For children and teenagers with crowded or crooked teeth, the prospect of obtaining braces through the NHS can be a game-changer. Straight teeth not only enhance confidence but also simplify oral care.
Due to limited availability, in order to receive NHS orthodontic treatment a child is required to meet specific criteria using the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need. If the child does meet the criteria, then a lengthy waiting lists may lead to many teens outgrowing their eligibility before receiving treatment.
In response, some parents are opting for private orthodontics right from the start. This enables their child to start treatment quickly with a local orthodontist.
We’ve outlined how NHS orthodontics could benefit your teenager below.
Who Qualifies for NHS Braces?
For your teenager to receive NHS orthodontic treatment, they must meet the following requirements:
Securing a Referral for NHS Orthodontics
Your general dentist will monitor the development of your child’s teeth and assess the need for any orthodontic treatment. This typically begins around the age of 12.
If you believe your teenager might benefit from orthodontics then discuss this with your dentist, who can carry out an evaluation to determine if your teenager should be added to the NHS waiting list.
Understanding the IOTN Criteria:
Teens with grade 4 and 5 issues will be referred to an orthodontist, while those with grade 3 issues may be evaluated by your dentist.
Aesthetic Component Assessment
This assessment considers the aesthetic benefits of orthodontics. Using 10 colour photographs showing varying levels of dental attractiveness, your orthodontist will match the patients current smile to these images. If they receive a rating of 6 or higher and also have grade 3 imperfections, they will qualify for free treatment.
If your teenager has grade 3 imperfections and is deemed unsuitable for NHS orthodontics, seeking private treatment is a common alternative. Grade 3 doesn’t mean that braces wouldn’t be beneficial; it simply means that they aren’t available via the NHS.
Navigating Waiting Times
The current waiting time for an assessment for NHS braces is approximately two years. With a further waiting list to start treatment ranging for 1-2 years.
Considering the extended waiting times, some parents choose private orthodontics immediately to ensure timely treatment and avoid further misalignment.
At Evolve Dentistry, we offer private orthodontic options for children starting at just £1,750.
Benefits of Private Orthodontics
We understand that your child’s oral health is of utmost importance. Opting for private orthodontics provides several advantages:
If your teenager is currently on the NHS waiting list for orthodontics and you’d like to find out more about treatment with Lisa our Orthodontist, get in touch with our team to book a consultation today.
Dental Health Plan