If you're considering having orthodontic treatment, you'll no doubt have lots of questions. We've tried to cover off as many as possible on this page, but if you have any other questions, no matter how small, just contact us and one of our friendly staff will be only too happy to help.
Who can benefit from orthodontics?
Anyone concerned about the appearance and function of their teeth and jaws. Treatment can start as young as seven years of age, with no upper age limit. Most orthodontic treatment is undertaken in the early teenage years as this is when growth is most rapid.
What are the fees?
At Greenhithe Dentalcare, our costs are very competitive with interest-free payment plans available. We provide an all-inclusive price with no hidden extras. Actual costs vary depending on the severity of the problem and the complexity and length of treatment. You'll be provided with an all-inclusive fee before treatment begins with no hidden costs. Here is what you might pay for orthodontic treatment:
- Simple treatment over 6 to 12 months with a removable plate/braces: $2500-3000
- A bionator to align the jaws over 12 months: $2800
- Fixed appliances (braces) over 6 to 12 months: $3000-4500
- A combination of appliances for around two to three years: up to $7000 for really serious problems
And if you live in Auckland you will find this is a pretty good deal.
What finance options are available?
We've made financing orthodontics easy and affordable. You can either pay for treatment up-front in one payment and receive a discount, or pay the treatment off interest-free over a period of time. For example, let's look at a $6000 two-year orthodontic treatment plan:
- Option 1: Payment up-front at a 5% discount would be $5700.
- Option 2: Payment over a two-year treatment period would require a deposit of $1000 then $250 per month (or $62.50 per week) for 20 months by direct debit.
We'll discuss costs and payment plans for your needs at your initial consultation.
How long will treatment take?
Orthodontic treatment can vary between a few months to several years depending on the severity of the problem. The average treatment period is around 18 months, however we'll be able to give you an idea on how long your treatment will take at your initial consultation.
How often will I need to come in?
You'll need to see us every 4-8 weeks during treatment to have your braces checked and adjusted. This varies according to which phase of treatment we are in.
What is retention?
Once your braces have been removed it is vital that your teeth are kept in their new position. This can be achieved with the use of an upper removable plate and a fixed wire which is bonded behind the lower front teeth. You will need the plate full time for six months and then nights only for around 12-18 months. Your orthodontist will monitor your retention for two years after your braces have been removed.
What are fixed appliances?
Fixed appliances are more commonly known as braces and are very effective at straightening the teeth. Braces comprise of high-grade stainless steel or clear porcelain brackets which are fixed to each tooth. These brackets act as a handle, allowing the teeth to be moved as directed by a wire which runs along the brackets.
What are removable appliances?
These are a type of plate used to correct the position of individual or a few teeth. This term is also used to describe the retaining plates worn at the end of treatment.
What are functional appliances?
These appliances use the functional forces of the face to correct the bite and are only used in growing patients. They are generally used to posture a small lower jaw forward in the face.
Will I need to have any teeth out?
We will only take teeth out if it is necessary, and you will be advised at your initial consultation whether this is likely.
How do I look after my braces?
Your teeth have to be kept very clean. It's important to avoid sticky foods and sugary drinks as these will promote dental decay. You'll also need to avoid eating hard foods during treatment and will need to eat only very soft food in the first few days after your braces are applied. You'll receive an information sheet at the time your braces are put on that will provide you with more tips about caring for your braces. You will also need to see your dentist for regular dental check-ups during treatment and you may need extra dental hygiene visits.
Will it hurt?
Having braces applied is quite straightforward and not at all painful. Several hours after the braces have been placed you are likely to feel some discomfort. This will ease after the first week but some discomfort may also be felt after each orthodontic visit. Some people find that paracetamol helps ease this discomfort.
Can I still play sports?
Yes, you can still continue playing your favourite sport, but we definitely recommend the use of a custom-fitted mouthguard.