Treatment for NHS patients
Orthodontic treatment is available under the NHS but is only for patients under the age of 18 whose teeth can pose health problems, as opposed to just cosmetic reasons. Certain criteria must be met to receive treatment.This is known as the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Needs (IOTN).
These are government regulations so we are unable to make exceptions for patients who don't meet the criteria; however, if your child isn't eligible for treatment under the NHS we can treat them as an independent patient. This can be discussed at your child's initial consultation.
See our profile on the NHS site.
Before you begin treatment as an NHS patient, we will assess your orthodontic needs and sit down to discuss your treatment options. Not all types of orthodontic braces are available under the NHS but we'll explain this to you at your assessment. We'll also take an x-ray to help us assess your growth and development.
Once we have fitted your braces, you will need to come in once every six-to-eight weeks so we can check on the progress of your treatment. At these appointments, we will tighten your braces to ensure your teeth continue to straighten. This isn’t painful but can be a little uncomfortable so we recommend you have some over-the-counter pain relief.
Retention – an important part of treatment
When your teeth are in their newly straightened position, to keep them there you will need to wear a retainer. This device looks a bit like a thin sports mouthguard and helps to ensure your teeth don’t move back into their original position. To begin with, you’ll need to wear your retainer 24 hours a day, then we’ll advise you when it’s ok to only wear it at night.
We understand accidents can happen, but if you lose retainers there will be a cost applicable as this isn't covered by the NHS. If at any time during your treatment your brace breaks or causes you problems, contact us to arrange an emergency appointment.