FAQ

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Can you advise me of any orthodontic treatment without having an assessment or consultation?

Diagnosis is an important part of orthodontics and unfortunately this can not be done by briefly glancing at someone’s teeth. Orthodontics is a complex field within Dentistry and requires a detailed examination and appropriate record taking to provide you with the best treatment plan for your orthodontic needs.

Do you do early treatment?

Early treatment is only provided if it is necessary. In some instances, we may use plates, expanders, limited braces, or clear aligners like Invisalign First to correct an orthodontic problem that your child may have. The goal of early treatment is to reduce the severity of orthodontic problems in the future. Most patients who have early treatment will go on to have comprehensive treatment when their adult teeth have erupted. After your first appointment, your Orthodontist will determine if early orthodontic treatment is beneficial.

Do you have payment plans?

Option 1 - Deposit Payable. Zero Interest for 18 months. An 18-month interest-free payment plan is available. This is delivered in-house and is available for all braces and Invisalign treatments. Other treatment options are not eligible for this payment plan. A Direct Debit Authority will be signed and funds are deducted from your nominated bank account on the 1st of every month. A minimum deposit of $1750 is required for classic, clear and gold braces treatment, while a deposit of $3800 is required for Invisalign or hidden braces treatment. Overdue payments will attract an interest charge as per our Terms of Trade. Delinquent accounts will be dealt with as per our Terms of Trade.

To be eligible for an in-house payment plan, the following items are required prior to treatment initiation.

Direct Debit Authority form completed.
Copy of Drivers License or Passport.
Signed acknowledgement for 18-month Payment Plan provided to you.

This payment plan is discretionary and Milk Orthodontics and its representatives are not under any obligation to offer this payment plan.

Option 2 - Zero Deposit, Zero Interest for 30 months. We have partnered with Q-Mastercard to bring you a 30-month interest free payment plan. This plan is offered via Q-Mastercard for all treatments over $2000. Q-Mastercard terms and conditions apply. Applications are made via QMastercard online and are subject to Q-Mastercard lending criteria.

Does it hurt having braces?

You may experience mild discomfort in the early days following braces or clear aligner placement. The discomfort will resolve on its own after a few days. After each adjustment your teeth may also feel a little tender. Over the counter pain relief and soft food often is all that is needed to remove any pain.

How long do I have to have braces for?

This depends on how complex your orthodontic needs are and exact timing depends on a variety of factors. Typically full orthodontic treatment takes 18-24 months. Teeth take time to move through bone and if they move too fast then this can lead to irreversible side effects. We will give you an estimate of the expected treatment duration. However, please note that it is only an estimate and treatment duration may be shorter or longer than the estimate we provide. Please be wary of non-specialists or companies offering at home treatment or claiming fast treatment, it is compromised incomplete treatment - you simply cannot use excessive force to speed up a biological response.

How much do braces and clear aligners like Invisalign cost?

Every person has different needs so every case is specific and individual. Each treatment plan is personalised and customised for you. Due to these variables, an exact cost cannot be given without an appointment. However, please refer to our pricing page here for more information.

How much does the first appointment cost?

The cost of the first appointment to explore orthodontic treatment depends on the age of the patient. Please refer to our pricing page here for more information.

How much time will the first appointment take?

Your first appointment will take approximately 30 minutes. When you come in, we’ll conduct a clinical examination, take diagnostic photos, take X-rays as required, and formulate your orthodontic treatment plan. At this appointment we will outline the entire process, and provide you with the exact treatment cost along with the estimated orthodontic treatment duration.

My braces were placed overseas, can I transfer to your clinic?

Every specialist uses different bracket systems which means they have different types of wires and brackets. Wires and brackets are not universal. Therefore, to transfer to our clinic, it will require removing the current braces you have and place our braces so we have the correct wires and brackets to move your teeth in an efficient manner and time.

Should I use an electric or manual toothbrush?

We would recommend an electric toothbrush as they are more efficient for cleaning.

What braces options do you have?

We have multiple options you can choose from. We will determine what type of treatment will be most beneficial for you at your first appointment.

Ceramic Braces: These brackets are made of a translucent material, providing a more discreet appearance.

Hidden Braces: These are also known as lingual braces. These brackets are bonded behind your teeth. They are a good option for those who don’t want anyone to know that you are straightening your teeth. Treatment with hidden braces is complex so it’s important to ensure you are prepared to take on the challenges that come with this option.

Clear Aligners: Clear aligners such as Invisalign and Spark aligners are an alternative to traditional braces. Clear aligners are removable however they must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day to have effective tooth movement. Not all cases are suitable for this option of orthodontic treatment, however we will determine if you are a candidate for clear aligners.

What is a retainer?

There are two types of retainers in Orthodontics. The first is a fixed or bonded retainer. These are wires bonded/glued on the back of the front teeth to keep your teeth straight after the removal of braces. This is common practice and reduces the chances of your teeth moving. The second type of retainer is a removable retainer. These are worn to assist with the stability of your teeth after your braces have been removed and also help prevent teeth moving out of alignment.

What is an adjustment? Why do we need to come every 4-6 weeks?

An adjustment is usually a 20 min appointment where you will have your braces adjusted. The purpose of the adjustment is to ensure the braces are continuing to gradually move the teeth as desired. It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for a wire to express.

What is an Orthodontic Auxiliary?

An Orthodontic Auxiliary is a complementary staff member who is able to assist the Orthodontist with some of the manual tasks involved in treatment. An Orthodontic Auxiliary works under the direct instruction of a Specialist Orthodontist, but has no input in the diagnosis or treatment planning of an orthodontic case. Orthodontic auxiliaries are registered health professionals with a scope of practice defined by the Dental Council of New Zealand.

What is the best age to bring my child in to see an Orthodontist?

The recommended age to bring your child in for orthodontic assessment is seven. If your child does not require any early or comprehensive treatment, follow up review appointments are free of charge. These complimentary appointments are to ensure the teeth are erupting as they should and to address any orthodontic issues as soon as they arise to circumvent future issues.

What is the difference between a dentist and an Orthodontist?

A dentist has limited to no training in orthodontics, while an Orthodontist has extensive specialist training. Orthodontists have not only completed a dentistry degree but an additional 3 years of specialist orthodontic training, research, and didactic study. They additionally have more than 5,000 hours of clinical training. Orthodontists have a better understanding of the biomechanics involved in orthodontic treatment and can approach cases with more expertise. All Orthodontists are dentists, but only a handful of dentists will ever become Orthodontists. Dentists who do offer orthodontic treatment often charge the same amount, and some patients end up requiring re-treatment at full cost with a Specialist Orthodontist.

What is the process for getting braces?

The first step is to book your first appointment. At this appointment we’ll conduct a clinical examination, take diagnostic photos, take X-rays as required, and formulate your orthodontic treatment plan.

If you decide to have orthodontic treatment, we would then arrange for braces or clear aligners to be placed. This appointment will take approximately 75 minutes. Having these placed is completely painless, and you’ll be given instructions on how to care for your braces.

After your braces are placed, you will have regular adjustment appointments approximately every 4-6 weeks. These appointments are usually only 20 minutes.

When you are ready to have your braces removed, we will place upper and lower bonded retainer wires on the back of your front teeth. These are not visible to onlookers. These wires help keep the teeth straight once the braces are removed. Having your braces removed takes approximately 60 minutes. At this appointment we also take impressions or do a 3D digital impression to make removable retainers. You will be provided with removable retainers.

The top retainer is to be worn full time for the first six months and then at nights for at least another year. We will monitor you for 6 months after your braces are removed. After that time, you are welcome to visit us as needed. We recommend indefinite nightly wear of retainers to maintain an optimal smile over your lifetime.

What qualifications do you have to have as an Orthodontic Auxiliary?

There are two pathways to becoming an Orthodontic Auxiliary. A qualified Oral Health Therapist can practice as an auxiliary as part of their training and scope of practice. The second pathway is as a certified dental assistant. Certified dental assistants can go on to do 2 years of additional training through NZAO to obtain registration to practice as an Orthodontic Auxiliary

What should I do if a bracket comes off?

If a bracket comes off, it is best to contact us and arrange to have the bracket repaired. Leaving a broken bracket can cause unwanted tooth movement and lead to an extended treatment time.

Why do I need retainers?

Retainers are an important part of your orthodontic treatment. They are essential in maintaining the bite and alignment of your newly positioned smile.

Why do you need to take X-rays?

Typically there are two different types of X-rays taken in orthodontics. These are known as a cephalometric X-ray and a panoramic X-ray. At times we may order other X-rays. X-rays are used to assess angulation of teeth, determine how much supporting bone you have, assess root length, health of your teeth, and to check for any other dental anomalies such as missing or supernumerary teeth. With modern technology the amount of radiation a person receives from orthodontic X-rays is minimal.

Will I need to have extractions?

We believe every tooth is precious and do not take the decision to extract teeth lightly. A full set of records are taken to determine if extractions are required. X-rays will allow us to see if you have enough bone to support the straightening of your teeth, if not, then expansion and/or extractions become part of the treatment plan. Without enough bone, there is a risk of pushing teeth out of bone. If you do need extractions, we will discuss the need for them in detail.