Choosing a good orthodontist is an important first step towards treating orthodontic problems and getting a smile you can be proud of.

It is usual for orthodontic treatment to take about two years, so it’s essential to find a provider who you’re comfortable with for that period.

Here are our top tips for selecting an orthodontic provider:

Go Local

During the course of your orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to have regular visits to see your orthodontist, so it is recommended that you choose an orthodontist near where you live/work.

You can do a search for registered orthodontists in your local area by using our search tool.  Search by your city or town name, or postcode.

Search for an orthodontist

Check their credentials

Make sure you are seeing a registered specialist orthodontist. You can ask them directly if they are a registered specialist orthodontist.  Only specialist orthodontists have completed both a general dental degree and additional years of full-time university training to become a specialist in the field. What this means is that you are getting the best of care, the highest level of experience and expertise along with the most up to date treatments and advances in the field.

You can also check whether someone is an orthodontist by using our search tool. If they’re listed in our search results, you know they’re a registered specialist orthodontist.

What’s the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

All orthodontists train first as a dentist. After completing their dental degree they have gone back to University for 3 years full-time orthodontic study to become a registered specialist orthodontist.

This training covers all types of orthodontic diagnosis and treatments, giving a deep understanding of all that is needed for safe orthodontic advice and treatment.  

Only a specialist orthodontist has the experience and knowledge to deliver safe and effective orthodontic treatment.

You can read more about the differences in this article: Dentist or Orthodontist – What’s the difference?

My orthodontic provider is not an orthodontist – now what do I do?

If you’re booked in to get orthodontic treatment from someone who isn’t a registered orthodontist your next steps will come down to whether you’ve started treatment and how you feel about your treatment. If you haven’t begun treatment yet, we highly recommend contacting a registered orthodontist for a second opinion. 

If you have already begun treatment, and you’re happy with the treatment you have received, you can complete your treatment with your current practitioner. However, if you’re concerned that your treatment is not progressing as you expected, or if you’re experiencing any worrying side effects that were not explained to you before your treatment, you may want to get a second opinion from a registered specialist orthodontist.

Your orthodontist will give you an accurate and honest assessment to help you decide whether you should continue treatment with your current orthodontic provider.

If I transfer to a specialist orthodontist will I have to pay extra?

Consultation fees vary from practice to practice, but a second opinion from a specialist orthodontist will commonly be charged at their usual initial consultation fee. All NZ orthodontists abide by fair and reasonable practice principles so you will only be charged for the appropriate proportion of the treatment you receive. If you have pre-paid for your entire treatment, you should be entitled to receive a partial refund from your provider.

Everyone should expect honesty and transparency from their orthodontic provider. This extends to the practitioner telling their patient their actual qualifications and practising all aspects of dentistry within their true and actual abilities depending on their level of training.

Book an Initial Consultation

Once you have found a registered orthodontist near you, the easiest way to get started is to request an initial consultation. 

The initial consultation is sometimes free, or there may be a small initial fee. After the initial consultation, you’ll be able to find out their recommendations and the cost of treatment before committing to any treatment plan.

Ready to get started?  Use the search tool to find a specialist orthodontist near you.