It was very early in my career as an orthodontist that I realized my passion for treating adult patients. Over the course of my adult patients’ treatment we became friendly and exchanged stories about our lives. I felt connected to them and learned how to improve as a clinician. I also learned life skills such as blogging and unexpected lessons in what it means to be a teacher. I feel enriched by these experiences and connections.
My treatment philology is centered primarily on patients’ needs and I am an advocate for patient education. Finalizing the treatment plan is a mutually engaging process and as I carry out the plan we pivot when necessary. I have found that adult patients most often have a clear goal in mind when they begin treatment. They are invested in the process and want regular updates on progress. Providing information on the process calls on the teacher in me, and I also find I learn new things from patients on a constant basis.
The inherent challenge associated with adult orthodontics is another reason that I am drawn to treating adults. My scientific training taught me how to tackle the unknown by collecting the information available and using my scientific inquiry to come with a plan to find a solution. I have failed many times in this endeavor, yet I learned how to change the course and come through the other side.
My main goal in treating adult patients at my practice is to make orthodontic care a positive and unique experience. Collaboration with patients and other care providers are the basis for building a healthy smile that is envisioned by my patients.
A patient’s perspective by Hannah | Special credit to Drs. Suarez and Safioti
Learning you need braces as an adult can be daunting. It’s a big time commitment with consultations, appointments, and care. It’s often a big financial commitment; and even though it’s hard to admit, having braces as an adult can make you feel self-conscious and uneasy about your new smile.
I know I was. I was worried about making first impressions and being taken seriously as a professional at my job. Even though adult braces are becoming a common sight, it’s still a difficult decision to make.
My case was particularly complicated and required multiple operations and long term treatment. Despite all of the commitments and all of the complications, I’m so glad that I decided to pursue orthodontic treatment as an adult. Having a smile I love and avoiding long term health complications makes it all worthwhile.
Part of what makes the decision to get braces as an adult so difficult, is not knowing or understanding what the process will look like. Here are 5 insights to help you make an informed decision:
1. Think about the long-term
Whatever your hesitations about getting braces as an adult, it’s important to keep the long-term in mind. Whether you have to wear your braces for 18 months or 3 years, you are investing in your oral health and in a smile that you will wear for the rest of your life. Even though it might not feel like it during your treatment, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively brief time commitment for such an important process.
2. Communicate clearly and often with your orthodontist
Remember, you’re the patient and your orthodontic treatment is for you! You have to live with your treatment and the result, so don’t be afraid to communicate often and honestly with your orthodontist. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to explain it again. If you’re nervous about a particular aspect of your treatment, share that with your doctor.
3. Plan ahead, but expect the unexpected
As with anything that is complicated and time consuming, it’s great to have a plan in place, but it’s also best to stay open and flexible to changes in that plan. Orthodontic treatment can be unpredictable. Each person’s teeth will respond differently to treatment and other unforeseen complications can arise. Try to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint!
4. Be honest about your experience
Because things can feel overwhelming at times and treatment plans might need to change, it’s important to be honest about your experience. If your doctor isn’t aware of your dissatisfaction or hesitation about something, it can make a long process feel even longer! Share your concerns honestly. You have to live with the outcome, not your doctor!
5. Follow the rules
It might sound funny, but there are a lot of rules you’re supposed to follow during and after your treatment. You’ll be given advice on how to brush your teeth, what not to eat, how to clean your braces and eventually your retainers, and countless other things. It’s easy to dismiss these rules as suggestions, but it really can impact your treatment and even the outcome, so as cumbersome as it might seem, follow the rules!
Because there are many things to consider when deciding to get braces as an adult, it’s important that you work with someone you trust and who can give you the best care possible. When Dr. Khosravi, or “Rooz” as I came to call him approached me about writing about my experience, I was glad to do it because he made my complicated case feel less intimidating. He has a wonderful “bedside” manner and always took a genuine interest in me as a patient and a person. I always appreciated how he took the time to explain each step of the process along the way and didn’t use big words or concepts when talking to me about it. He always sought to help me understand what to expect and he communicated clearly and early if something needed to change or wasn’t going as planned.
I can honestly say I’d recommend Dr. Khosravi without hesitation. I was his patient when he was still in the graduate program at the University of Washington and he was a great doctor, so I can only imagine how exceptional he is now that he has his own practice. how It was such a relief to work with a doctor who I really trusted.
Disclaimer: This blog post providers information and merely reflects Dr. Rooz Khosravi’s expert opinion. You should consult with a dentist or an orthodontist prior to following any advice suggested here.
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