Meet Dr. Michael Zhao

Being an orthodontist is more than just putting braces on and then taking them off. It is about understanding your patients’ needs first, addressing their concerns, and providing them with the most suitable orthodontic treatment at the most appropriate time.

Having the opportunity to work closely with people and being able to help them with their orthodontic needs is more than just work for me; it gives me a sense of purpose and adds a deeper meaning to my life. I feel privileged to be in such a role, and to have an opportunity to make a positive effect on the lives of others.

I am passionate about providing my patients with the highest quality of care: tailoring their orthodontic treatment to their needs and helping them achieve the best smile possible. I am excited to see the amazing transformation our patients achieve throughout the orthodontic treatment. Along with straight teeth and a great smile, come very positive changes in personality and self-confidence.

Education and Continuing Education

  • High school: Auckland Grammar
  • Dental school: University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry
  • Specialty: orthodontics at University of Melbourne

During my specialist training, I researched the best method to bond orthodontic brackets to ‘chalky teeth’. Bonding brackets to such teeth can be difficult, due to the altered chemical/physical properties of the surface enamel. One of the objectives of my research was to establish a set of guidelines to help other orthodontists understand the intricacy of bonding orthodontic brackets to teeth that have enamel defects.

It is important for me to stay on top of the latest evidence-based advances in orthodontics. I am a subscriber to some of the most impactful international orthodontic journals, where only the most recent and solid research gets published.

I have attended and will continue to participate in national and international conferences, local Australian Society of Orthodontists meetings, and local orthodontist study clubs.

Orthodontics is a constantly evolving profession. Though the basic biomechanics and the physiology of tooth movement stay the same, there are ongoing changes in technology. Such changes include imaging (such as 3D intraoral scanning and cone-beam CT scanning).

Suresmile is a 3D treatment planning and wire-bending system we use, and this has been a revelation in our office. By staying on the front line of technology, we provide our patients with the excellent results as efficiently and accurately as possible.

Professional Affiliations

  • Australian Society of Orthodontists
  • Certified member of the Australasian Orthodontic Board
  • Australian Dental Association
  • The D3 Group for Development Dental Defects

Outside the Office

I was born in Urumqi, China, and moved to Auckland in high school. I lived in Carlton, Melbourne for several years and now live in East Hawthorn. My lovely wife Florence has helped me immensely throughout my specialist training. We met in New Zealand and she moved over to Melbourne with me when I started my orthodontic training.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy playing basketball with friends or going to the gym for a quick swim. I am also planning to start playing tennis.

Giving Back

I plan to join the Give a Smile program, in which pro bono orthodontic treatment is provided for children in need. In the past, I volunteered to provide free dental care and dental education to the people living in the Cook Islands, where the access to dentistry is very limited.

I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I can give back to those in need.

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