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How to get NHS orthodontic treatment


To find out if you qualify, your dentist will need to refer you for a free NHS assessment. During this appointment our specialist orthodontist will review your teeth using the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN).

What is the IOTN?

The IOTN is a rating system we use to determine whether you’re suitable for NHS-funded treatment. We’ll start by reviewing the health of your teeth, to see if it could be improved by braces with a score being provided on a scale of 1-5. The higher the score the higher the chance of receiving NHS funded treatment. In most cases, mainly scores of 4 and 5 qualify; however, if your case is borderline, 3 or below, we’ll also consider the appearance of your teeth and you may still qualify for treatment.

Here are some common of the qualifying criteria for NHS care:

  • Severely crooked or crowded teeth
  • Multiple missing teeth
  • Top teeth that protrude more than 6mm
  • Bottom teeth that protrude more than 1mm
  • Teeth that don’t have space to erupt naturally

How do I organise an NHS assessment?

Referrals for NHS treatment need to come from your dentist. Regular dental check-ups will help them to keep a close eye on your teeth and refer you at the right time.

Some problems benefit from early intervention and we see children as young as seven. If we don’t think you’re ready for orthodontic treatment, but you might need braces in the future, we’ll arrange a review appointment for when the time is right.

What does NHS orthodontic treatment include?

Your treatment will be provided by our specialist team of orthodontists and therapists and NHS funded braces are metal, fixed braces.

Fixed braces are excellent at straightening teeth and have been trusted for decades. You can even customise your smile with a choice of rainbow-coloured bands.

When you finish your treatment, we’ll provide you with clear, removable retainers, which will stop your teeth from moving and should be worn indefinitely to secure your new smile.

Will I have to join a waiting list?

If you qualify for NHS treatment you may need to join a waiting list before we can get started, however, this will depend on demand in your area. NHS orthodontic treatment is in high demand and we receive a limited amount of funding each year, which means we can’t always see patients as quickly as we’d like.

What if I’m not eligible for NHS braces?

If you’re not eligible for NHS treatment, or you don’t want to join a waiting list, we also offer private orthodontic treatment.

Private treatment is available to everyone as it’s self-funded and there’s no waiting list. What’s more, you can choose from a range of virtually invisible braces.

Find out more about our private treatment options. If you have any questions, we’d love to help.

To read more about the treatment, click on the below:

To read more about the treatment, click on the below:

NHS orthodontists