How to Choose an Orthodontist

doctor instructing a young patient


Before you start looking to choose an orthodontist, it may interest you to know the depth of training an orthodontist has. Did you realize that an orthodontist is first trained as a dentist? They are dentists with advanced training in making teeth move. Their purpose is to realign teeth to make them straight and properly fit together so you have a healthy smile. In total, an orthodontist does eleven or more years of post-secondary education and experience.

  • Four years for a Bachelor’s Degree
  • Four years of Dental School for a Dental Degree
  • Three or more years for orthodontic training for an Orthodontic Degree

Orthodontic training focuses on:

  • Tooth growth and development
  • Cosmetics
  • Tooth movement
  • Tooth Function

An orthodontist is an expert who uses calculated strategy, his medical expertise, and today, cutting-edge technology to help patients achieve a perfect smile.

Years of Experience

Another factor in choosing your orthodontist is their years of experience. We all know that “practice makes perfect”!  Dr. David McDonough has years of experience and has straightened over 1,000 smiles in Utah and is looking forward to many more in years to come.

Board Certification

Board Certification means an orthodontist has chosen to go even further by obtaining additional orthodontic education and demonstrating their knowledge. For example, Dr. Dave is a proud member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Diplomate American Board of Orthodontics, and the American Dent

How to Choose the Right Orthodontist for You or Your Child

Firstly, you want an orthodontist that has specialist training. Getting your or your child’s teeth corrected is a major investment, not just financially. You are investing in long-term dental health as well as a beautiful smile. So this is an important factor. Secondly, you want to be able to communicate and work with your doctor. You want them to be caring, patient and focused.

When Should Someone See an Orthodontist?

Anyone can see an orthodontist no matter what age. See our article entitled, “Are You Too Old for Braces”.  In regards to children, we usually start seeing them when they are seven years old. We start them on our OWLS program (short for Orthodontic Wellness Program).  This program is for children ages 7-12. So, when your child’s permanent teeth start coming in you can schedule a complimentary exam with our children’s orthodontist. It is the beginning of a healthy, beautiful, and lifelong smile for your child.

Watch this video on choosing an orthodontist.


Getting braces or aligners is a big step in anyone’s life. You are on your way to getting a healthy and beautiful smile. So, you want to make the right choices. Contact us if you have any questions or need to schedule a complimentary exam.

McDonough Orthodontics
6070 S. 1300 E., Suite 202
Murray, UT 84121

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