How Do I Choose the Right Orthodontist?

How do you choose the right orthodontist in Kansas City or Sedalia? That’s easy. You’ve found us! Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics wants you to have all the information you need before your first visit with Dr. Kavanaugh. Here are a few things to remember when choosing an orthodontist for your family. 

Selecting the Right Orthodontist

Choosing the right orthodontist is a decision that can impact you and your family for years to come. You deserve a professional whose skills align with your specific needs. You ought to feel comfortable with the orthodontist and their team. How do you start? Look into the orthodontist’s credentials. Check to see if they are licensed and have specialized training in orthodontics, not just general dentistry. On that note, go here to learn more about Dr. Kavanaugh.

Experience matters, too. Look into how long they have been practicing and their expertise in treating cases similar to yours. Dr. Kavanaugh has a rich history of successful treatments and brings a depth of knowledge to complex cases. Patient testimonials and reviews can offer valuable insights into their practice, revealing successes and the areas that might need improvement.

The atmosphere of the orthodontic office also plays a crucial role. It should be a place where you feel welcomed and comfortable. An initial consultation visit can give you a feel of the office environment, the staff’s friendliness, and the orthodontist’s approachability. At Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, you will receive all of that and more!

Understanding the Difference Between Orthodontists and Dentists

When exploring care options, it’s essential to understand the distinct roles of dentists and orthodontists. While both are oral care experts, their specialization areas differ significantly.

Dentists are general practitioners of the dental world who focus on overall oral health. They diagnose and treat various dental issues, perform cleanings, handle fillings and extractions, and offer preventive care. They’re your go-to for regular dental check-ups and fundamental dental problems.

Orthodontists, like Dr. Kavanaugh, are specialized dentists. After completing dental school, they undergo additional years of education and training, focusing exclusively on orthodontics – the branch of dentistry that adjusts the teeth and jaws. 

Orthodontists offer treatments like metal and clear braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic interventions. Our team uses treatments like these to help reveal your smile in all its glory. Our work often involves long-term planning and treatment management designed just for you. 

Orthodontic Treatments and Procedures

Dr. Kavanaugh and orthodontists like him specialize in treatments and procedures designed to give your teeth and jaws a better shape. When that happens, you’ll notice differences in how your face looks and feels. Here are a few of the treatment options you’ll find at Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics.

Traditional Metal Braces

The classic and most common form of orthodontic treatment, metal braces consist of brackets, wires, and bands that apply pressure to teeth. Braces exert slight tension on your features, guiding them into the correct position over time. They are effective for a wide range of alignment issues.

Ceramic Braces

Like metal braces, ceramic braces use transparent materials for a less noticeable appearance. They are trendy among adults and older teenagers who seek a more discreet option.


A modern approach to orthodontics, Invisalign involves several sets of clear, removable aligners that gradually move your teeth into place. Patients value Invisalign’s subtlety and convenience. Its biggest advantage? You can take your aligners out for eating and brushing.

Orthodontists may also employ other appliances, like retainers, to help your teeth maintain their new positions. Our team might also use palatal expanders, which widen the upper jaw in younger patients to correct bite problems or make room for emerging teeth.

How Do I Choose the Right Orthodontist?

Recognizing Your Need for Orthodontic Treatment

How do you know when you need to see an orthodontist? While your dentist can help identify issues that may need orthodontic attention, there are signs you can watch for:

  1. Crowding or Gaps: One of the most noticeable signs is the appearance of crowding or spacing issues in your teeth. Overlapping teeth, noticeable gaps, or teeth that are visibly misaligned indicate a need for an orthodontic evaluation.
  1. Bite Irregularities: Pay attention to how your teeth align when your mouth is closed. Overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites are conditions where your top and bottom teeth don’t align properly, potentially leading to difficulty chewing and speaking.
  1. Jaw Pain or Discomfort: Chronic jaw pain, difficulty opening or closing your mouth, or a persistent clicking sound in your jaw joints may suggest a misalignment issue that Dr. Kavanaugh can address.
  2. Difficulty in Oral Hygiene: If you find it challenging to brush or floss due to the positioning of your teeth, this is a sign that orthodontic treatment might be beneficial.
  1. Previous Orthodontic Treatment: If you’ve had braces but notice shifting in your teeth, a follow-up with an orthodontist is advisable to maintain or correct your previous results.

Financing Orthodontic Treatment

Paying for orthodontic treatment can feel as intimidating as selecting the right treatment plan. Understanding your options for financing can make the process less daunting and more accessible.

  1. Dental Insurance: Many insurance plans cover a part of your orthodontic treatment. Check with your insurance company to understand the extent of coverage, including caps and lifetime maximums. We can help you with your insurance, too!
  1. Flexible Payment Plans: Many orthodontic offices, including Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, offer flexible payment plans. These plans often allow you to spread the cost of treatment over several months or even years, making it more manageable.
  1. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): If you have an HSA or FSA, you can use this money for orthodontic treatment. These accounts use pre-tax dollars, offering you a cost-effective way to pay for orthodontics.
  1. Third-Party Financing: Companies like CareCredit specifically finance medical and dental treatments. These options often include low-interest or interest-free periods, making them an attractive choice for many patients.
  1. In-House Discounts: Some practices offer discounts for upfront payments or multiple family members undergoing treatment simultaneously. Ask us about our flexible payment options!
How Do I Choose the Right Orthodontist?

Choose Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics

Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics has two convenient locations in Kansas City and Sedalia. Our team can answer any and all questions you have about your orthodontic treatment. Go here to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Kavanaugh today.