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? Our costs are very competitive with interest-free payment plans available. We provide an all-inclusive price with no hidden extras and includes two-years follow-up with retainers included following treatment. Actual costs vary depending on the severity of the problem and the complexity and length of treatment, that’s why we offer our initial consultations free of charge, so you can find out what your smile requires.
Here is what you might pay for orthodontic treatment:
- Treatment over 18 to 24 months with braces ranges from $6500-$7500
- Clear aligners such as Invisalign, over 4 to 24 months range from $3000-$9500
- If surgery, extractions, plates or other special jaw techniques are required there may be higher fees.
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 small discount, or pay the treatment off interest-free over a period of time. For example, let's look at a $7000 two-year orthodontic treatment plan:
- Option 1: Payment up-front at a 5% discount would be $6650.
- 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 24 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 to 24 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 brace or Invisalign 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 invisable 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 dentist 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 your teeth, jaw bone or bite. This term can also used to describe the retainers 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 often used in growing patients. They are generally used to increase the size of the jaw or move it forward or back.
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. Find out more about mouthguards here.
What is Invisalign? Invisalign is a clinically proven, virtually invisible way to straighten teeth without metal braces.
Invisalign is a series of removable, clear plastic aligners which are worn day and night over your teeth to gradually move them into the desired position. Each aligner set is worn for about two weeks and is then replaced with the next in the series until your treatment is complete.
What are the benefits of Invisalign? Benefits of straighter teeth:
The benefits of having a straight smile without crowding or gaps extend far beyond the cosmetic. Teeth that are crowded or have gaps between them are often more susceptible to gum disease. They may also be difficult to brush or floss, leading to tooth decay. Straightening your teeth can result in better dental health, fresher breath, and the self-confidence that comes with having a smile you're proud of.
Benefits of using Invisalign over traditional braces: There are several benefits when comparing traditional braces and Invisalign. These include:
Cosmetic benefits: Invisalign aligners are made of clear plastic material and are virtually unnoticeable, allowing you to straighten your teeth without anyone noticing
Oral health benefits: There are no wires or metal to cause mouth abrasions with Invisalign as compared to traditional braces. And because Invisalign aligners are removable, you can eat, drink, brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Being removable, they also make regular dental check-ups easier.
More predictable treatment: With the ClinCheck software, you can actually see what your smile will look like after treatment even before you begin. And because we can review the progress during your treatment and make adjustments mid-treatment if required, you have a high level of control over your Invisalign treatment.
What is Invisalign made of? Invisalign aligners are made of SmartTrack which is an elastic aligner material made of a medical grade polyurethane resin that is bisphenol-A (BPA) free. This thermoplastic material looks similar to tooth-whitening trays.
How do Invisalign Invisible braces work? A series of Invisalign invisible aligners are custom-made in a laboratory using advanced computer imaging technology. You wear each Invisalign aligner for two weeks before replacing it with the next one, until your teeth are straight.
Here at Dentalcare West, we have developed a simple four-step Invisalign plan:
- Step 1: Book in for your free consultation One of our Invisalign practitioners will answer your questions and show you some of our previous work to ensure you are well informed and confident about your choice.
- Step 2: Receive your Invisalign treatment plan At your records appointment, we will take x-rays, photographs and digital impressions of your teeth to create a treatment plan for straightening your teeth. - Step 3: Create your new smile We will then go to work creating your new smile. The treatment plan, along with the latest 3D computer imaging technology, is used in the laboratory to create your clear aligners. The number of aligners needed (usually 15 to 30), depends on your specific circumstances. - Step 4: Maintain and smile! About every 2 weeks, you will replace your existing aligners with the next set in your series. And every 4-8 weeks, depending on your situation, you will visit our clinic to ensure your treatment is progressing properly. It typically takes 12 to 18 months to complete orthodontic treatment with Invisalign.
Is Invisalign treatment only for adults? No, for Invisalign treatment you just need to have all of your permanent teeth (fully erupted molars). However, you must be committed to wearing your Invisalign aligners at all times except for eating, drinking and cleaning.
At Dentalcare West we see a range of different ages from young to older patients and we definitely encourage you to come in for a complimentary consultation if you would like to know more about Invisalign.
How long does Invisalign treatment take? Most Invisalign treatments take 12–18 months.
How long do I have to wear Invisalign aligners? Invisalign is most effective when aligners are worn for 22 hours a day.
Can I eat and drink with my Invisalign aligners? Invisalign aligners are easily removable so you can still enjoy your favourite foods snacks and drinks. You can drink water wearing them, but they need to be removed for other drinks and all foods.
Do the Invisalign aligners hurt? You will feel temporary pressure when you wear Invisalign aligners for the first few days, and after each new aligner is used, as your teeth are being moved into their position, but this discomfort usually disappears after a couple of days.
Are there any side-effects in using Invisalign invisible braces? As with conventional treatments, you may feel a slight pressure at first when using Invisalign. Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech for some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two until your speech adjusts.
How much does Invisalign cost? Because Dentalcare West is a certified Invisalign provider and treats a high number of Invisalign cases per year, this results in a reduced cost for us which we pass on to our patients. We can offer Invisalign from as little as $3000 (depending on individual cases). We also provide a FREE Invisalign consultation to answer all your queries. We are confident in our ability to provide the best possible value for your treatment and are happy to see if we can beat any genuine written quote and treatment plan.
Will dental insurance cover any of the costs of my Invisalign treatment? Yes, providing you have orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces. You will need to check the policy details of your individual insurance plan by contacting your insurance provider.
How do I get started? To get started simply contact us and our friendly team will arrange a consultation. After your initial Invisalign evaluation, we will discuss your goals for a new smile. We will then plan your full Invisalign treatment and take your impressions and photographs. With advanced computer technology we can then show you what your results may look like, often even on the spot thanks to our state of the art, iTero tooth scanner.