Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

When it comes to researching the best orthodontic practice for you or your family, finding an orthodontist that fits the bill for your desired treatment plan can be a daunting process. At Bigman Orthodontics, we understand that orthodontic treatment is an investment, and just like with any big investment, it is important to know what to look for in a provider. That’s why we put together a list of the most important questions to ask your prospective orthodontist so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment plan and the team that will be there with you through it all. 

Is the consultation free?

Moving forward with an orthodontic treatment plan is an exciting step toward a brighter smile – but it is also an important financial decision. A free consultation takes the pressure off of your decision and allows you to focus on the health of your smile and the facts of the practice without distraction. 

At Bigman Orthodontics, we trust our services, and we want to make sure you feel the same. We offer a free consultation so that you can speak with Dr. Bigman and ask all the questions on your mind without any obligation to pay for our services unless you decide to move forward with treatment. 

What is the orthodontist’s background experience? 

When searching for a professional service like orthodontics, you want to know that your treatment plan is being managed by a capable, experienced individual or team. It is important to know where the orthodontist went to school, how long they have been practicing, and how they keep up to date with the latest research in their field. 

Is the doctor a trained orthodontist?

While this may seem like a given, it is important to make sure that the person in charge of straightening your smile has been specifically trained in the practice of orthodontics. In addition to advising on cavities and crowns, some dentists make recommendations on orthodontic treatment even if it isn’t their specialty. However, just like with any area of medicine, you want someone who is trained in the particulars of the service you are looking for.

Orthodontists and dentists go through much of the same training, but orthodontists spend a number of extra years digging into the specifics of oral adjustment. This means an orthodontist has studied: 

  • how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
  • the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
  • biomechanical techniques to move teeth properly
  • numerous case studies
  • diagnostics

Before moving forward with a treatment plan, you need to know that your care will be overseen by someone who has had this extensive training and experience. 

Who benefits from braces?

It is a popular misconception that braces are only for teens, and many clients are unaware at what age they should start considering braces for their children before they speak with an orthodontist. Many people benefit from using braces and your orthodontist should not only be able to tell you the latest treatment methods for your age bracket and desired outcome, but they should also be able to tell you at what point in your smile success story you should begin.  

What are my treatment options?

Knowing which treatment options the orthodontist specializes in is an extremely important factor when it comes to making a decision about the practice you want to work with. Getting braces is a lengthy process that requires years of work in some cases. Because of the duration of the process, you should carefully consider the methods that would become available to you at the orthodontic office in question before you make a commitment to work with them.  

Bigman Orthodontics offers a wide range of orthodontic treatment options, including: 

Metal Braces

As the traditional option, metal braces are often the first that come to mind when considering orthodontic treatment. These braces work by tightening the wire attached to a bracket glued to each tooth. With gentle, continuous pressure, your teeth are aligned over a period of 12-36 months, depending on the severity of your case, your mouth’s response to treatment, and your desired outcome.

Clear Braces

Clear braces work the same way as metal braces. The difference is that clear braces use white, ceramic brackets that blend in with the color of your teeth and provide a less noticeable appearance.


This removable treatment option uses a series of clear trays that adjust your teeth without the use of wires or brackets. Because they are clear, this option allows you to straighten your teeth with a look that is almost invisible. By wearing these trays for 22 hours per day for 9-15 months, you’ll see results in no time. 

What does treatment look like?

Orthodontic treatment is a unique process intended to match the needs of every individual, so if you want to get an idea of what you should expect from your time spent with braces, you should ask your orthodontic specialist several questions. For example, how long do they expect treatment to last? How often are follow-up visits? Who will be overseeing your care? 

Dr. Bigman and his team meet personally with each patient to ensure that all of their questions are answered. While treatment duration depends on a number of different factors, you can expect to meet with Dr. Bigman every 6-8 weeks for a follow-up appointment. 

What are my payment options?

Your smile is an investment, and you deserve to understand the financial commitment that comes with it. Be sure to ask questions about financing options, payment plans, and insurance policies before you move forward. 

Bigman Orthodontics believes in making smiles in San Ramon an affordable practice. While each and every case requires a different approach, we offer a free consultation so that you can feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the orthodontic path we provide before we ask for your commitment. With available payment plans and a range of accepted insurance providers, we are dedicated to making affordable smiles a reality.

Trust the Experience and Reliability of Bigman Orthodontics

If you’re ready to take the next step towards a brighter smile, we are here to help. Reach out to us to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Bigman today to learn more about what we can do for your smile.