Braces and orthodontic services to help put the smile back on your face!
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialist area of dentistry concerned with improving the appearance, function and stability of teeth and jaws. An orthodontist is a dentist who has gone on to complete an additional 2-3 years of specialist university study in orthodontics.
Your specialist orthodontist can:
- Align teeth to ensure correct function
- Contribute to a beautiful smile
- Improve dental hygiene
What causes orthodontic problems?
The technical term for a bad bite is malocclusion. Most orthodontic problems – like crowding, too much space between teeth, extra or missing teeth – are inherited. A wide variety of irregularities result in the need or simply the desire for orthodontic treatment.
Acquired malocclusions can be caused by accidents, thumb or finger sucking, dental disease or premature loss of baby or permanent teeth.
Whether inherited or acquired, many problems can affect facial development and appearance as well as functional alignment of the teeth.
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. Orthodontic treatment can bring the teeth, jaw and mouth into proportion with the face, increasing self esteem and confidence.
How long does treatment take?
Orthodontics, like all good things, takes time. Treatment is also as unique as you are. Treatment time is generally dependent on the growth of the mouth and face, the severity of the problem, and the patient’s commitment to treatment. Treatment typically ranges from 3 – 24 months depending on patient age, extent of the problem, and treatment requirements.
Is orthodontic treatment only for children?
Both children and adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment. The introduction of clear braces and behind-the-teeth braces makes correcting malocclusions a realistic option for everyone.
What's the optimum age to start treatment?
The best time to seek an orthodontic opinion is as soon as you notice an irregularity in your or your child’s bite. While it may seem that orthodontics is a teenage issue, only a specialist orthodontist can advise if early treatment is best, or if you should wait until all the adult teeth are in.
Orthodontic treatment during teenage years is common as the rapid growth of the mouth, teeth and jaw during this phase is utilised in treatment.
How much will treatment cost?
The cost of treatment for orthodontics is dependent on many variables, but there are usually solutions for every issue and for every budget. Contact your local member of the NZAO for a full assessment and to discuss payment terms and treatment options.
Most of our members are happy to extend the payment for treatment over the length of the treatment, breaking it down into manageable chunks. Some also offer discounts for siblings or for early payment. Your local orthodontist will be able to discuss the best pan for your needs.
Like any professional organisation, fees may vary between members and in different areas.