Christchurch Orthodontics Ltd. - Russell Lovatt & Christine Bailey

The Treatment Process

New Patient Visit

At your first visit Dr Lovatt, will spend time with you discussing your orthodontic problem and the type of treatment required. He will also be interested to hear your own requirements.  During this visit Russell is assisted by one of our Treatment Coordinators. If treatment is recommended diagnostic records of teeth will be required (Photos, xrays and study models) so that we can form a detailed treatment plan, and discuss the informed consent process including the costs and the payment options available.  Your Treatment Coordinator will spend the time talking you through all the information given to you.   A personalised booklet is presented to each new patient which includes a summary of  Dr Lovatts  findings, the suggested treatment, other options (if practical), information about the appliances to be used, a financial agreement and general information about orthodontics. If, after this first visit, it is decided to delay the commencement of treatment then a future appointment, known as a ‘Recall’, will be sent to you at a predetermined date, to monitor your development.

Extractions (removal of teeth)

The decision to remove teeth to facilitate orthodontic treatment is never taken lightly and Russell takes all efforts  to treat on a non-extraction basis whenever possible.  If teeth need to be removed the reasoning will be fully discussed at the consultation visit.  It is usual to have the teeth extracted by your dentist prior to having the braces fitted.  A letter and any relevant x-rays will be forwarded to your dentist advising exactly which teeth will need to be removed.

Visit For Impressions for Indirect Bonding:

majority of our patients we are proud to offer an Indirect bonding technique.  This means that we take an impression of your teeth prior to your appointment to fit the braces, and this model is used to accurately place the brackets on your teeth to get the optimal final aesthetic result.

This preliminery visit prior to having the braces fitted will take approximately 15 minutes.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

It is of prime importance that all teeth are free of decay, the gums are healthy and that teeth cleaning is effective before orthodontic treatment is started.  It is wise to make an appointment with your dentist every six months during orthodontic treatment to check for any new decay or potential problems.   At the end of your orthodontic treatment it is essential that you continue these regular dental visits.

Visit For Placement of Fixed Braces

At this visit the braces are placed on your teeth. This visit will take approximately 1 hour depending on your case and the technique we choose to use. There is no pain or discomfort during this visit. The braces will initially feel quite bulky to your lips and cheeks but you soon become very used to this feeling.  Any discomfort from the braces is usually noted within 12-24 hours after the braces are fitted.  This is due to the fact that teeth are not used to the light forces applied by the braces and sometimes become tender.  You may wish to take some aspirin or paracetamol during this period of adjustment and you will need to eat a soft diet. The period of discomfort lasts only a few days.

Adjustment Visits

Braces are usually adjusted every 6-10 weeks during the course of treatment.  It is important that you keep these appointments to ensure that treatment progresses as efficiently as possible.  If you have to change an appointment please let us know as soon as possible so the delay in rescheduling you is not excessive.  Please make sure every time you leave the Practice that you have a new appointment time.

Visit For Removal of Fixed Braces

Once the active phase of treatment is completed the braces are removed and retainers fitted. This visit takes approximately 1 hour. The braces are removed by an experienced Orthodontic Auxiliary. There is no pain involved in the process but some people may experience slight discomfort. The teeth are polished to remove any glue from their surfaces and then specially-made retainers are fitted to the teeth as directed by the Orthodontist.


After your braces have been removed ….


Once the active phase of treatment is completed the braces are removed and retainers fitted.  Retainers may include removable plates and fixed wires.  These retainers are designed to maintain the corrected ‘occlusion’ while the surrounding bone and soft tissues adapt to the new tooth positions.  Initially these are worn 24 hours a day. When the teeth have become fairly stable the retainers need to be worn only at night for at least a further 12 months.  The position of the wisdom teeth will be assessed prior to ceasing retainer wear altogether, and their extraction recommended if they appear impacted.  It is extremely important that retainers are worn as directed to prevent any relapse of the original orthodontic problem while the teeth are stabilising.

Please note: There will be an additional fee for remaking lost or broken retainers, as these are not covered in the cost of treatment.

Long Term Changes

The fact that you have completed orthodontic treatment does not ensure a lifetime of perfectly straight teeth.  Once the retainers have been discarded the teeth will be as stable as can be expected.  Any minor changes after that time are due to natural maturing and ageing processes which occur regardless of any previous history of orthodontic treatment.  This is particularly the case for the lower front teeth.