists and their expertise is a vital first step. A patient must distinguish between a dentist’s role and an orthodontist’s role, while choosing whom to approach for treatment.

Awareness can be achieved through schools and teachers, family physicians, governmental programs and the media.

Need and Treatment Motivation

Today, aesthetics is very important. Our role models showcase perfect smiles in the media and we want our kids and ourselves to have that too. In addition, there is also the element of healthcare when it comes to orthodontics (sleep disorders, painful teeth misalignment).

The patient’s need has to be there, either from the healthcare or aesthetics sides, in order to turn to a specialist. If the problem isn’t troubling enough, the condition may be left untreated.

Credibility, References and Trust – of the Practice and Orthodontist

Education is part of the credibility Orthodontists have. Patients normally check their physician’s education, and certification, while also want to ensure they are a Board Certified. This demonstrates a higher commitment and dedication, given the standards requirements.

References (recommendations by experienced friends) are also an important element patients look for. Word-of-mouth, recommendation, testimonials all act as great reference for a patient. 

Technologically Equipped Clinic

People expect to receive leading treatment and to also fully understand it. The technology is available through improved software, larger screens, full images, laser innovations, advanced treatment materials, online Cephalometric analysis…etc. Orthodontists willing to ensure their clinic is staffed with leading technology and able to showcase it, are more likely to gain the customer.

Personal Connection

Trusting the doctor from an education perspective isn’t enough – if the personal connection isn’t there. Each patient looks for an assuring and easy-going caregiver, who is willing to listen to their questions, concerns and fears. Many doctors today may be very well educated, with lots of experience, but are less attentive to the emotional side of the treatment.  In situations as such, the patient will prefer to seek a different doctor, especially if there is a larger choice available nearby.

Affordable Costs & Payments

Affordable treatment prices are an important part of the patient’s decision making process, however it’s normally mentioned after overcoming the barriers mentioned earlier. It’s vital for the patient to first check their treatment type, and only then find out if they can afford it, considering various payment/finance options.

Many practices provide different payment terms, specifically since the actual orthodontic care is normally spread out through several months or even years.

Availability and Location

A treatment plan may be laid out over months and years, which is why patients tend to also choose their orthodontist according to the practice’s location and ease of travel.  Ensuring they can make the appointments, without loosing too much work or school days, due to traffic or parking issues is  important.


Every Orthodontist can play a major role in every single part of the listed items. Awareness creation, motivation, market education

  • Marketing plan – Maintain an online and social marketing plan, as that’s where most Patients start their research nowadays! Be sure to be listed on local/online directories, community organizations, healthcare programs.
  • Keep up to date – with new technologies, innovations, and treatment types. This will ensure your market competitiveness positioning.
  • Have your references, case studies, education easy to find. These can be publicized on the web, social media channels, and reviews by local/national magazines.
  • Make sure you choose a friendly staff with a welcoming and warm attitude.
  • Give back to the community – It’s always great to provide some pro-bono help. The community appreciates it, and increases your clinic’s credibility
  • Be ready for lots of questions, even if they sound repetitious or obvious.
  • Position your clinic in a good location, with good access to public transportation and parking.


Read more about Digital Dentistry: How it Increases Patient Quality of Care
and The Importance of Precise 3D Localization of Impacted Teeth Using CBCT in Orthodontics

Ricketts Cephalometric Analysis

Robert Ricketts - the creature of the Ricketts Cephalometric AnalysisBefore explaining in detail about Ricketts Cephalometric Analysis, I would like to explain a little about the purpose of cephalometrics which is to gain a higher understanding of how the faciocranial complex (the skull) works and operates. Cephalometric Analysis is a relatively new and progressive form of patient evaluation used in the diagnosis and treatment in the dental and orthodontics community. Given its original designation in cephalometric radiography as a tool to observe and assess growth patterns in the craniofacial complex for signs malocclusion and subsurface skeletal disproportion – it serves as an invaluable tool in the identification and treatment of dentofacial abnormalities. Since its inception, Cephalometrics has evolved into to take on a range of methodologies, each of which vary in their degree of complexity from simple to complex. It is estimated that over 50 different variations of this treatment analysis are used in practise, each maintaining their own  list of strengths and limitations.

For the most part, there are going to be cases of practitioners meeting current new technique options with general confusion given their varying degree of difficulty. While the array of Cephalometric analysis procedure types come stocked with varying degrees of a steep learning curve, this doesn’t mean it has to be ambiguous and inefficient.  Among the available cephalometric analysis niche methodologies, the best well known and widely adopted is known as Rickett’s Cephalometric Analysis. In order to gain a more holistic understanding of Ricketts Cephalometrics, we’ll describe to you the gist of how the process works and why it is progressive.

Ricketts Cephalometric Analysis, created and developed by Robert Ricketts in 1969, is a computerized analysis tool. It is one of the most important methods in assessing, tracking and diagnosing routine patient growth patterns in the craniofacial complex.  The analysis works by using a combination of features such as lateral and frontal tracings over radiograph film. This process involves assigning a combination of points, planes, and axes as well as the use of traditional landmark means. While the initial tracings process can be time consuming, it is a paramount step. Once lines are set, next comes the identification of pinpointing discrete locations on different linear sections; which in turn are assigned values. These values are derived from a scoring rubric, which is then compared to or contrasted with normative averages in the general populace, allowing for the detection of potential deviations. Given it’s effectiveness in the monitoring and diagnosis of craniofacial development and growth, as well as diagnosing dental and orthodontic abnormalities- patients are advised to follow up with a general check up on a biannual basis.

It is fairly transparent that Ricketts Cephalometric analysis serves as a helpful tool, and is a major player in prognosis and early detection of craniofacial anomalies. This trend is likely to continue as new discoveries and technological advancements in the medical industry continue to improve and evolve. Creating a win win situation for both practitioners, and in improving patient welfare and satisfaction. Whether it be related to patient diagnosis or patient satisfaction, let us know how Ricketts cephalometric analysis has been of personal benefit to you- we would greatly appreciate your feedback!

Read more about Case study – using CephX in full time orthodontics office
and ORCA Dental AI Recognized For Its Technology In A Recent Academic Paper