What is your smile worth?
By John Subritzky
In this age of selfies and social media, a positive self-image is worth more than ever before. We have come a long way in the last 100 years, when missing teeth was the norm. It can be more than cosmetic though. An uneven bite can wear teeth prematurely, load up jaws, and even lead to cracked teeth. However, the thousands of dollars that typically need to be invested in orthodontics to get that perfect smile is still a huge hurdle for many people.
I have always been committed to looking after my teeth to try and avoid issues in later life. We have encouraged our children to do the same. Like many other parents, we offered orthodontic treatment to those in our family who would benefit. It’s common knowledge that such treatment is not cheap, however until I talked to Dr Nitin Raniga, at Auckland Orthodontics I had not realised that orthodontics is a specialisation of dentistry, and it takes at least ten years to become fully qualified. After the five-year course to become a dentist, there is two years of work experience before tackling the three-year orthodontic training.
There is also a big support staff cost. As you can see in the team photo, just one orthodontist generates enough work for three other clinical staff and two administrative people. They are a great team and most have been with Nitin for many years; I was warmly welcomed by the bubbly Pam on reception when I arrived.
When I asked Nitin why he got into this career, he told me that from a young age he was fascinated with oral health, and he was concerned about people’s wellbeing. Growing up in Fiji, he saw that there was often a fear of dentistry and the frequent tooth extractions there. This led him into dentistry as a career. During his first year of general study at university he would ‘shadow’ dentists for half days on his semester breaks to get a better understanding of their work. He did this especially with Dr Peter Raymond at Blockhouse Bay Dental Centre.
Like so many other areas, technology has brought massive changes to the profession in recent years. At Auckland Orthodontics, they have bought an Intraoral Scanner to use instead of taking moulds of teeth. This avoids the unpleasant wait for the mould to set and the frequent gagging reflex. Instead, the digital image is captured and then emailed to the lab where they use a 3D printer to print the mould from resin. Innovations like this have made the process a lot more comfortable and less stressful.
Braces are no longer just the old ‘railway tracks’ of days gone by. There is now the ‘clear aliner’ market with the brand Invisalign becoming better known. As we discovered when our son went through this process, the Invisalign are a series of clear, nearly invisible trays that change incrementally as the teeth are corrected. They are removed for eating and are less intrusive generally than the traditional braces. People are ecstatic with the results. In our family’s case, in the before and after photos, the change is astonishing.
Nitin balances his work with family life and sports. Married in 2010, He and Renalda have two boys aged eight and six. He is passionate about soccer and supports Manchester United and Phoenix. Until he had a recent knee injury, he played indoor soccer at the Lynfield YMCA where there are three teams. He also enjoys playing tennis.
Nitin and the team love looking after locals and helping people enjoy their smiles more. It is great to have so much expert care available right here in the Bay.
Dentic Denture Clinic
When Anna Teo and Lawrence Huynh signed up at Otago University ten years ago to pursue degrees in dental technology, neither suspected that their decision would be so much more serendipitous than just a good career choice. But it wasn’t long before the studious classmates had caught each other’s eye and romance blossomed.
It seems there is a strong sense of kismet involving these two talented young professionals, with some remarkable similarities in their family stories: Lawrence’s father came to New Zealand from Vietnam during the war. Lawrence’s Malaysian mother came to New Zealand and met Lawrence’s dad, fell in love, and stayed, leaving all her family in Malaysia. Lawrence, born and raised in New Zealand, grew up in Lynfield attending Halsey Drive Primary School, Waikowhai Intermediate, and Lynfield College.
Anna, born in Malaysia, came to New Zealand to study at university, fell in love with both Lawrence and New Zealand, and stayed, leaving all her family in Malaysia. “My parents complained a bit”, she said, “But they have been very supportive of me and proud of what I have achieved”. Anna makes an effort to return home to see family whenever possible, however due to the ongoing pandemic she hasn’t been able to go back since her last trip at the end of 2018.
However, romance had to take a back seat as study came first. Determined to achieve their best, they worked hard and followed their degrees with postgraduate diplomas in Clinical Dental Technology, which they each achieved with distinction.
Anna and Lawrence unexpectedly both found work in the same practice in Hamilton where they remained for four years, before returning to Auckland at the beginning of 2019 to start their own denture clinic. It coincided with family purchasing a residential property in Blockhouse Bay which turned out to be the perfect location for Lawrence and Anna to set up shop. The building retains its homey feel, complete with fruit trees outside and native timber floors inside, but with some modifications to accommodate the high-tech equipment of their trade.
Initially relying on referrals from local dentists, the prominent location near a bus stop on Taylor Street has provided a steady stream of foot traffic resulting in several walk-ins. “We’re very lucky with the location”, says Lawrence. “There are also several rest homes and retirement villages in the area, which means that not only are we surrounded by potential clients, but our practice is also really handy for them”.
Being the only dental lab in the area, business picked up quite quickly. At first, they got mostly lab work – dentists sending denture specifications through on behalf of their patients – but once the dentists became confident in the quality of their work, they soon started to send the patients themselves.
“We really enjoy the balance of seeing the patients personally, finding out what they want, seeing how the dentures look and fit in the mouth rather than just looking at the models of teeth in our hands”, says Lawrence. “Because every patient is unique it keeps our job interesting and we both really enjoy the hands-on nature of our work and crafting of teeth with our hands, it’s almost like art in a way.”
“Also, a lot of our clients are locals, and we love them chatting to us, sharing memories and stories, their best fishing spots and things like that. Some even knew the former owners of the house. That’s what we like about being here - hearing the personal stories from our clients. We love that connection with the community”.
For more information contact Anna or Lawrence on 09 948 2202, or find out more at www.dentic.co.nz.
Magic Kingdom Childcare, based on Boundary Rd, next door to Bupa Retirement Villas, has seen a massive impact in the community’s hearts and minds during COVID and this is just the beginning of their recovery.
Founders and directors, Dr Darius and Nikeeta Singh, saw very early on that the only way to get through these disastrous times was to move like Earth’s tide, where everyone went in to lockdown together, but equally, everyone would rise back up together – including their children’s learning trajectories, teachers’ career tracks, and community recovery.
“We don’t want to win, if it means you have to lose”, was their main message to their parent community, some of whom travel across several suburbs to enrol their child to the multi-award-winning centre. The fully serviced childcare centre offers all meals, including a hot lunch cooked every day by their very own chef, and has not missed a beat, nor scaled down on services, while reducing to ZERO fees for nearly 15 weeks!
“The government’s support and bank’s strong backing for our vision have been vital in keeping our staff meaningfully engaged so they can continue to focus on what they do best, which is lifting our children’s trajectories each and every day,” says Dr Darius Singh.
“We knew we would take a massive blow to the centre’s viability and financials, but we didn’t win the 2018 top sustainability award for nothing, because we know we can’t last if our people in our community can’t last this recovery phase”, he says.
With dozens of their parents and families impacted by redundancies and loss of work hours, parents have been struggling to cope. Magic Kingdom’s plan is well and truly in play and it is determined to carry all 60 families with them on their giant waka journey of: “Alive” (0-6 months), “Survive” (6-12 months) and “Thrive” (12+ months).
Good news for property buyers
With the incredible global and local challenges that have occurred recently as we’ve navigated the fall-out of Covid-19, much has changed, especially related to the property market. This is a topic that many people are concerned about, largely because it’s not their area of expertise and the perceived potential to make the ‘wrong’ move and lose a lot of money has people hesitant.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a crystal ball?
Fortunately, for those of us whose business it is to know about these things, interpreting figures and trends in the property world is all part of our knowledge and expertise; it’s our job to help property buyers understand and make sound choices.
If you’ve missed out what has happened so far this year, this is what you need to know:
This current situation is a great opportunity for first home buyers who have been waiting to get onto the property ladder; houses are now more affordable and interest rates are low.
At the same time this is also a great opportunity for existing owner-occupiers to upsize.
On the flip side things may have become harder for some first home buyers with lower KiwiSaver balances, job security, change in employment prospects or more hoops to jump through to get credit or loan approval.
If you are wanting to get onto the property ladder, then the first step is to talk to your local mortgage broker. Whether you looking to buy, refinance or just chat, we are here to listen and guide you.
Eclipse Mortgage Brokers
Our offer of $1,000 towards your house insurance for all mortgages over $500,000 through Eclipse is here to stay. Also, refer your friends and family to us and receive a $250 Prezzy Card when they sign up with Eclipse.
Apart from working through a backlog of WOFs, it’s back to business as usual for Peter.
During the higher alert levels, he did some repairs for essential workers in the health sector but apart from that it was a long break at home. The government wage subsidy which offset the lack of revenue saw the business come through ok, and also minimised the stress of the situation.
Like many small business owners who usually never get a chance to switch off, it was a unique experience for Peter. He realised that it was ok to stop and just do nothing for a while. Then it was doing those jobs that he usually never has time for like spending three days cleaning the ceilings. At least his wife Deran got some jobs crossed off the list!
Now work has resumed there are some changes at the workshop. He has rebranded to include the name Hillsborough instead of Waikowhai. People were geographically challenged with the old name. Now Peter is struggling to remember to use the new name when he answers the phone! Another change is that his son Jordan has started part-time with him and is keen to do more hours of hands on, practical work.
Peter is confident about the future. When asked if electric vehicles would need less repairs and undermine mechanical workshop businesses he says if a vehicle has wheels on it, it will always need fixing!
Auto Super Shoppe Hillsborough, Auckland
We aim to keep New Zealanders safe, so operating under any alert level we are taking all appropriate precautions necessary including contactless service, vehicle sanitation, proper workplace hygiene and social distancing. Please phone us to find out more and we will be happy to help with your vehicle enquiries.
Auto Super Shoppe Hillsborough (Previously Waikowhai Auto Centre) is owned and operated by Peter and Deran Scherf who are dedicated to delivering the highest level of service to customers. The business was established in 1999 and is run with a successful team of highly experienced technicians who have over 35 years of collective experience in the automotive industry.
MTA approved and selected as a top workshop in the area for the Auto Super Shoppe network means customers can rest assured their vehicle is in the best hands. As a business we take pride in being ecologically friendly. We like to support local and are supporters of Monte Cecila Catholic School, Hillsborough Heights Village Bowls, Hillboro Bowls Club, Blockhouse Bay Bowls Club, Promise Keepers, Waikowhai Primary School, Waikowhai Intermediate School and Lynfield College.
Our automotive services include Car Servicing, Warrant of Fitness, Tyres, Brake Repairs, Cambelts, Car Air-Conditioning, Car Battery, CV Joints, Auto Electrics, Engine Management, Motorcycle repairs/WOF/servicing, light engineering fabrication. We also have a particular interest in vehicles from the 50’s and 60’s. Auto Super Shoppe Hillsborough is local to Mt Roskill, Hillsborough, Lynfield, Blockhouse Bay, Three Kings, Royal Oak, Mt Albert, Mt Eden and Onehunga.
We can offer courtesy cars or a local pickup and delivery service. We welcome online booking enquiries or just call should you need automotive advice, a quote or would like to make a booking. We accept all major credit cards, Q Card, Eftpos and cash.
Contact us for all your vehicle needs.
WE'RE OPEN FOR WOF, SERVICE AND REPAIRS
421 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough , Auckland 1042
09 626 2026
Nicola Donald, The Wardroom
What did you do during lockdown? Lots of organising of my house, exercising etc. Had quality time with husband. Lots of cooking and baking things I wouldn’t normally do (cos I had yeast and flour!) I took time to reflect on the business a little, but didn’t dwell. It is what it is, we will come out the other side, but for now let’s make the most of the time we have together. But by week three I was a bit over it.
What have you learned about yourself? Maybe I work too much and need to find more balance in my life. I thought about this a lot. Not “Is it worth it”, but more “Life is not all about work”. Other aspects of my life are equally important, and it took the business shutting down to see that. At the end of the year I always take time to reflect, but in lockdown there were no distractions; I couldn’t go anywhere, there was nothing that pulled me away from ‘right here and now’. I did quite like that in a sense.
What have you learned about your business, and what will you do differently? When you’re in the daily grind you don’t realise how much the business has grown. From where we started to where we are now is like “Wow!” I’ve realised how much we have grown into a multi-faceted business, and how we can simply change which facets we promote for now.
For instance, there won’t be as much demand for catering, but we can promote our frozen meals, and find new markets for them. And because we have to take out tables the café won’t be the strongest part of the business. Some clientele – particularly the elderly - may also be quite nervous about coming to the café as they have in the past. So, we are looking at diversifying to create more business outside our physical premises, such as fresh dinners.
Our main goal as a business is to keep everyone employed and hopefully growing a bit as well. I’m really hopeful for the future. I believe that the community will come back and support us and other local businesses.
The Wardroom Cafe
The Wardroom Coffee & Kitchen was first established by Chef Nicola Donald in January 2016 at a boutique premises on Ward Street, New Lynn. Word quickly spread of the great quality food offered and Nicola’s personal service, so in October 2016, when the opportunity arose to expand The Wardroom’s offerings and move to a bigger premise at the current location of 7 Totara Avenue, New Lynn, she jumped at the chance!
Nicola is a fully qualified chef with solid foundations learnt while working in a leading hotel in central Auckland for many years. Subsequently, Nicola felt a change of pace was needed and worked as a chef for several high-quality cafes in both Auckland & Melbourne. After getting married in 2013, an adventure was called for. Nicola and husband Hadley moved to the culinary capital of Australia – Melbourne, to further her knowledge and learn new skills. In late 2015, the decision was made to return home and share her love and passion for great quality, homemade food with fellow Aucklanders, ultimately establishing The Wardroom Coffee & Kitchen.
7 Totara Avenue, New Lynn, Auckland.
Parking available at the back of our building.
M-F: 7.30am - 3pm
Sat: 8.30am - 2pm
CLOSED on public holidays
09 827 6528
0210 267 7343