Step 1Phone us first

The best way for us to learn about you or your child and answer any initial questions you may have.

You may have received a referral from a dental practitioner, however a referral is not always needed.



Step 2“New Patient” appointment

20 mins – meet the orthodontist for a general discussion about your situation, and what orthodontics could do for you.

$75, plus an additional $75 if xrays are required on the day


Each patient’s case is treated as individual and unique. In most cases the orthodontist will recommend one of the following options:


Option 1Develop a treatment plan


The next step is full orthodontic records, scans and photos.  We use advanced technology to get a 3D image of the mouth and jaw, and/or and OPG (panoramic x-ray) plus photos inside the mouth, so the orthodontist can understand exactly what’s happening with the teeth and jaw. Cost is $300

The orthodontist will discuss the treatment options available, and the treatment plan they recommend.  Parents are encouraged to attend with their children as the orthodontist outlines in detail costs and answer any questions you may have.  We will give you a written treatment plan to take away and consider.

Once you have signed the consent form and completed the payment form, and returned both to us, we can make your next appointment.

Option 2Reconsider at a later date

Normally with children; we’ll get in touch with you in 6, 12 or 18 months’ time to make another appointment and see what’s changed.  There may be several recall appointments before we proceed with treatment. 

The Process


Braces fitted or Invisalign aligners placed

Dependent on the type of treatment this appointment will be 40 to 120 minutes



Routine check

These are important to ensure your braces are working as they should, make adjustments and to check that you’re keeping good tooth and mouth hygiene.  Delayed or missed appointments can length the treatment time overall.




If there’s a problem with your braces or retention equipment, give us a call to talk first.

See our Dealing with Problems section for more information.




Your big day when the braces come off to reveal your stunning new straight teeth.  You’ll need a second appointment on the same day to fit your retainers.




The retention phase is just as important as the time you have with braces.   Your teeth will want to move, and your retainers hold your straight teeth in their new position.  You’ll need several recall appointments during the is time.




Often 18 – 24 months after treatment commences.


How many appointments will I need to go to, and when?

The estimated active treatment time is 18 - 26 months. This is dependent on your co-operation, with regular and punctual attendance at appointments, prompt reporting of any damage, tooth brushing, elastic wear and care with the foods eaten.  Persistent breakages or poor tooth brushing may result in the treatment being ended prematurely.


After braces are fitted your orthodontist will need to see you for adjustments every 5-7 weeks or so during the period of active treatment. These appointments are usually 10-20 minutes long. There are limited after school appointment times available and most appointments will be in school time. Priority will be given to those sitting national exams or who have learning difficulties. We have a practice policy on appointment scheduling. This is aimed to be fair and equitable to all patients. It was composed in consultation with all Nelson secondary schools.


What happens after the braces come off?

The retainer will guide and hold the teeth once they have settled into their new positions.  The bonded retainer should remain in place indefinitely. The completion of orthodontic treatment does not ensure a lifetime of perfectly straight teeth.

After one to two years of wearing retainers, the teeth will be as stable as can be expected. There is always the potential for some relapse of the initial problem.  Even people who have not had orthodontic treatment will find their teeth shift throughout their lives.  This happens whether there are wisdom teeth present or not.

We aim to develop a retention regime to suit the individual needs of the patient. Slight irregularity, particularly of the lower front teeth, may sometimes have to be accepted as the best possible result for the particular circumstances with the natural progression of time.

Very rarely we may have to replace the braces if the teeth move to an unacceptable position following removal. If you wish to see our practice policy on re-treatment, please ask our office staff.