What is Orthodontics & how does it work?
Put simply, Orthodontics is the Treatment of irregularities in the teeth and jaws. An Orthodontist is the professional who diagnoses and treats these irregularities. In most cases Orthodontic appliances (commonly known as “braces”), exert gentle pressure on the teeth. In turn this causes them to move and ultimately align and straighten.
Related includes: Responsibilities.
Why would I have Orthodontic Treatment?
Keeping things simple, you would visit an Orthodontist with a view to having your crooked teeth or jaw alignment corrected: in other words… TO STRAIGHTEN YOUR SMILE!
The benefits of Orthodontic Treatment are personal, aesthetic and clinical. You feel better and happier about the way you look and your oral hygiene and ongoing dental care is much easier to manage.
Are there different Treatment Options available?
For private Patients there ARE a number of Treatment Options available. These range from state of the art removable and nearly invisible Treatment Options to less visible ceramic or traditional fixed metallic braces. Your Orthodontist will discuss the most suiTable Option for you. For Private Patients we have FAQs on this point. Private Ortho (Options), Private Ortho (Costs)
Can Orthodontics work for Adults as well as Children?
Absolutely! A significant number of our Patients in Treatment are adults. The results obtained for them are excellent. Their only regret was not starting Treatment sooner. Children can also commence Orthodontic Treatment from 10 years of age. We will always advise you if Treatment is not appropriate.
How long will the Treatment take?
Your Treatment time will depend on a number of factors including: your diagnosis (what needs fixing) and severity of your irregularities; the Treatment option you decide on; and how well you look after your teeth and braces during your Treatment. Following your Orthodontists instructions to the letter is crucial, for the intended result to occur as quickly as possible.
How much will Treatment cost?
For Patients treated under the NHS, there is no Treatment costs involved. All Children under the age of 18 may be eligible for NHS Treatment. For Private Patients we have FAQs on this point. FAQ’s
Does is hurt having braces put on?
No. There are no needles or drills. You will have your teeth cleaned and then your appliance fitted. At worst you will need to have your mouth wide open for approximately 45 minutes. Your braces are glued to your teeth and the wires attached to the brackets. Our friendly nursing staff will explain how to clean your teeth and take care of your braces.
How will it feel when I am wearing braces?
Initially there may be some discomfort for the first 48-72 hours as your teeth start to move. That can also be experienced after each wire adjustment throughout your Treatment.. Your lips, cheeks and tongue may also take some time to get used to them being in your mouth, but those sensations stop being noticed fairly quickly.
Will I be able to brush my teeth when I am wearing braces?
Yes, of course! It is very important that you brush thoroughly so that you do not develop gum problems and cavities in your teeth.
Regular care is crucial but easy to undertake. It requires you to be thorough and consistent with brushing and oral hygiene for the whole time of your Treatment. If you are letting yourself down in this area you will be reminded of the best behaviour when you visit: it will be important for you to pay attention to that professional advice. Responsibilities.
Will I have to change my diet while in Treatment?
We will recommend a few important but necessary changes and give you some instructions on what to do, not to do and to avoid. Basically, we will tell you to stop consuming sugary foods and drinks for the duration of your Treatment. We will advise you on how to conduct regular and thorough oral hygiene maintenance, including brushing, rinsing after meals, flossing and lip & gum care. We will also tell you which foods to avoid completely during Treatment: basically, those that are hard and crunchy and very sticky or chewy.
Will I be able to bring someone (mom, dad, etc) along?
Any time any Patient of ours feels more comforTable to bring someone along to an appointment they should do so.
All of our NHS Patients will need to have their parent or guardian (or responsible, close family adult member) come along with them. That is because there are often important Forms to be filled out as well as fundamental information to be shared and understood – certainly during the early part of your Treatment. Towards the end of the “braces on” Treatment period (as advised by your Clinician) Patients under 18 should be accompanied by a suiTable adult.
English is not the main language I use to speak or read. Does that matter?
No. It doesn’t mater a single toothpick to us. You will, though, have to organise a translator if we believe that you are not able to understand the paperwork and the discussions by yourself.
We will provide you with the information so you can contact and organise a translator, who will have to be at appointments with you. There may be a cost involved, which is something you will have to address.
IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW BUT IT’S NOT LISTED HERE, PLEASE CALL US OR SUBMIT A QUESTION VIA EMAIL. THANKS
FAQs (NHS Patients)
NHS Treatment will only be considered for Patients who are under 18 years old, at commencement.
Can adults have Orthodontic Treatment under the NHS?
In short, No.
Orthodontics on the NHS is only available to children who are under 18 years of age and who meet the appropriate IOTN assessment criteria.
Will my child receive Orthodontic Treatment on the NHS?
Currently the NHS will provide all children under the age of 18 years with a consultation, giving an Orthodontic assessment. During the consultation all children are assessed using a National grading system to determine if they will be eligible to have a full course of Orthodontic Treatment covered by the NHS. You will be informed at the end of the consultation if your child will receive Treatment under the NHS.
How does the grading system work?
The Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) is the assessment Tool used during the consultation. The IOTN is an objective and reliable way for trained professionals to select those children who will benefit most from Treatment and is a fair way to prioritise limited NHS resources. There are two components that are assessed:
1. Dental Health Component – has 5 grades varying and increasing in severity from 1 to 5
2. The Aesthetic Component – a scale of 10 colour photographs varying and increasing in severity from 1 to 10
When your child’s clinical state of teeth formation and appearance are measured against them a score for each Component is identified. Together they provide an overall score. If the score is within the levels dictated by the NHS they will receive NHS Treatment. Where the score is borderline they MAY be given special consideration or re-assessed.
What options do we have if my child does not pass the IOTN assessment?
There are a number of courses of action that can be taken:
1. Undertake Treatment Privately – Most children who do not meet IOTN requirements would still benefit from some Orthodontic Treatment. We are able to provide Treatment options: in these specific circumstances we provide it at discounted prices (between £250 -£1,750). We provide interest free repayment plans and our emphasis in these cases is making Orthodontic Treatment as affordable as possible.
2. Get referred 18 – 24 month later – Your child may be a borderline case. In a period of 1 – 2 years they may undergo significant growth and change to their jaw and tooth formation meaning that at their follow assessment they may pass the IOTN. You can ask your general dentist at that later time to consider referring you again.
Note, though, that it is possible that at the revisit appointment the IOTN score may not have changed enough for Orthodontic Treatment to be covered by the NHS. The NHS is currently considering reducing recall appointments in the future.
3. Second opinion – where the score is borderline we often consider a request for another clinician to re-assess and give a second opinion (which will be final). Some Patients have gone to a different Practice and asked a professional there to provide a second opinion (that may involve a cost to you).
At what age should my child start Orthodontic Treatment?
This is an issue that different Orthodontists will have different views, opinions and approaches towards. Given the perceived trauma’s and challenges faced by teenagers and young adults, we are very much of the opinion that Orthodontic Treatment for children should be a one off exercise. That is: treat them once and treat them completely.
That means usually (but not always) we will start Treatment if it is required, once all milk teeth have fallen out and children have started growing. Obviously this will vary from child to child. On average Treatment will start somewhere between the ages of 11 – 13 years. In some cases however it can be younger or older As a general Policy the NHS is not in favour of Treatment for Patients who are only 10 years old or under.
My children both had assessments. One passed and one did not. Why?
Every person will most likely have a different clinical state of teeth formation. Even siblings. The IOTN assessment when carried out, will always give rise to a score unique to them. It is not uncommon for one child in a family to have a very high score and hence have Orthodontic Treatment under the NHS while their sibling may have an IOTN score below the required level and hence not have Treatment covered.
Are there any NHS charges for Orthodontics, like those in general Dentistry?
It is not permitted to charge patients under the age of 18 for an appliance or any part of the Treatment, nor to insist that part of the Treatment is undertaken privately before acceptance as an NHS patient. To do so is, in effect, asking to be paid twice. Any such practice is a serious breach of NHS regulations.
NHS patients will be charged for replacement Retainers and consumable items such as tooth brushes or retainer cases. Anything that does attract a charge is indicated clearly on display in the Practice.
IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW BUT IT’S NOT LISTED HERE, PLEASE CALL US OR SUBMIT A QUESTION VIA EMAIL. THANKS
FAQs (Private patients)
Private (Adults and children not treated under the NHS)
Why would I need to have Orthodontic Treatment?
Many adult patients may feel that perhaps they are being vain !. Their perception that they have minor issues that would simply ‘look better’ if they were fixed with Orthodontic Treatment. In fact many of the adult patients we assess suffer from significant Orthodontic problems. A poorly aligned bite, irregularities of the jaw, severe crowding or spaces left from old dental work are common. If you have your own teeth and they are in relative good condition, we can put them into the correct position and align your bite.
Why would I want to have Orthodontic Treatment?
As well as the important clinical outcomes, there are very obvious aesthetic benefits to having Orthodontic Treatment. Almost all adult patients we talk to before they start Treatment tell us of years of hiding their smile, stifling a laugh or covering up at photos because they are not happy with the appearance of their teeth. We know that Orthodontic Treatment can make an enormous difference to your appearance and your confidence. We know that we can help make that difference.
I don’t want to wear a ‘metal brace’. Are there other Treatment options?
As well as a “traditional” fixed metal braces, we offer a number of other Treatment options which are considered less visible or invisible. See our Treatment Options page
How long will a course of Orthodontic Treatment take?
Depending on your clinical presentation and the problems you have, a course of Orthodontic Treatment can last anywhere from 6 months to 24 months. On average, a full course of Treatment for an adult will take 15 to 18 months for the active Treatment followed by 6 to 9 months of wearing retainers. Adults tend to take a little longer than children, because bones are a little harder!
How much will a course of Orthodontic Treatment cost?
There are a number of factors that will determine the cost of your Orthodontic Treatment, including; your clinical presentation and the problems you have which need correcting, through to the Treatment option you choose e.g. Incognito, Invisalign etc See our Cost & Payment Page
How can I pay for the Treatment?
We provide a written quote which reflects the total cost of Treatment and your payment options. You can pay the full amount up front and receive a 5% discount. Alternatively we ask for a deposit (usually 25%) to be paid before Treatment starts and then the balance via monthly direct debit over the next 12 months.
The agreed Fees are paid free of interest. We do not act through credit agencies or banks.
Two sets of Retainers will also be included in the cost of your Treatment and provided when your braces are removed. Any further Retainers required thereafter will be charged for.
The cost of anything you need to pay for, outside of the agreed Treatment Fee, is indicated clearly on display in the Practice.
Can my Treatment be covered by the NHS?
In short, No. Orthodontics on the NHS is only available to children who are under 18 years of age and who meet the appropriate IOTN assessment criteria. This rule came into effect in April 2006. Prior to this some adults were able to receive Orthodontic Treatment under the NHS. This is no longer the case.
What if I require additional Treatment such as Dental work or Oral Surgery?
To ensure the best Orthodontic outcomes we sometimes seek the opinion or involvement of your Dentist or other Specialists such as an Oral Surgeon. If their involvement is required, your Orthodontist will explain this to you and then refer you as required (for example to an Oral Surgeon or back to your own general dentist). There may be additional costs associated with any Treatment they provide. Those would be separate to the costs and payment for your Orthodontic Treatment agreed with us.
You will need to discuss their costs and associated payments directly with the provider of the additional Treatment.
IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW BUT IT’S NOT LISTED HERE, PLEASE CALL US OR SUBMIT A QUESTION VIA EMAIL.