Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the questions below to view the answers.

How do I know if I need orthodontics?
Why should I choose Phil as my orthodontist?
Can I refer myself to see Phil?
What will happen at my initial consultation?
What does treatment involve?
How long does treatment take?
What special care do braces require?
What is Invisalign®?
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
How can I pay for my orthodontic treatment?
Who will I see at my appointments?
What do I do if a wire or bracket breaks?
Can I refer a friend to see Phil?

How do I know if I need orthodontics?

People of all ages and backgrounds undergo orthodontic treatment. Some patients have too many or too few teeth, extreme ‘buck’ teeth, large spaces or overlapping teeth, known as crowding.

Likewise, some patients may only have one or two teeth out of place but would love to be able to smile with confidence.
If you are unsure whether or not you may require orthodontics, we recommend you speak to your dentist or contact Phil directly for a no-obligation consultation.

Why should I choose Phil as my orthodontist?

Phil is a specialist orthodontist who has completed, with Distinction, an additional three years of study for his Orthodontic Masters degree. This is on top of his five year Dentist degree in which he graduated with Credit. Phil is a perfectionist who closely monitors all of his patients’ treatment progress to ensure the best possible result is achieved. Patients see Phil at most, if not all, of their appointments.

Phil is continually looking for new advances in orthodontics. He is one of a few Orthodontists with a digital intra-oral scanner which can avoid the need for alginate impressions.

Phil is primarily located in the heart of Merivale on Innes Road but holds fortnightly clinics in Rangiora and Rolleston. A range of treatment options are available using the latest in orthodontic systems, including clear and metal braces and the near-invisible brace technology, Invisalign®. Phil selects an individual prescription from these technologies for each of his patients to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. Phil also offers numerous discounts and payment options.

Can I refer myself to see Phil?

Yes, of course! Many patients are referred to Phil by their dentist, while others self-refer themselves from word-of-mouth recommendations.

What will happen at my initial consultation?

At the initial consultation Phil will talk to you about your concerns about your teeth and will examine them to assess the extent of the problem. He will discuss treatment options and will send you a follow up letter once moulds of your teeth have been taken and a full analysis has been carried out. For a step-by-step guide to braces treatment see our Treatment page.

What does treatment involve?

Not all patients need braces on their top and bottom teeth. Some only have one or the other and others do not have braces at all; they may use the near-invisible brace technology called Invisalign®.

For a step-by-step guide to braces treatment see our Treatment page.

Once Phil has glued the braces on to your teeth in the correct position, he will want to see you for an appointment about once every eight weeks to make adjustments to the wires and check the progress of the treatment. At the end of treatment, your braces will be removed by one of Phil’s nurses and a clear, plastic retainer will be fitted.

How long does treatment take?

The length of treatment varies, depending on the extent of the problem. On average, full braces on top and bottom teeth remain there for 18 months. This can vary though. Phil will give you an estimate of the treatment time when he discusses treatment options with you.

What special care do braces require?

It is vitally important for patients to have excellent oral hygiene routines. The braces need to be cleaned very carefully to prevent food getting caught which can cause tooth decay.

Please download the Colgate – oral care during orthodontic treatment booklet (pdf 4mb) for a full explanation of how to look after your braces. You will be given this booklet once your braces are placed on your teeth and you will receive a comprehensive explanation from one of Phil’s nurses on how to care for your braces.

Phil requires all of his patients to take responsibility for their own oral hygiene and offers an in-house hygienist service.

What is Invisalign®?

By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign® straightens your teeth with results you’ll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into straighter position step by step, until you have a more beautiful smile. And unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual.

For more information about Invisalign®, visit the Invisalign® website or our Invisible Braces page.

 

What is Incognito®?

Incognito braces are lingual braces which means they are glued onto the back (inside) of the teeth so they are virtually invisible from the outside. For more information visit the Invisible Braces page

How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the type of braces used, the extent of the crookedness of the teeth and the time which it may take to fix. Phil will outline all the costs involved when he discusses the best treatment options for you. Phil offers a range of payment options and discounts including an upfront payment discount, family discounts and monthly instalments. He also accepts Q Card which means patients receive three months interest free.

How can I pay for my orthodontic treatment?

Most of Phil’s patients pay in monthly installments which spreads the cost out over the entire treatment duration.

Phil offers a 10% discount to patients who pay for the treatment upfront in one payment. Paying with Q-Card and Farmer’s Card which provides three months’ interest free is another popular payment option.

For families who are treated by Phil, a discount of 5% is offered to the second child and 10% for the third and subsequent children.

Who will I see at my appointments?

Phil likes to monitor the progress of his patients’ treatment closely so at most, if not all, appointments you will see Phil, as well as one of his nurses.

What do I do if a wire or bracket breaks?

If a wire or bracket breaks, you need to contact the Practice on 03 3754418 at the start of the next working day to arrange an appointment with Phil or his nurses so it can be mended. If the wire is causing discomfort in the meantime, it can be folded back on itself or clipped off until Phil can repair it.

For more information about common problems, visit the New Zealand Orthodontist Association website.

Can I refer a friend to see Phil?

Absolutely yes! And if your friend goes ahead with treatment you will receive a $40 Westfield voucher to say thank you for the referral. Make sure your friend tells us that you referred them.