NHS treatment in Hertfordshire | Bishops Stortford Orthodontics

NHS orthodontic treatment

Only patients under the age of 18 are seen on the National Health Service. In this practice we ensure that all treatment is carried out to a high standard and our approach is to use the best possible treatment for each individual.

Eligibility for NHS treatment

On 1st April 2006, the Government introduced new arrangements for NHS orthodontic treatment. The new arrangements are designed to target treatment to those with the greatest health need. As a result, in certain mild cases where dental health is not affected, there is no justification for orthodontic treatment to be provided under the NHS. We want you to be aware, before we see your child, that NHS treatment may not be available if the health need does not fit the new criteria. All orthodontic practices with a contract for NHS treatment must comply with the new criteria, which are designed to prioritise those in greatest need of treatment. Bishops Stortford Orthodontic practice continues to welcome referrals for NHS treatment.

Due to restrictions in funding and regulations within the NHS, we have introduced an independent fee structure for affordable ’NHS equivalent’ orthodontic treatment for those patients not eligible for NHS treatment. We also see patients on a private basis. Our private patients have access to a much wider range of treatment plans and options.

Examination and diagnostic records

Your dentist referred you to us because he/she felt that you could benefit from orthodontic treatment. The initial appointment is a clinical examination to determine your orthodontic needs. We will advise you of any problems and of the necessary corrective treatment. If treatment is indicated, diagnostic records will be taken for assessment and treatment planning.

These may include:

  • Study casts of the teeth from impressions
  • A panoral radiograph to show all the developed/ developing teeth, roots and bone
  • A cephalometric radiograph to measure the spatial relationship of the jaws, teeth, bite profile and soft tissue.
  • 2 occlusal radiographs to screen for supernumerary teeth and crowding
  • A set of photographs to study facial features and how they may be influenced by orthodontic treatment.

Financial arrangements

We welcome a frank discussion of services and fees prior to treatment in order to avoid misunderstanding. The financial obligation of the treatment we render to you is your responsibility. Payment for treatment is normally spread out over the period of treatment and is not related to a specific treatment appointment schedule. This arrangement is merely for your convenience.

Where fees are due, please note we can only accept payment in advance or by standing order. We do not send accounts or allow payments by any other method. If you wish to pay by any other method, an additional charge will be levied to cover the extra administration costs. Additional charges will also apply for breakages of braces, or if they need to be replaced when lost. If treatment is prolonged due to poor co-operation and/or multiple breakages of the brace, an additional fee may be levied.


We will need to see you regularly every 4 to 12 weeks to adjust the braces and check that they are doing their job. It may be necessary for you to make appointments during school hours. Certain procedures, such as fitting of braces, are only performed on weekday mornings. Please remember that most of our patients are students and prefer appointments after school. This is obviously impossible from a practical point of view. If we do not see you at regular intervals, treatment will take longer to complete. If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance.

Failed appointments represent loss of valuable clinical time and a missed opportunity for another patient to see an orthodontist. It is prohibited to levy any charge for failed appointments. You will not be offered NHS care in our practice in the future if your treatment has been terminated. Rebooking of failed appointments will be done at the next available appointment time, which may not be the most convenient time for you.

Special notes

Patients who are offered an initial NHS appointment may be asked to confirm attendance two weeks prior to the appointment. Failure to confirm, when requested, will result in the appointment being cancelled.

We have ground floor access for anyone who is disabled. Although we like to keep on record as many contact telephone numbers as possible, under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to inform us if you do not wish to be contacted on any of them, e.g. at work. We do not pass your details to any outside body, unless we refer you on to another practitioner, e.g. dentist, periodontist, surgeon, hospital.


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It was literally a dream come true to look in the mirror and see straight teeth for the first time in my life - it was an emotional time for me! I couldn't have asked for more and I'm extremely grateful for their practice and hard work.

Ms. Coyle

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