As a part of South west NHS dental services we are committed to provide NHS Orthodontic services for those patients under the age of 18 years who meet the criteria laid down by the NHS regulations. Patients can only be assessed on the NHS following referral by their general dental practitioner.
If it is found that you have been referred too early for treatment by your dentist, this means you will need to be placed under review until you are ready for your final assessment of treatment need. Once the Orthodontist has carried out the final assessment you will be informed if you meet the criteria to qualify for NHS treatment.
Due to the high demand for NHS Orthodontics and the fixed contract with South west NHS dental services, there is a waiting list for NHS treatment and you can only be placed on this list once you are ready to start treatment. This is usually once all the adult teeth have come through. At the practice we also provide private orthodontic treatment for both children and adults. Patients can be referred for private treatment by their dentist or can contact our practice direct.
Our first impressions begin during a new patient enquiry phone call. We will try and obtain as much information as possible in order to arrange for you to see the most relevant member of our team.
Your first visit?
Your initial appointment will be thorough: it involves both a clinician of the relevant specialty and our treatment co-ordinator. You’ll fill out a medical history questionnaire and we will take photographs and relevant X-rays that will complement our though clinical examination. This will be followed by a discussion on your bespoke treatment options and we will show you before and after photos of similar cases. All that is discussed will be detailed on a clinical report along with a letter to your referring dentist to keep them updated (if relevant).
NHS treatments for under 18 year olds?
Orthodontic treatment is only available free-of-charge on the NHS for young people who:
• Are under 18 years old
• Have a clear clinical need for treatment
NHS orthodontic care is not usually available for adults but may be approved on a case-by-case basis if the functional needs are great (see box, left).
A rating system, known as the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN), is used to assess the need and eligibility of individual cases. The IOTN consists of five grades, which are outlined below.
Grade 1 is used to describe almost perfect teeth.
Grade 2 is for minor irregularities with the teeth.
Grade 3 is for more marked irregularities with the teeth that do not usually need treatment for heath reasons.
Grade 4 is for severe irregularities with the teeth that need treatment for health reasons.
Grade 5 is for severe dental health problems.
The British Orthodontic Society’s website has more information about the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN).
NHS treatment is available for grade 4 and grade 5 cases. Grade 3 cases are usually judged on a case-by-case basis. Treatment may be made available if the appearance of a person’s teeth is particularly unattractive.
If your child qualifies for NHS orthodontic treatment, there may be a long waiting list up to 2 months before treatment becomes available.