NHS Orthodontic treatments in Hitchin

On the 1st April 2006, the Department of Health introduced a new system for NHS Orthodontic treatment that is designed to target treatment to children with the greatest need. All patients under the age of 18 are entitled to receive a free NHS assessment to establish eligibility for treatment.

At your first appointment, eligibility for NHS treatment will be established using an Index of Orthodontic Treatment Needs (IOTN). This index gives weighting to cases needing treatment for an improvement in dental health and orthodontic treatment for purely cosmetic reasons or minor problems is not usually available on the NHS. All IOTN assessments are carried out by General Dental Council Registered Specialist Orthodontists.

Due to these restrictions placed by the NHS, we have introduced an independent fee structure for affordable orthodontic treatment for those patients that DO NOT qualify for NHS treatment. Please click here for our fee guide »


Your braces will then be designed and fitted and will be regularly adjusted over the course of treatment to gradually move the teeth into the correct positions. If you regularly fail to attend these appointments or do not take care of your braces, your treatment will be terminated due to poor compliance. On average, orthodontic treatment takes 18-24 months to complete.


When your braces are removed you will need to wear retainers to prevent your teeth from moving back to their original position. Retainers are clear plastic trays worn full time for a week and then at nights only.

Retention is a vital part of the treatment, as they keep your teeth in place. After a year we advise to wear the retainers once or twice a week at nights in the long term to maintain the position of the teeth, as they will always want to move. Should you need replacement retainer you will have to pay for these privately.

Loss of appliances

If you have lost your brace or it is broken and it needs to be replaced, there will be a charge of £73.20, per brace. The NHS does not pay for any replacements.

This fee may be refundable at the discretion of the NHS. To apply for a refund you will need to send a receipt to NHSBSA Dental Practice Service Division, Compton Place, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN20 8AD.


If you have any breakages or problems, please contact us for advice or to arrange an emergency appointment. Emergency appointments will be booked to fit patients in where appointments slots are available.