The Practice
Patient comfort was the top priority for the design of our Orthodontic Practice, a sympathetically refitted Californian bungalow at 9 Elmira Avenue, Palmerston North. We have created a Practice environment that is as home-like as possible, while maintaining the highest professional standards necessary for a state-of-the-art Orthodontic facility.

We don't look like a hospital; we don't even smell like a hospital. In fact, the rooms smell a little like a lolly factory because of the multi-flavoured gloves we wear.

Our Team

Michael D Courtney - Registered Specialist Orthodontist
BDS, MDS (Orth.), MRACDS (Orth.)

Mike has strong family links to the Manawatu-Horowhenua area, and though he wasn't born here, he considers himself a local. As a newly-graduated dentist, Mike's decision to set up his practice in Palmerston North was an easy one because it was, in a sense, coming home.

Mike practiced as a general dentist in Terrace End for 10 years before returning to Otago University, where he was fortunate to be one of three students selected to undertake the Masters Course in Orthodontics. On completion of the course in 1994, Mike returned to Palmerston North to set up his Specialist practice.

As a Specialist, Mike provides one-to-one Orthodontic care for every patient. After completing a comprehensive examination, he forms an individualised treatment plan to address any malocclusions or issues identified. He then takes time to discuss the plan in detail and invites patients and carers to ask lots of questions so they can make informed decisions.

Mike has a special interest in evidence-based dentistry. This means that he determines the best course of Orthodontic treatment for patients based on clinical evidence rather than on "marketing hype" that often comes with new products. "A lot of exaggerated claims are made about different brands of braces," Mike says, "But it doesn't matter what type of braces are attached to your teeth - essentially it's how the Orthodontist applies his technique to move the teeth that is important."

Wendy - Registered Orthodontic Auxiliary
Cert. Dental Assisting (2007), AOA Orthodontic Assisting Technique & Theory (2008), COA 2011 NZAO, First Aid Cert.

Wendy started working with Mike in 2001, after 21 years working as a nurse at Palmerston North Hospital. Wendy  assists Mike chairside and also taking patient records which includes photographs and impressions.

Wendy has a first-hand understanding of what patients and parents experience during orthodontic treatment since both her children have had braces, and she had orthodontic treatment herself as an adult.

For Wendy, getting to know her patients is one of the best parts of the job. "We build relationships that usually extend over several years from start-to-finish with braces," she says. "It's so rewarding to see the transformations young people make before and after braces treatment."

Jemma- Orthodontic Assist / Receptionist
CCert Dental Assisting (2009), AOA Orthodontic Assisting Technique & Theory (2014), First Aid Cert.

Jemma works closely with patients and parents who come in. She has been here since Aug 2013.

Along with Leah-Anne she answers phone calls, schedules appointments and helps make people feel welcome to the practice. Jemma also assists chairside during appointments taking records, which include full facial photos and impressions.

Jemma says “We get to see some amazing transformations and see their confidence build throughout their treatment”.

Sharon- Registered Orthodontic Auxiliary
Cert Dental Assisting (1987), AOA Orthodontic Assisting Technique & Theory (2013), COA 2013 NZAO, First Aid Cert.

Sharon joined the team in May 2013 having come from a long history of working as a dental assistant for many years.

Sharon enjoys all aspects of dentistry and enjoys working closely with patients and their families. Transferring from general dentistry to Orthodontics has been very rewarding.

Sharon says ‘”watching patients transform is amazing”. Sharon assists Mike chairside as well as taking patient records, facial photos and impressions.

One of Sharon’s favourite tasks is bonding on retainer wires behind patient’s teeth after braces are removed to retain those great smiles.

Leah-Anne- Receptionist

Leah-Anne joined the team at Courtney Orthodontics as our Receptionist in August 2014.  Leah-Anne enjoys meeting all your smiley faces & seeing improvements throughout the course of your treatments.