NHS treatment

Some children under the age of 18 may qualify for NHS treatment.


NHS orthodontic treatment options

On the 1st April 2006, the Department of Health introduced a new system for NHS orthodontic treatment. All patients under the age of 18 are entitled to receive a free NHS assessment to establish eligibility for treatment. Eligibility is established using an Index of Orthodontic Treatment Needs (IOTN).

NHS treatment

IOTN Score

Under the terms of the NHS dental contract, funding for treatment will be directed at those patients for whom treatment will give an improvement in their dental health and not just in the appearance of their teeth. NHS treatment is intended to provide treatment for those patients who require orthodontic treatment on the above grounds which have been established using a complex system of measurements called the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Needs (IOTN). This index gives higher weighting to cases needing treatment for an improvement in dental health.

Dental health indicators may include:

  • missing or impacted teeth
  • significant crowding of teeth
  • increased prominence of teeth
  • abnormal bite causing trauma and/or functional problems.

Cases are also assessed on aesthetic grounds. Those with a low aesthetic score are unlikely to qualify for orthodontic treatment under the NHS.

NHS treatment

NHS-funded treatment

Patients qualifying for NHS treatment may be subject to a waiting list before treatment can start. The Government has restricted the number of NHS-funded treatment units available to all UK orthodontic practices. Despite our best continuing efforts at managing waiting lists, delays to the start date for NHS orthodontic treatment are inevitable. We are saddened by this situation, and are in constant consultation with the relevant Primary Care Trusts to try to alleviate waiting lists.

NHS treatment

NHS waiting list

Our current waiting list for an NHS orthodontic assessment is 18-24 months. Once you have been assessed and qualify for NHS treatment you will then be placed on our NHS treatment waiting list which is 6-12 months.

Contact us today to find out if your child could qualify for treatment under the NHS.

NHS treatment


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