7 Signs of a Good Orthodontist (READ ON)

Having a bad dental experience is horrible. It can be uncomfortable, frustrating and sometimes even painful. Dental fears lead to people avoiding dental visits.  This leads to dental problems, causing patients to feel embarrassed in public due to ugly teeth. But dental visits don’t need to be scary, especially not orthodontic visits.  Orthodontists are dentists who have 2-3 years of extra specialty training to learn how to align teeth and fix bites.  They use dental devices like braces and clear aligners (Invisalign). They correct gaps, underbites, overbites, and other dental issues that are associated with the jaw, facial muscles, and teeth.

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So, a Good Orthodontist…

Orthodontic residency programs are very selective and highly competitive. Only students at the top of their dental school classes are accepted into orthodontic residency programs.  But, as with any profession, there are qualities that distinguish some orthodontists from others. Let us look at some qualities that make a good orthodontist.



Similar to other professions, trustworthiness is paramount. Good orthodontists need to earn the trust of their patients. Since people who have issues with their appearance tend to reveal a lot of sensitive information during a dental visit, it is important for the details to be confidential.

In addition, some orthodontists take the advantage of patients by recommending treatment that may or may not be necessary. Treatment decisions should always be based on individual circumstances surrounding each patient, not the economic needs of the orthodontist!



Passion is something that cannot be taught in school or residency programs. Orthodontists who show they have passion in their occupation tend to treat their patients very well. It is okay to be recognized or earn a good salary, but passionate orthodontists who are in love with what they do will be motivated by the results they achieve. The biggest motivation comes from the difference they see in their patient’s life.

Good orthodontists enjoy their craft, and they know the role they have to play in their patient’s lives. They smile when they see a patient walking out of the office with a glowing face. This is the greatest joy in a good orthodontist’s life!  Passion is the character trait that makes all the other qualities come to life. Passion can be showcased through the following actions:

  • Positive attitude
  • Making a good first impression
  • Energy and enthusiasm
  • Honest feedback
  • Always smiling
  • Making good eye contact


There’s More…


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When you hold a simple conversation with an orthodontist, you learn a lot. You will find the proof you need about the qualities of a good practitioner by the way the individual projects themselves in the conversation. For a good impression to be made, the practitioner has to gain the trust of the patient from the beginning.

Of course, expertise in craft is a strong point of good orthodontics. You’ll need to see lots of letters around the doctor’s name and commendations on the wall. The more expertise the better. Not to mention reviews from former clients who beam a beautiful smile. 

When you get to the clinic, you can learn a lot from the staff’s morale at the office because they will project the culture of the office in the way they treat you. If you get a jovial feel from the way you are treated, it translates to a well-treated staff. When you have a good first impression on the first visit, it is a sign that you have found a good expert.



Humility is also a trait of a good practitioner. This should also extend to the staff to demonstrate lack of arrogance and selflessness. You should see signs of humility and modesty in the approach and presentation of the staff. Humility will also be displayed in how the orthodontists work, in a way that makes the patients feel important and worthy of care the entire time.

A good practitioner should not entertain any interruptions when they are dealing with a patient unless an emergency comes up. When there is an undistracted focus, it allows maximum care to be offered to the patient. A lavish office or expensive art pieces do not symbolize the practitioner’s success. It is the treatment quality of the needs of the patients that counts. Additionally, running on time with appointments shows that the doctor and staff respect the time of patients and parents.


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Good orthodontists love their work, and this will make them have a desire to learn more about their field. Competence is something that every health practitioner should have, and it comes with gaining knowledge and experience in the field of orthodontics. The best orthodontists will stay up to date with recent technologies, advances, and appliances that are new to orthodontics. Orthodontic technologies like clear aligners (Invisalign) and braces are continually improving.  Doctors should stay current with, and even go beyond, basic continuing education requirements to advance the level of care for their patients.


People skills

Quality work, intelligence, and competence are important in orthodontics. However, this is only part of the makeup of a good orthodontist. The orthodontist should also have a good rapport with the patients they treat, as well as their families. Good academic qualifications and professional standing does not necessarily equal a good chairside manner. A good orthodontist has to interact with other people well. Patients have to feel they are comfortable and cared for. Orthodontists need to always be kind to their patients, regardless of their income level, race, or gender.



Since the patients who visit orthodontists are often very concerned about their appearance, sensitivity to the feelings of the patients should be paramount. A doctor should never embarrass a patient, especially in front of other people. If sensitive issues need to be addressed, they need to be handled in private, and with as much empathy as the doctor can muster.  Patients need to be reassured through kindness and sensitivity on their issues as they seek a solution to their problem.


Good with kids

Finally, it is important for a practitioner to work well with all patients, including kids. This is partly the point we discussed in people skills. Good orthodontists interact easily with kids. They make the child feel comfortable at the office, and just like adult patients, kids notice when they are interacting with a caring practitioner.



All of these qualities should be considered when choosing an orthodontist to treat your families dental needs. If you want an orthodontist and team that possess all of these qualities, contact Doctors Eric Nease and Phil Higginbotham at (864) 579 7700, or visit our website for more details.

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Spartanburg Office
2455 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29307
Phone: (864) 579-7700


7 Signs of a Good Orthodontist (READ ON)

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