As the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists (NZAO) is a small organisation we do not have a specific body to handle complaints. All members of the NZAO are members of the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) and therefore we utilise their expertise when handling complaints.

Talk to your orthodontist first. If you have concerns about any aspect of your treatment, you should always discuss the issue directly with your orthodontist. You will be provided with an estimate of cost and treatment time before treatment begins, and you should receive a detailed account for all costs.

If you do not achieve a satisfactory outcome from your discussion with your orthodontist and wish to make a formal complaint about aspects of your treatment the following options are open to you:

Contact your local branch of the Dental Association (e.g. in Auckland it is the ADA at, as they often have a complaints officer who may be able to assist you.

Contact the New Zealand Dental Association (

Make a complaint through the Health and Disability Commissioner (

You are also welcome to contact the NZAO in writing via email or post for further advice. Your queries will be passed on to the appropriate authorities for reply.

Confidence in your Practitioner

The Health Regulatory Authorities of New Zealand, with the support of the Ministry of Health, have produced a brochure outlining what the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 covers and how it benefits you. The Confidence in Your Practitioner brochure is available from your local member of the NZAO or the New Zealand Dental Council. A PDF version can be viewed online here (you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document).

You also have the following avenues available to you as a consumer:

Health and Disability Commissioner

Dental Council of New Zealand

New Zealand Dental Association

Disputes Tribunal (or small claims court)

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)