What is the difference between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?
100% of orthodontists are dentists. Only 3% of dentists are orthodontists.
An orthodontist is a specialist who has three years of specialist education in addition to their dental degree, and is an expert in straightening your teeth and choosing the treatment option that's best for you. We recommend that you check the qualifications of your doctor before starting any type of treatment to ensure they will provide the outcome you deserve. Our orthodontist, Bhavia, is a New Zealand registered specialist orthodontist. On completion of a 5 year dental degree, she has also then completed a three year masters degree and additional fellowship examinations with the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh at Otago University. Bhavia has also been in specialist orthodontic private practice for 12 years and not only has a wealth of experience but is passionate about her work and the people she cares for.
What is the best age to see an orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look of your smile and also how you feel, then any age can be a great age to see an orthodontist. The New Zealand Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child’s first visit to an orthodontist should be as soon as an irregularity is noticed in your child’s bite; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with an increasing number of adults choosing to undergo treatment. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit an orthodontist.
Do I need a referral from my dentist to schedule my appointment?
No, it is not a requirement. While many of our patients are referred by their family dentist or school dental service, equally as many of our patients schedule an examination check-up themselves.
What can I expect from a consultation appointment?
Your initial consultation will give you an opportunity to meet our Specialist Orthodontist and experienced team. Clinical photographs will be taken and an examination done of your teeth. When necessary, a screening xray (OPG) will be taken to help gather information that will help establish how to best treat you or your child.
How long will I be in braces?
This normally varies with the type of malocclusion that needs to be corrected. We will be able to give you a reasonable idea of treatment time after the full consultation appointment. Treatment times can also differ between patients with the same malocclusion and this is normally due to individual variations in the rate of tooth movement and cooperation of the patient.
Will braces hurt?
When braces are first placed, there is usually some sensitivity and discomfort and this is expected to last about 3-4 days. The teeth may feel loose and tender to bite on. This is normal. The braces might also rub against the lips and cheeks, possibly leading to ulcers. This can usually be controlled with dental wax (which we provide) placed over the edges that are rubbing. There might also be some discomfort when braces are adjusted. Paracetamol is very effective for this and no other medications are usually needed.
Do teeth always need to be extracted for orthodontic treatment?
Usually teeth do not need to be removed and this is something our orthodontist does her best to avoid. However, in some cases teeth need to be extracted to create enough space to align teeth or to improve the appearance of a protrusive lip profile. When extractions are recommended, it is because it is the best treatment option for you and will produce the best result. Specialist orthodontists understand that each case is unique, with the specialist knowledge and experience to carefully diagnose each case to provide the best treatment modality for you or your child.
If braces are necessary is a financial plan available?
The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on many factors, including the severity of the problem and its complexity. We feel that everyone should be entitled to a beautiful, healthy smile and do our very best to help you achieve this. Our financial coordinator will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and financing options with you before treatment begins.