NHS treatment

Orthodontic treatment is available through the NHS to children in the worst need. To receive treatment, your child must first undergo a simple assessment to see if they qualify. We can carry this out when you bring your child to the surgery.

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NHS Treatment Criteria

We use the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) to assess whether children are eligible for treatment through the NHS. We believe this to be the fairest, most reliable system.

The IOTN is a two-part assessment which takes into consideration both dental health and aesthetics.

  • IOTN Health  – A five-grade scale for assessing overall dental health.
  • IOTN Aesthetics – A ten-scale grade using photos to assess dental aesthetics.

Treatment is provided on the NHS for all children scoring higher than 3.9 for both parts of the assessment.


Orthodontic FAQs

Orthodontics is the field of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of issues that affect the alignment of the teeth and jaws. If the bite (the way the top and bottom sets of teeth fit together) isn’t perfect, the teeth are crowded, or there are large gaps between the teeth, your dentist may advise you to consider orthodontic treatment. Here is a useful FAQs section to tell you everything you could ever possibly wish to know about orthodontics.

Orthodontic treatment is designed to improve the alignment of the teeth and address issues that affect the relationship between the jaws and the upper and lower arches of the teeth (this is known as the bite). Braces are commonly used to move the teeth. They are specially designed appliances, which use force to push the teeth into the desired position. You can now choose from fixed and removable braces and there are lots of different systems available. Before you start treatment, you’ll be invited to a consultation, and our dentist will examine your teeth closely and analyse your bite. This will enable them to determine whether braces are a good choice for you, and give your dentist an idea as to which system would be best for you. During the consultation, you can ask questions, and our dentist will give you detailed information about what treatment entails, how long it should take, and how much it will cost.

Orthodontic treatment has incredible aesthetic benefits, but it also has a dramatic impact on your dental health and your confidence. Wearing braces will straighten the teeth and create a beautiful smile, and it will also make it easier to clean your teeth. This will reduce the risk of decay and gum disease. If you’re happy with your smile, you’ll feel more confident when you meet new people and you smile in public. Orthodontic treatment can also improve the clarity of your speech.

Many people assume that braces are for teenagers, but more and more adults are opting to have orthodontic treatment. If you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your smile, the alignment of your teeth is affecting your oral health or there’s a risk that your bite could have implications for your health moving forward, your dentist may encourage you to consider having orthodontic treatment. Often, it’s best to intervene early, and treatment during the teenage years can be incredibly effective, but it’s never too late to have treatment.

Every client is different, and treatment times vary hugely according to which system is used and how much movement is required. Times can range from less than 6 weeks to over 2 years.

Yes, braces are available on the NHS, but only under strict criteria. NHS orthodontic treatment is usually provided only for children and priority cases. NHS treatment is limited to fixed braces. Private treatment is available to a much wider range of clients and there’s a more diverse range of treatment options on offer, including lingual braces and clear, removable braces. If you have any questions about NHS orthodontic treatment, our dentists will be happy to help.

The cost of treatment will vary according to the type of braces used, and the level of treatment that is required before and after treatment. Our dentist will be able to give you an idea of how much treatment will cost using different types of braces when you have your consultation.

It’s natural to be anxious about having braces. Many people are worried because they assume that braces are painful. For the first couple of days, your braces may feel a bit tight and they might be slightly uncomfortable, but you’ll soon get used to them. You can take over the counter pain relief medication to help alleviate pain if you are struggling.

In days gone by, patients only had a choice of fixed braces, but today, there’s a whole range of options. At Align and Smile, we offer the following orthodontic treatment options:

  • Inman Aligner
  • Invisalign
  • Twin Block
  • Lingual braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Damon and Damon Clear
  • Traditional fixed braces

There is no universal answer to this question, as every patient has unique needs. Some patients will benefit from wearing fixed braces, while others may prefer to opt for removable braces. Once our dentist has examined your mouth and looked at X-rays, they will be able to make recommendations based on the types of treatment they feel would be most beneficial for you. We will take your individual prescription into account, as well as your personal preferences.

many cases, orthodontic issues arise as a result of a lack of space in the jaw, which means that the teeth become crowded and crooked. Braces encourage the teeth to move, but there has to be space available for the teeth to move into. If the teeth are crowded, your dentist may need to extract one or more of your teeth. With modern braces, it’s less common to need to undergo extraction. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you need any teeth removing once they have looked at your bite and discussed treatment options with you.

You might think that wearing braces will throw a spanner in the works when it comes to your favourite foods. The good news is that you shouldn’t have to make wholesale changes to your diet. It’s wise to avoid chewy and very hard foods, but you should find that you’re able to eat normally. With removable braces, you take your braces out to eat, so you won’t need to worry about adjusting your diet at all.

When you have braces, it’s crucial to look after them properly. With fixed braces, it’s important to brush your teeth frequently, and clean the brackets and bands to remove debris. If you have removable braces, you can take your aligners out to clean them. Our dentist will show you effective cleaning techniques and recommend tools that may be helpful.

After your treatment is complete, you can expect your teeth to be straight, and hopefully, you’ll feel much more confident about showing your smile off. Your teeth will continue to move after treatment, and this is why it’s vital to wear a retainer. This will hold the teeth in position, preserving your beautiful smile for years to come.

Yes, we advise all our orthodontic patients to wear a retainer once their braces have been removed. This will help to lower the risk of relapse once treatment is complete and ensure you continue to be thrilled with your new smile.

If you have any other questions about orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Align and Smile Limited is a private limited company registered in England, registered number 07852159.
Our registered office is Unit 6 New Providence Wharf, Blackwall Way, London, E14 9PA.
Docklands Dental Referral Centre is the trading name of Dr Sabena Bhuiyan.