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What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has received three years of full-time training so they can specialise in orthodontics. This is on top of the five to six years spent training as a general dentist. These professionals are the most qualified to diagnose, prevent and treat problems you may have in the alignment of your teeth and jaws.

At what age should treatment start?

The New Zealand Society of Orthodontics recommends that your child undergo an orthodontic consultation by the time they are seven or eight years of age. This is to assess the development of the teeth and jaws. Most often, no orthodontic treatment is required at this age, but your Orthodontist will continue to review and monitor your child’s dental development. Early assessment with an Orthodontist can help prevent more serious problems and complications down the road and also let you know when the optimal time for orthodontic treatment is for your child.

Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, abnormal wear of the tooth surface, inefficient chewing action and excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. Most untreated orthodontic issues worsen over time. Treatment by a specialist to correct the original problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat serious problems that can develop in later years. In addition, well aligned teeth and a properly functioning bite are key ingredients to an attractive smile, increasing self-esteem and confidence!

Will I have to have teeth removed for braces?

Only a small percentage of patients benefit from the extraction of adult teeth prior to orthodontic treatment. This usually only occurs in cases where there are severely crowded dentitions or when aligning the teeth without extraction would result in the appearance of “buck” teeth. As Orthodontists, we look at faces first and foremost, and our aim is to protect lip curves and maintain pleasing profiles.

Does getting braces hurt?

As a rule, braces don’t hurt. However, some patients experience their teeth to be tender the first couple of days after they receive their braces or after an adjustment. This feeling will usually disappear. This annoyance is relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever if necessary.

How much will orthodontic treatment cost?

There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to this question. The cost of orthodontic treatment can vary from one patient to the next. This is because individual needs can vary greatly. The only way to be sure of the specific costs of your treatment is to have a consultation. Fortunately we are able to offer payment plans that make treatment more affordable. If you are a member of a Health Fund, then you will need to discuss your rebates with them directly. Higher levels of coverage will often return $2,500 over a normal course of treatment. They usually require you to be a member for at least one year, however, before you are eligible to file a claim.

What if my question is not answered here?

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. If your question is not answered here, then please do not be afraid to contact us with your enquiries. Our friendly and helpful staff will assist you in any way they can, ensuring that all of your questions are addressed properly.

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