Dr Austin Kang’s vision for his new practice is set to change the face of the orthodontic industry in Auckland.
Raising The Bar
Dr Kang’s business, .Ortho, is an ultra-modern orthodontic practice situated in the prestigious medical neighbourhood of Remuera. The minimalist interior features floor to ceiling views over the Newmarket motorway and surrounds, black walls, lots of glossy black glass, a line of futuristic navy and white dentistry chairs overlooking that view, and polished concrete floors. The clinic was designed by top Auckland architects Fearon Hay. “I wanted people to enjoy the experience of coming to .Ortho,” says Austin.
Down To Earth
The sophisticated space and framed credentials on the wall, coupled with a visionary professional who has a comprehensive knowledge of the science of orthodontics could be intimidating, but it’s refreshing to meet down to earth Austin, as charming as he is smart.
“I didn’t want to accept the status quo so I created .Ortho with the vision of doing orthodontics in a way I feel will help people, give them the best results, and improve their understanding,” he says.
A Specialised Profession
.Ortho has been a long-held vision for this Korean-born Kiwi whose high standards have seen him become one of only 33 orthodontists in Auckland. “It’s a long process getting to this point,” he says. “I qualified as a dentist first, completed a couple of years working in the field, and re-applied to go through the post-graduate specialty of orthodontics. The competition was stiff as only three people are accepted each year.” These days he’s one of the lecturers for up-and-coming practitioners at his alma mater – Otago University in Dunedin.
What Is Orthodontics?
“Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry that deals with malpositioned teeth and jaws,” says Austin. “The primary objective is to establish beautiful teeth with the finest facial aesthetics. You can have straight teeth, but they may not fit the face well – they might be obtrusive, sit too far back altering the jawline or show an excess of gums.”
Who’s A Good Candidate?
There is no age limit for comprehensive treatment, but parents typically seek treatment for their children around the age of 11 or 12. “Sometimes we might begin working with a child as early as seven years if they have issues that could reduce orthodontic needs by working with them earlier,” says Austin. “This includes things like disproportional facial growth, an obstructed early-onset adult tooth or oral habits.
“Adults having treatment is becoming more the norm too, especially with invisible treatment options that are now available. Even patients in their 60s and 70s aren’t uncommon.”
Perfect Teeth Are Possible
A visit to a specialist orthodontist can be life changing. “We can pretty much do anything,” says Austin who’s joined forces with esteemed oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr Han Choi. “We can move teeth forward or back, bring overcrowding or missing teeth into alignment, and if there are skeletal issue we can perform surgery.”
What Are The Options?
Orthodontists use several methods for aligning teeth including traditional braces, ceramic braces, gold braces, invisible braces on the back of the teeth (lingual braces) and clear aligners. “Some kids prefer to have traditional braces because all of their classmates do,” says Austin. “Adults prefer invisible solutions like clear aligners or lingual braces.
“The invisible options are becoming more in demand but they do come at a premium cost because the materials are expensive and the technique itself requires a lot more time and expertise. I’ve heavily invested my knowledge in them – it’s something I’ve focused on so I can offer every option to my patients.”
Communication Is Key
Austin also focuses on clear communication. “I underwent my own treatment in my mid-20s, I didn’t understand the whys, so I wasn’t great at following instructions,” he says. “I was told to wear elastics on my braces but I couldn’t see the point.”
The experience led him to a deep understanding of the importance of communicating the whys to his own patients. “Words can get too technical so I use informative 3D videos, treatment simulations and holographic imagery. This way people can get a clarity and peace of mind.”
Having gone through the process myself I realised clear communication would change the field of orthodontics.
.Ortho provides a game-changing solution for orthodontic needs with a state of the art environment, the very latest solutions and clear communication.
You’ll find Dr Austin Kang at .Ortho in Remuera and in Takapuna.
.Ortho Level 5, 12 St Marks Rd, Remuera Level 3, 19 Como St, Takapuna ortho.co.nz