4 Steps to Choose the Right Orthodontist

With a number of different orthodontists to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you and your family? What type of credentials or qualifications indicate a quality orthodontist?

We’re here to help! We have some tips to help you make the best decision for your smile. It isn’t difficult to find a quality local orthodontist (especially at Porters Neck in Wilmington, NC!) It just takes careful consideration of the orthodontist’s credentials, affiliations, and patient reviews to gain insight into their level of expertise and the patient experience they promote in their offices. 

If you’ve recently searched for an “orthodontist near me”, we have 4 steps to help your search! 

4 Steps to Find a Top Rated Orthodontist Near You

1.Gather a list of orthodontists in Porters Neck, Wilmington NC! Do some online research and social research. Ask trusted friends and family members if they have any orthodontist recommendations. You can use the AAO orthodontist finder to narrow your search down to the most qualified orthodontists in the area too. (But we can save you the trouble and recommend our very own orthodontist, Dr. Ken Matsumoto!)

2. Assess the orthodontist’s memberships, certifications and/or awards. How long has the orthodontist been practicing? Have they won any awards or written any publications? Which professional memberships or affiliations are they a part of? 

Dr. Matsumoto is proud to be an active member of the AAO, as well as a number of other professional associations! He has written or co-written over 10 publications and poster presentations, and has won four different awards for his expertise. 

Dr. Matsumoto is also Dual Trained and Board-Certified Orthodontist and Periodontist – which is extremely rare! In fact, he’s the only dual trained specialist at Porters Neck in Wilmington, NC and one of only a few providers in the entire country!

3. Review their reviews! Check out the practice’s reviews on Google and Facebook. Patient reviews provide genuine insight into the practice’s level of patient care! Studies show that dissatisfied patients are 21% more likely to leave reviews than satisfied patients – so you’ll likely hear the worst of it in their online reviews.

What’s their Google star rating? How about Facebook? Read what each patient has to say about their experience. Take note if the office team members were kind and welcoming – or cold and unpleasant. The patient experience is just as important as the orthodontist’s qualifications!  We are proud to have a 5 star Google rating

4. Request a complimentary consultation to meet the orthodontist, cost-free. It’s a good idea to choose an orthodontist who offers free exams; this likely means the orthodontist is confident in his or her skills and in the patient experience they provide. Offering complimentary exams also shows that the orthodontist wants you to make the best decision for your smile, not rush you into a payment plan! 

Find an AAO Orthodontist

If an orthodontist is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, (of course Dr. Matsumoto is!) this means they’ve completed additional training programs in orthodontics and in dentofacial orthopedics after they graduated dental school. 

An orthodontist’s membership in the AAO membership also reassures you that the orthodontist is certified, because the AAO only admits qualified orthodontists. 

Try out this easy tool to find an AAO orthodontist near you!

Find an ABO Orthodontist

Kick your search for an orthodontist up a notch! An ABO orthodontist, or an orthodontist certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) is a voluntary credential few AAO orthodontists pursue. In fact, only about one in three AAO orthodontists are certified by the ABO!

Dr. Matsumoto is included among the few AAO orthodontists that are board-certified! This prestigious achievement is earned through a rigorous process of written and clinical exams to demonstrate orthodontic proficiency and clinical excellence. It shows in just 3 letters how committed Dr. Matsumoto is to achieve the best possible smile results for all his patients. 

Check out this easy tool to find an ABO orthodontist near you!

When to See an Orthodontist

According to the AAO, children should receive their first orthodontic screening by the age of 7. Before the baby teeth are shedding and the adult teeth are emerging, our highly-skilled orthodontist, Dr. Matsumoto, can detect conditions that are soon to become problematic if left untreated.

At Matsumoto Orthodontics & Periodontics, we will never suggest orthodontic treatment if it isn’t necessary or won’t improve your quality of life. Our patients can rest assured that we’ll only suggest what we believe is best for your smile, based on your orthodontic condition, your lifestyle, your needs, and your smile goals. 

Before you visit us for your complimentary consultation, you can look out for the following signs that indicate a need for orthodontic treatment.

  • Crooked, crowded, or overlapping teeth
  • Jaw pain, clicking or popping when opening and closing the mouth
  • Top teeth overlap the bottom teeth, or bottom teeth overlap the top teeth
  • Pain in your jaw muscles when you wake up (due to clenching)
  • Lack of confidence in your smile


If you or your child is in need of orthodontic treatment, and you’re wondering how to find a great orthodontist near you, please reach out to us! We would love to discuss your smile goals, orthodontics costs, or the benefit of orthodontic treatments. 

We have treated many patients who were previously told by another orthodontist that they were not a candidate for Invisalign!

We’re here to answer your questions, and we want you to know your options! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.

Dr. Matsumoto and our experienced team are here to guide you, so you can experience a positive treatment process while you achieve your perfect smile.

Ready to get started? Request your complimentary consultation at our convenient Porters Neck office in Wilmington, NC today!

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