Orthodontic FAQ

Our orthodontists practice is limited to orthodontics, which is the specialty of straightening teeth. We specialize in all aspects of braces from normal metal braces, nearly invisible ceramic braces or tooth coloured braces or nearly invisible Clear Aligners such as Invisalign. We use CAD /CAM based 3d Scans and digital smile design to offer you the very best of contemporary orthodontics. He do not carry out any general dentistry or other specialist dental work. We liaise with our dental and specialist colleagues for their expertise to ensure the best outcome for our patients.

A specialist is a dentist that has trained & taken examinations in their chosen field. A specialist orthodontist will have carried out at least 3 years of formal specialist training followed by examinations to gain their specialist registration on the New Zealand Dental Council’s specialists list.

By law, any dentist can carry out orthodontic treatment without a formal postgraduate qualification, as long as they feel competent to do so. Their only qualification may be experience in doing orthodontic work without formal training. Any dentist can be certified by brace manufacturers to use their braces after attending a weekend course/courses.
There are many types of braces and trained orthodontists use them as “tools” to deliver the result of their choosing. This is very different to using one tool for every job. (One heart drug does not treat all heart conditions.)

Some brace manufacturers (such as “Fast braces, 6-month Smiles” & Inman aligners) heavily promote quick fixes to both patients and dentists. This may be ideal for some patients who have minor problems which only needs a short course of treatment to fix correctly and to a high standard. The danger is that if this may not right for you.

Any brace is capable of moving teeth within 6 months. How long your treatment will take depends on how much movement is required for the crown of the tooth and the root to arrive in the correct position. Nature has its own biological pace for moving teeth safely in the same way as growing a baby during pregnancy. Just as we would not compromise on the gestation period of our baby to ensure its full development, it is also safer to move teeth at a biological pace.

The question is, whether a short course of treatment will give you the result you are looking for, and what are all your options. An orthodontist with experience in all types of orthodontic problems and braces will be able to tell you.

$75 the duration of this appointment is about 20 minutes.

No, a referral form is not expected but it is common. If you have any concerns a self-referral is welcomed.

Our specialist will discuss the reasons for your visit, complete an orthodontic examination and decide if orthodontic treatment is recommended and the benefits. Following your visit, you will receive a written report as will your dentist and school dental therapist if relevant.

Records are X-rays, study models and a series of photographs taken of your teeth and face. Records are used to confirm a diagnosis and treatment plan. They are also used at each appointment during treatment.

Each treatment is individual and will depend on the severity of the problem and time estimated to complete the treatment.

Treatment time can vary from months to years, the average treatment period is 18 to 22 months. Tooth movement produced depends on each individual patient’s response to treatment, and compliance during treatment. Adult treatment does take longer than adolescent treatment.

Eftpos, cheque, cash and most major credit cards. We provide a payment plan and this can be paid by automatic payment or internet banking. We provide a payment plan for treatment with braces ie: deposit and balance payable over a number of months relative to treatment.

Yes. Everything outlined in your treatment plan and everything carried out is covered, all exclusions are explicitly mentioned on your treatment plan.

Yes. Regular check-ups are important. Clean, healthy teeth are essential for your final result and the long term health of your teeth and gums.

We’re going to be seeing a lot of each other as you go through your orthodontic treatment. Once we’re underway, you’ll need to come in fairly regularly for adjustments and checks.

We do our best to work around your school or work commitments, but unfortunately it’s almost impossible to undertake a full course of orthodontic treatment without some daytime appointments. We do try to be as flexible as possible and to schedule routine adjustment appointments for after school. Longer visits and some key appointments, if required, are usually scheduled during the day.

We provide adjustments late morning and early afternoon. Our day is structured to provide adjustment appointments at convenient times throughout the day allowing most patients school/work days to have as little interruption as possible.

Our longer appointments are scheduled within school and working hours.

 

Starting out – The good news is that having your braces put on is completely painless, but the first few days of wearing them can be a bit achy. The aching is caused by the pressure of the teeth being pulled, but it subsides as they begin to shift. It’s quite normal for the soreness to last for two to three days, but you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol to reduce the discomfort. Warm drinks also help.

The inside of your mouth is very sensitive, and although the braces are designed to be as comfortable as possible, some people find that the brackets scratch the insides of their lips and cheeks. Your mouth will get used to it fairly quickly, but in the meantime you can mould some soft wax over the irritating parts. The smooth wax feels good on a sore spot – and it can even be flavoured!

Keeping clean – Braces provide great places for food to hide and get stuck, so while you’re going through orthodontic treatment it becomes even more important to look after your teeth and gums. You really want to keep plaque from building up around the gum line as this can lead to gum disease.

Try to brush after every meal; we’ll show you how (it’s a bit harder with all those wires!). If you’re out for lunch and forget your toothbrush, have a good rinse-and-spit to dislodge any food.
It’s best to visit your dentist every six months while your braces are on, and avoid sugary foods and fizzy drinks.

Taking care of your braces – Having braces doesn’t mean you have to stop eating most foods, but you do have to be aware of what you eat. Hard foods such as apples and carrots can snap the brackets off when you bite into them and sticky chewy foods like toffee can stick to your braces. So be careful with nuts, avoid popcorn, chop hard foods into small pieces and chew slowly with your back teeth, and slice corn off the cob with a knife.

If you play sports, it’s also very important to protect your mouth while playing. Let us know, and we’ll provide you with a complimentary mouthguard to fit over your braces. A custom made mouthguard is an additional cost.

Breakages and repairs – You’ll have appointments every few weeks to check up on and adjust your braces. But if you break something, don’t wait for your next appointment! We need to repair your braces as soon as possible, because broken fixtures can alter the pressure on your teeth and result in your needing to wear braces for longer. The broken parts can also hurt the inside of your mouth.

Breakages do happen, so contact us as soon as you can to arrange a repair appointment.