Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

As you begin your orthodontics journey, it’s important to have the right information from the right person when you leave your first appointment. Your treatment process should be a collaborative effort between you and your orthodontist, so you want the right expert guiding you every step of the way. The right office for you will give you the confidence to move forward. To help you out, Petrunic Orthodontics has a few questions you can ask to determine the right orthodontist for you.

Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?

This may seem like an obvious place to start. However, it’s an important thing to remember when you’re searching for an orthodontist. Some general dentists provide orthodontic treatment, but this does not mean they specialize in it. These doctors may provide braces treatment and learn aligner therapy along with dental services such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, and dentures. An orthodontist specializes exclusively in providing orthodontic services. 

This distinction matters. Think about it the way you would think about receiving specialized surgery. Would you want you or someone you love to receive surgery from a general physician, or a dedicated specialist who understands exactly what you need? The same goes for your orthodontic treatment. If you want guaranteed quality orthodontic care, you want a specialist. This means you want an orthodontist who has:

  • Been introduced to numerous case studies
  • Developed diagnostic skills
  • Studied the growth and maturation of teeth and jaw
  • Learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
  • Studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients

Orthodontic residency programs are very competitive, accepting only the top students in any dental school graduating class. These orthodontic programs tend to last around two to three years in addition to full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces and aligners. Most general dentists do not have this same level of in-depth orthodontic training and experience. Dentists are essential for fundamental oral health maintenance. However, for specialized orthodontic care, you want someone who knows the specifics of what you need. Petrunic Orthodontics knows this. Dr. Petrunic has provided better smiles to patients for over thirty years, and our team of well-trained, eager orthodontic experts has the experience and skills to give you exceptional results. If you want a positive experience with the right personalized treatment, we’re here for you.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?

Each of our patients has their own unique goals, so it’s important to know that your orthodontist has the treatment you’re looking for. At Petrunic Orthodontics, we offer modern treatment options with advanced orthodontic technology so you can reach your smile goals. Our office has three different braces treatment options:

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most popular type of fixed orthodontic appliance. While older versions are known for being painful and clunky, modern advancements have made metal braces lighter, smaller, and more comfortable. At our office, Dr. Petrunic will collect photos and X-rays of your mouth to create a customized treatment plan for you based on the information we gather. This option uses a slide mechanism to hold the archwire, reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the teeth and allowing teeth to move more freely, quickly, and comfortably. 

Clear Braces

Also referred to as “ceramic braces,” clear braces are similar to metal braces with a more discreet appearance. The brackets are made from a tooth-colored ceramic material that gives them an almost invisible appearance. This is a popular option for adults and older teens who are looking for a more subtle appearance compared to metal braces. Clear braces require more care, as they can break easily and are prone to staining depending on your eating and drinking habits. This can be combated with a rigorous oral hygiene routine. While clear braces can be pricier, Dr. Petrunic will determine a treatment fee that fits your specific budget. Our office will do everything we can to accommodate you and your financial situation.


Invisalign comprises a series of invisible, removable acrylic trays that straighten your teeth by applying steady pressure on your teeth. You will need to wear them about twenty-two hours a day for them to be effective. However, you can remove them to eat, drink and clean your teeth.

How frequent are follow-up appointments with the orthodontist? 

Your follow-up schedule will vary depending on the orthodontic treatment plan you and our team decided is best for you. However, we usually schedule most patients’ adjustment appointments for about every four to eight weeks. Patients using Invisalign clear aligners may be seen slightly less frequently. Regardless of your treatment, regular appointments with us are important for your overall orthodontic process. When looking for the right orthodontist, it’s important to find someone who knows what you need and the best way to get it.

Our typical process will take anywhere from eight to thirty-six months to complete your treatment. You can begin seeing visible results as early as the first few months with most of our treatment plans. We know you’re busy, so just give us a heads up if you’re running late or need to reschedule. We value your time but don’t forget that your participation in the follow-up care is just as important. At our office, we want to work with you to make the most of your time, money, and treatment.

Questions to Ask When Choosing an Orthodontist

Petrunic Orthodontics is the place for you!

When you’re looking for a straight smile, you need to be sure you have the right orthodontist. With years of experience straightening teeth in Prattville, Dr. Petrunic is your choice for the smile of your dreams. 

If you’re ready to take the first step in your smile success journey, contact our office to schedule a free consultation today!