We are contracted to provide NHS orthodontic services for eligible patients. For this, you have to be referred by your general dentist using the referral management system. You will be assessed by an orthodontist using the index of orthodontic treatment need (IOTN) to judge your eligibility for NHS treatment.
Children under the age of 18 are eligible for NHS treatment if they fit the IOTN criteria set by NHS England. On the NHS, you do not have the choice of the type of brace. However, you can choose private treatments if you would like more discreet options.
What will my NHS treatment involve?
For all NHS patients, we will see them for a free consultation to assess their eligibility for NHS treatments. During this, we may take x-rays of your mouth. If you satisfy the NHS criteria, you will be seen for full records, photographs and moulds to formulate a treatment plan.
Your braces will then be designed and fitted. During regular appointments, we will adjust the brace to gradually move the teeth into the correct positions. On average, orthodontic treatment takes 18-24 months to complete. You need to attend for regular adjustment appointments as unsupervised treatment can have a detrimental effect on the teeth and supporting tissues. Under the NHS regulations, if you regularly fail to attend appointments or do not take care of your braces, we will have no choice but to stop your treatment and you will not be eligible for another course of treatment on the NHS. Furthermore, once you commence orthodontic treatment on the NHS, you cannot change to another provider except in exceptional circumstances with approval from the Local Area Team.
During any orthodontic treatment, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your teeth and gums are clean and healthy, especially as food and bacteria can sit around the brace. We will show you how best to clean your braces and which products to use to maintain good oral health. You must also see your general dentist for regular reviews.
If you have lost your removable brace or it is broken and it needs to be replaced, there will be a charge of £80.70 per appliance. The charge is reviewed annually by NHS England. The NHS does not pay for any replacements, but you can apply for a refund under certain circumstances. Please see the NHSBSA website for more information.
After the treatment
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. If you lose or break your retainer, you will need to replace it for a charge of £80.70 per retainer. The charge is reviewed annually by NHS England.
After a year, we recommend that you wear your removable retainers at least three nights a week long term if you want to maintain the alignment.