Orthodontists who aren't just trying to make a sale?

Can anyone recommend an orthodontist who has actually told you that your child does NOT need braces?

My daughter's dentist recommended that she get braces, but I was dubious about the reason and not sold on the orthodontist that I was referred to. Yes, she has an overbite, but should that be treated now (she's 8)? I know that there is a risk of root shortening with braces, but this orthodontist did not mention that until I specifically asked about it. I'd like to get some more opinions  from trusted professionals that are known for not recommending treatment unless it is needed and are totally open about the risks even if it means losing a patient.

Thanks in advance!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Yes!  We go to Dr. Righellis & Associates, in Montclair.  My kids are 12 and 9.  The twelve year-old had one round of braces through that office, and we'd been told it was likely he'd need round number two about now.  When we went for that check up recently, however, Dr. Righellis let us know that in fact a second round of braces is unnecessary. (For the sake of full transparency here I will say that he did recommend something else instead at this point, but it is MUCH cheaper than a second round of braces.)  And when we brought in our younger kid, Dr. Righellis said that no braces were needed at this time (i.e. no first round - you probably know that braces are frequently done nowadays at two different times or phases in your kids dental growth), and we should check back in a year or so to see if the second round would be needed or not.  We have been very satisfied with the care we've gotten from Dr. Righellis's office so far. 

We had the same experience with 2 local orthodontists when my daughter was around the same age. I didn't agree with their treatment plans and wanted another opinion. My dentist recommended an orthodontist in Pleasanton who has a much more conservative approach, Dr. Will Schlicher. He recommended that my daughter wait for several years to see how her teeth developed, rather than have a 2-phase treatment. During this time she still went to see him, without charge, so he could monitor the progression of her teeth. Of course, if your child needs treatment sooner rather than later, he will recommend that. We're about to start treatment now 3 years later. At any time, we could have left the practice or found another orthodontist but trust Dr. Will. Good luck! You're welcome to use my name for referral, Quynh Tran.

Both my kids go to Dr. Righellis in Montclair and we were very pleased at the significantly less involved orthodonture strategy he proposed versus Berkeley Orthodonture, which wanted our son to have braces twice starting around age 9.  Our kids both definitely need braces, so we weren't candidates for being told otherwise, but I appreciated that Dr. Righellis wanted to wait longer (our son, now 15, just got them) and only do braces once.  Which, unsurprisingly, turned out to be less expensive.

We went to Berkeley Orthodontics on Ensenada just off Solano.  Mainly saw Dr. Nelson [now at UCSF] and Dr. Meyer as I recall.  We were warned for years that ortho might be needed but they always cautioned patience and the end result was perfectly straight teeth with no intervention save a little bit of grinding on one fang. 

Hello! We use Berkeley orthodontics on Ensenada. Got 3 opinions before settling on them and then chose them for convenience and times offered for appointments. I have twins, and the recommendation that I was given by each office was the same: one kid needed braces now and later, and the other needed braces only later. It was easy for me to trust them based on similar opinions from multiple sites, and the fact that recommendations were different for each twin. 

My daughter did her orthodontia through Dr. Righellis & Associates in Montclair.  She saw Dr. Straty Righellis.  Her dentist first recommended her for a consult when she was in 4th or 5th grade.  She had a slight overbite, and a gap between the front teeth.  Dr. Righellis was very conservative, and basically said she should wait until she was older and her permanent teeth had descended more.  She came back every 6 months for him to check on this progress (these appointments were part of the free consultation.)  He also said that the gap wasn't causing any problems, so we only needed to treat it if we wanted to for cosmetic purposes (she did.)  He did think the overbite needed to be corrected.  He also recommended that a couple of her baby teeth be pulled, because the teeth above were coming in crookedly (almost horizontally.)  We had that done with an oral surgeon.  Eventually, near the end of 7th grade, she had the braces put on, and they were on for 2 1/2 years.  She had them removed not too long ago, and both problems have been corrected.  I never felt like he was selling us anything, and liked that he was willing to wait until the conditions were optimal for the quickest round of treatment.  We didn't discuss any particular risks of orthodontic treatment. 

The office is a very busy one, so sometimes getting appointments can be tricky, especially if you don't want to pull kids out of school for them.  But overall, we had very smooth sailing with the whole experience.  I would recommend Dr. Righellis.

My sons dentist who I trust wholeheartedly recommended he see an orthodontist for possible braces when he was about 8 too. He didn’t provide a specific referral but gave the names of several local orthodontists. I was never suspicious that he was suggesting braces to get a kickback. We ended up choosing Dr. Abar in Pinole and have been very happy with his practice. One of the reasons for starting treatment young is that there is a benefit to correcting the bite while the child’s face is still undergoing rapid growth. My son had an overbite and very crooked crowded teeth. He had 2 phases of braces from age 10-14. He had them taken off right before highshool which worked out well. 

He’s 18 now and just thanked me yesterday for spending all that money on braces. He says  people remark on his perfect teeth all he time. 

It is much easier to deal with teeth and jaw stuff in elementary school. Don't wait until she is older! I suggest you get a second opinion. Then a third if you feel that you need it. I was reluctant to put my child through the process, but I am so glad I did.