Orthodontic FAQs Auckland

19 July 2023

What other benefits come with orthodontic treatment apart from giving you the perfect smile?

Orthodontic treatment will give you the perfect smile you have always wanted, but there are also multiple other benefits of orthodontic treatment which come along with your new smile. With your teeth and jaws in perfect alignment, you will able to brush and floss your teeth more thoroughly. This usually lessens your chance of tooth decay and gum disease in the future. You are also less likely to suffer from jaw pain and wearing of your teeth. 

What are the different types of orthodontic treatment offered?

At Donna Lim Orthodontics, we are thrilled to be able to offer our patients multiple treatment options for their orthodontic treatment. These include clear aligners, braces as well as early orthodontic treatment options for children. Our advanced wire printing option, called SureSmile, allows for more precise tooth movement during braces treatments and therefore more efficient treatment times.

What are elastics used for in orthodontic treatment? 

Orthodontic elastics, also known as braces elastics or rubber bands, are used together with braces or clear aligners to help create perfect dental alignment and correct bite concerns.  While clear aligners and traditional braces focus on making your teeth straight, orthodontic elastics focus on how the upper and lower teeth come together. However there are many ways these are used, each with their own specific purpose. Some common types braces elastic use include:

  1. Interarch Orthodontic Elastics: Interarch elastics are used to correct bite issues, such as overbites or underbites. They link  the upper and lower jaws together, applying force to move the teeth and align the bite. Interarch elastics are often worn in different ways, depending on the specific issue with your bite.
  1. Triangle orthodontic Elastics: Triangle elastics are similar to interarch elastics but are placed in the shape of a triangle. They are used to promote specific tooth movements and bite adjustments. Triangle elastics provide different force points compared to other types of elastics.                         
  1. Power Chain orthodontic elastics: Power chains are used for closing larger gaps between teeth or helping to pull down a tooth that may be stuck in your top jaw. 

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Orthodontic treatment works by applying consistent pressure to the teeth, which over time moves them into the correct position. The time in braces or clear aligners depends on the complexity of your orthodontic needs, and can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. A longer treatment time for complex tooth movement allows for gentler, more gradual orthodontic movement that is less likely to cause discomfort or damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues. This approach is less likely to cause tooth sensitivity, gum recession, or other complications that can occur with more rapid orthodontic movement.

How often do I need to see the Orthodontist during treatment?

Your visits will be between 8 weeks to 16 weeks and beyond. Dr Lim uses a virtual monitoring platform c which is based on combination of artificial Intelligence and of course oversight from Dr Lim to monitor treatment progress in between appointments, resulting in you only coming into the practice when needed. Simply upload photos of your teeth to the app in between your practice visits. This allows us to monitor your tooth movement in between visits and to only have to visit the clinic when essential. 

How do braces work at Donna Lim Orthodontics?

Braces work by attaching brackets to your teeth with temporary adhesive and inserting wires that are adjusted over time to promote tooth movement. Elastics may be used to align the jaws, and advanced robotic wire printing allows for precise and efficient tooth movement. After treatment, full-time and then nightly retainers are necessary to maintain the results. SureSmile technology, offered by Dr. Lim in New Zealand, uses 3-D technology and robotic wire bending to move teeth more efficiently and directly, allowing for a more precise smile design. SureSmile technology replaces the manual bending of archwires with robotic hands, ensuring maximum control over tooth movement. The treatment planning software evaluates options, visualizes the desired result, and maps the tooth movement path, reducing the need for multiple adjustments. Patients often experience less discomfort with SureSmile treatment compared to traditional braces, thanks to the use of gentler wires and fewer adjustments. As for the aesthetics, you have the choice of tooth-colored ceramic braces, metal braces, or a combination of both, with the option to add color using bands for a personalised touch.

Is orthodontic treatment painful?

Orthodontic treatment is often associated with being painful. While there can be some mild discomfort, this association is often untrue and depends on the tolerance of the patient. Discomfort is more likely to happen at the start of treatment or when a wire is changed but can be easily managed with paracetamol (if you can take this).

How much is orthodontic treatment at Donna Lim Orthodontics?

Our interest-free orthodontic payment plans aim to bring a smile to your face while ensuring affordability. We offer various ways to help with the cost of orthodontics, such as a 5% discount for upfront payments and a family discount if you have a family member already in treatment. We transparently include the cost of retainers in your treatment quote, and both braces and clear aligners are priced equally, allowing you to choose your preferred option without compromising quality. Orthodontic treatment for kids with baby teeth ranges from $950 to $5,000, while moderate orthodontics for teens and adults, lasting up to 12 months, range from $5,100 to $7,500. For complex orthodontic cases, which may require treatment for up to 30 months, the cost ranges from $9,850 to $11,800. A $300 deposit is included in the treatment fee to cover appliance creation and treatment initiation. We offer flexible interest-free payment options to suit your needs and budget, and you do not require a dentist referral to have an orthodontic assessment with us. For more information, visit our orthodontic price guide .

Do I need to see my dentist during my orthodontic treatment?
When you are in orthodontic treatment, it is highly important to still attend your regular check up visits to the dentist. Orthodontic appliances can trap food creating plaque and furthermore potential tooth decay. By staying on top of dental check-ups, you can address any dental health concerns before they become more advanced. Your general dentist will also look out for any signs of decalcification. Decalcification can affect the appearance and strength of your teeth. 

What will happen at my consultation appointment?

When attending your orthodontic consultation at Donna Lim Orthodontics, you will firstly be greeted by our friendly reception team. They will inform Dr Lim and her clinic team that you have arrived for your appointment. To start your consultation off, we will take X-rays and photographs of your teeth. Once these have been completed, you will be able to discuss with Dr Lim’s clinical team exactly what your concerns are and what result you are looking for. Dr Lim will complete a comprehensive examination of your teeth, jaws and facial profile. Once the required information has been recorded, Dr Lim will thoroughly discuss her findings, treatment options available to you, answer any questions you may have and help you choose the right treatment for you.  Rest assured, after your consultation appointment, you will be well equipped with all of the information you need. In addition, you’ll receive detailed information on timing, costs, and flexible payment plans. 

Do I need to wear my retainers?

Wearing your orthodontic retainers is key to maintaining the results of your orthodontic treatment. Teeth are known to want to go back to where they originally were. Retainers ensure that your teeth stay in perfect alignment. Once you have completed your orthodontics treatment, you will be issued with retainers. Dr Lim will inform you how, when and for how long you will need to wear them. 

Can I play sports with my braces on?

Yes, you most certainly can. Injuries can happen during any sport regardless if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. It is essential that you wear a specific orthodontic mouthguard during all contact sports. Ask Dr Lim more about this when you see her for your consultation. 

What foods should you avoid whilst wearing braces?

We advise staying away from sticky, chewy or hard foods during orthodontic treatment as these types of foods can break braces and therefore potentially extend the treatment time required. 

How are braces removed at the end of treatment?

Braces are simple to remove when you have completed your orthodontic treatment. We use a specialist instrument to gently squeeze the brackets which makes them gently come away from the tooth. This isn’t painful but you may hear a popping sound as the bracket comes away from the tooth which is normal. Once all of the brackets are removed, we will then polish any leftover adhesive from your teeth to ensure they are perfectly smooth. This process does not harm your teeth. 

I have chosen to have clear aligners, how often do I change them?

When you are undergoing clear aligner treatment, the trays are changed every 1-2 weeks in the comfort of your home, depending upon what Dr Lim recommends for you. This time frame depends on your specific treatment plan. Dr Lim will inform you of the schedule for changing these at the time your first set are inserted. Our Dental Monitoring app also helps with determining when you need to change your aligners to a new set. Artificial intelligence as well as Dr Lim’s expertise will be with you every step of the way. You will always be fully aware of when it is time to change to your next set of aligners. 

Virtual Consultation with Donna Lim Orthodontics

Would you like to know if you can benefit from dental or orthodontic treatment? Just upload a few photos of your teeth and get your dental report without leaving your home!

Auckland Smiles

created by Dr Donna Lim

Our specialist orthodontist memberships and partners