Choosing the right orthodontist is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your oral health and confidence. With numerous options available, finding a trusted specialist in Santa Cruz can be overwhelming. At North Coast Orthodontics, we believe that making an informed choice is essential for achieving the best possible outcomes. To help you in this process, we’ve compiled a list of tips and considerations for selecting the right orthodontist in Santa Cruz.

Check Qualifications & Experience

Board Certification

Ensure that the orthodontist is board-certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO). Board certification indicates that the specialist has completed rigorous training and examinations, demonstrating their commitment to excellence in the field.

Years of Experience

Consider the orthodontist’s experience level. An orthodontist with several years of practice under their belt, like Dr. Brian Schabel and Dr. Vivian Chan at North Coast Orthodontics, will have a proven track record of successful treatments and satisfied patients.

Explore Treatment Options

Variety of Treatments

A reputable orthodontist should offer a range of treatment options, including traditional braces, clear aligners like Invisalign, and other specialized appliances. This flexibility ensures that you receive a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

Advanced Technology

Look for an orthodontic practice that utilizes state-of-the-art technology. Digital impressions, 3D imaging, and advanced treatment planning software can enhance accuracy and improve your overall treatment experience.

Read Reviews & Testimonials

Patient Feedback

Online reviews and testimonials provide valuable insights into an orthodontist’s quality of care and patient satisfaction. Look for consistent positive feedback regarding the staff’s friendliness, the clinic’s environment, and the effectiveness of treatments.

Before-and-After Photos

Reviewing before-and-after photos of previous patients can give you a better idea of the orthodontist’s expertise and the kind of results you can expect.

Assess the Office Environment

Cleanliness & Comfort

During your initial visit, observe the cleanliness and organization of the clinic. A well-maintained and welcoming environment reflects the practice’s dedication to patient care.

Friendly Staff

The attitude and professionalism of the staff are equally important. Friendly and knowledgeable staff members can make your orthodontic journey more pleasant and stress-free.

Consider Location & Convenience


Choose an orthodontic office that is conveniently located near your home, work, or school. This makes it easier to attend regular appointments and follow-up visits without significant disruption to your daily routine.

Flexible Scheduling

Find out if the orthodontist offers flexible scheduling options, including early morning, late evening, or weekend appointments. This is especially important if you have a busy lifestyle or need to coordinate appointments for multiple family members.

Review Financing Options

Cost Transparency

Orthodontic treatment can be a significant investment, so it’s essential to understand the costs upfront. A trustworthy orthodontist will provide transparent pricing and explain any additional fees.

Insurance & Payment Plans

Check whether the orthodontic practice accepts your dental insurance and offers flexible payment plans. At North Coast Orthodontics, we strive to make high-quality care accessible by providing various financing options to fit your budget.

Request a Consultation

In-Person or Virtual Visits

Many orthodontists, including North Coast Orthodontics, offer free initial consultations. This is a great opportunity to meet the orthodontist, discuss your concerns, and get a sense of the practice’s approach to patient care.

Ask Questions

Prepare a list of questions to ask during your consultation. Inquire about the orthodontist’s credentials, treatment options, expected timelines, and any other concerns you may have.

Why Choose North Coast Orthodontics?

At North Coast Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on being the only Diamond+, Top 1% Invisalign provider in the Monterey Bay. Our experienced team, led by Dr. Brian Schabel and Dr. Vivian Chan, is dedicated to delivering personalized, high-quality care using the latest technology. We are committed to creating beautiful, confident smiles for patients of all ages in a comfortable and friendly environment.

In conclusion, choosing the right orthodontist in Santa Cruz involves careful consideration of qualifications, treatment options, patient feedback, and convenience. By following these tips and conducting thorough research, you can find a trusted specialist who meets your needs and helps you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.