3 Questions To Ask When Choosing An Orthodontist

Making the decision to improve your oral health and straighten your smile through orthodontic treatment is a big step! It can be overwhelming to choose an orthodontic practice when you’re not quite sure where to start. At Bowen Family Orthodontics we believe that patients should be educated and informed throughout their treatment process. Because of this, we’ve compiled the top questions to ask when choosing an orthodontist to take the guesswork out of your journey to a better smile!

Keep reading below to take a closer look at what you need to know before committing to orthodontic treatment!

Am I seeing a qualified, experienced, orthodontist?

Your teeth are an important part of your day to day life, so you want to feel confident that you’ll be receiving the best possible orthodontic care when you need it. 

Orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, ensuring that only the top dental school students in any particular graduating class are accepted. These orthodontic programs tend to last from 2-3 years, with intense full-time training that focuses on correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues using braces, aligners, and other treatments. This means that Dr. Jessica Bowen has the additional training and experience necessary to meet your orthodontic needs!

Dr. Bowen graduated Magna Cum Laude from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, before going on to earn her dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. While there, she was inducted into the Matthew Cryer Honor Society, the highest scholastic honor conferred to the ten highest-ranked students based on merit. She then completed her orthodontic education at the University of Connecticut, earning a Certificate in Orthodontics and a Master of Dental Science. 

Dr. Bowen received the highest score nationwide on the American Board of Orthodontics Written Exam Module 1, which consists of questions related to basic and applied biomedical science. This means that she’s got the expertise needed to diagnose and successfully treat a wide range of dental and orthodontic issues, helping you achieve your best health. Dr. Bowen is also a member of the following professional organizations: 

Every day, Dr. Bowen is dedicated to providing high-quality orthodontic care, performing straightening procedures for patients of all ages in Mullica Hill and the surrounding area. Our entire team keeps up-to-date with the latest orthodontic treatments and technology to better serve our patients. We’re committed to providing you with the best high-quality, individualized orthodontic care possible!

What treatment options do you have available? Will I have choices?

At Bowen Family Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer a variety of orthodontic treatments, including traditional metal braces and Invisalign clear aligner therapy. We prioritize your knowledge and understanding of your treatment needs and the options available to you. It’s our main focus to thoroughly explain the processes and choices so that you can make the decision that fits your needs and your lifestyle.

Metal braces

Traditional metal braces continue to be the top choice in orthodontic treatment, and they’ve come a long way in recent years! They’re made up of a mix of high-grade stainless steel, nickel, and other durable metals. Gone are the days of placing spacers and metal bands on the back molars! Instead, brackets are placed on the front surfaces of all the teeth. There’s also a thin, springy metal wire that runs through the brackets, which may be attached to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or another type of clasp. All of these components work together to gently guide your teeth into their desired positions over a period of time. 

Metal braces are an effective, reliable, and budget-friendly option to straighten your smile. They’re also more comfortable than ever before, and can even be customized! With smaller, lighter brackets and a variety of colored bands to choose from, metal braces are a perfect fit for every personality!

Clear Aligner Therapy

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign or 3M Clarity clear aligner systems, are made up of a series of customized aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. Unlike traditional braces, they don’t use brackets and wires to move your teeth! This offers you freedom and flexibility that traditional braces just can’t beat. Designed to fit snugly but comfortably over your own teeth, clear aligners provide a more discreet and comfortable orthodontic experience. These aligners will gently move your teeth into the desired positions when you wear them for 20-22 hours per day as Dr. Bowen recommends and change them out weekly for the next in the series. 

Invisalign Teen

Although Invisalign and Invisalign Teen work the same way when it comes to the underlying technology, Invisalign Teen was developed to meet the unique needs of teen patients. There are a few special features that are specific to the Invisalign Teen system, including the following:

Compliance indicators

To help teens stick to their treatment plan, Invisalign Teen has a compliance indicator incorporated into each aligner. This will fade from blue to clear with use, providing a visual approximation of wear. This lets patients, parents, and Dr. Bowen keep track of patient use. If a teen is skipping out on hours, it will be noticeable in enough time for us to correct compliance. That way we can keep the overall process moving along according to the plan set by Dr. Bowen.

Eruption tabs

This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a wider range of conditions with Invisalign.

Replacement aligners

We all lose or damage things from time to time. While we encourage all of our Invisalign patients to be careful with their aligners, teens don’t need to worry about misplacing or losing one. Invisalign Teen was designed with this in mind, and provides up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case!

Ultimately, you and your family will have the opportunity to choose what best fits your needs. 


How frequent are follow-up visits in the office, and what can I expect while I’m there?

We strive to ensure every patient and every member of your family feels comfortable and welcomed by our team. You’ll be seeing a lot of us, and we want it to be a great experience for everyone! We understand that the orthodontic process can be scary at first, but we’re here to put you at ease. 

For patients in braces, adjustment appointments will be scheduled approximately every 6 weeks. During these visits, Dr. Bowen will replace any worn-out rubber bands, check the progress of your teeth, and make adjustments to the wires to ensure the teeth are being pulled in the right direction. 

Clear aligner patients may be seen slightly less frequently, about every 10 weeks, but these appointments are still an essential part of the orthodontic process. We’ll evaluate your progress, provide additional instructions, or change the elastics pattern as we work towards your smile goals.

We know how busy life can get, and your time is valuable to us. That’s why we never overbook our patients and always aim to see you at your scheduled time! Although treatment time varies from case to case, the average patient will spend anywhere from 12-36 months in braces or aligners. Be prepared to see us regularly! 

Expertise you can trust at Bowen Family Orthodontics

When it comes to an amazing, positive orthodontic experience, you can’t do better than Dr. Bowen! You’ll receive a personalized treatment plan and unmatched care from your first appointment to your last. Since her sole specialty is orthodontics, Dr. Bowen has the experience and expertise necessary to give you the absolute best treatments, cost, and efficiency as you work to straighten your smile.

If you’re ready to take the first step in your orthodontic journey, we would love to meet you! When you schedule a FREE consultation with our office, you’ll receive a thorough examination by Dr. Bowen. She’ll discuss any diagnosis with you, and outline what your next steps should be. This is a no-pressure appointment! Even if you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, we’ll be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have to help you make an informed decision.

There’s never been a better time to go after the smile you’ve always wanted, so get in touch today to schedule your complimentary consultation!