When is the best time to start treatment?
Some growth and development problems start in the first few months of life. It is a good idea to seek professional advice as soon as you, the parent, suspect something is not right. Some problems can be corrected in the growing infant, some problems a few years later and most problems can begin treatment in the 6-8 year time frame.
Am I too old for treatment?
The oldest patient we have treated with braces has been 66 and the youngest we have treated myofunctionally is 2 years 2 months. We are comfortable working with you or your child at any age.
What is the cost of a consultation?
The fee for the consultation is very much dependent on the degree of difficulty of the presenting problem and the time required to give you the information you require to make an informed decision. However, fees for myofunctional, orthopaedic and orthodontic consultations range from nil to $90. Fees for preventive, restorative, cosmetic and surgical consultations are again related to that degree of difficulty factor again, but ranges from nil to $125.
What happens at the initial visit?
During your initial visit you will be asked why you are here. Various written information will be requested if not already received by post. For the early treatment or orthodontic consultation you or your child will be examined by one of our dentists and possibly our resident Oral Myologist depending on the presenting symptoms. You or your child will be shown what is considered to be ideal and your presenting conditions will be compared against this information for your understanding with or without various audio-visual aids. All other consultations and examinations will be done by dentists and/or hygienists and radiographs may be requested. By the end of your visit you will be advised of possible treatment planning. Where possible we will make every effort to give you an idea of fees.
How much does treatment cost?
Treatment fees as discussed elsewhere are very much dependent on the degree of difficulty of the presenting problem. They literally can be from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Our fees are all inclusive and we will be providing you with verbal and written documentation as well as multiple options for payment and or financial arrangements.
Do you have after school appointments?
Yes we do and we are open early in the morning as well. However, we would like you to appreciate that it is impossible for us to serve our large patient base solely outside of school hours. Additionally, we have staff that have families of their own and they need to get home to care for them after school. We ask that you are considerate of all involved and schedule some of your appointments during school hours.
Will my child's crowded teeth improve as they grow?
This would be unusual and in fact many malocclusions slowly get worse with age up to a point. It is possible for a child to grow out of their malocclusion if the underlying cause of the problem is removed but this typically involves some form of treatment.
How long will the treatment take?
We are back to the issue of the degree of difficulty of treating the problem again. The more severe the malocclusion is the longer the treatment necessary to correct it. Most cases are completed in 18-24 months however some cases can be as short as a few months and others go for 3 years. Younger children will often begin treatment then at some stage be placed in a passive mode waiting for growth, development and myofunctional changes before continuing to completion at a later date. Restorative treatment plans can range from a single visit to multiple months based on the degree of difficulty factor.
Do you take out permanent teeth?
One of our professional colleagues phrases that question differently. 'Do we remove body parts?' We make every effort not to remove teeth. This is why we like to see your child early. We acknowledge that there are some situations where tooth extraction is unavoidable and more appropriately the treatment of choice.
How frequent are the appointments?
Frequent visits lead to the treatment moving forward consistently and predictably. Orthodontic appointments range from every 2 weeks to as long as 4 months. On average appointments are 4 weekly.
What about contact sports?
If you play any kind of contact sport you will need to remove your orthopaedic appliance(s). If you are wearing braces you will need a suitable orthodontic mouth guard. In the early stages of your treatment this will by necessity have to be periodically remoulded and or modified.
What is the difference between a specialist orthodontist and a dentist who does orthodontics?
A specialist orthodontist typically continues their university training for 2-3 years following their dental degree and subsequently restricts their dental practice to orthodontic treatment. The general practitioner dentist finishes their dental degree and subsequently engages in continued education, often over decades, and does not restrict their practice to orthodontics. Both practitioners are expected to provide a similar standard of care.
Can you refer me to someone who does orthodontics elsewhere?
Absolutely. We can refer you to a general dentist or specialist orthodontist in most of the major cities in New Zealand, some cities in the United States as well as multiple locations in Australia. We can also refer you to general dentists practicing orthodontics in these locations as well.
Will I need to see my family dentist during treatment?
Absolutely. Most of the clients we treat are patients of record in this clinic and are seen regularly for routine preventive and restorative care. Our philosophy of prevention recommends that you be seen twice a year, once by the dentist and once by the hygienist. Orthodontic patients should be seen twice a year by the family dentist and hygienist.
Is it difficult to clean your teeth with braces?
No it is not difficult. Does it take more time? Absolutely but we will help you by giving you sufficient and appropriate instruction as well as various hygiene aids to make the job easier.