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NHS Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment is provided as part of the NHS Dental Services. We can only accept patients on referral from an NHS dentist. However, patients need to meet criteria for eligibility that is based on the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). Patients are also required to have a satisfactory level of oral hygiene.

The NHS provides for an initial consultation, a single course of comprehensive Orthodontic treatment, and a year of supervision thereafter.

The treatment options that we offer under the NHS include procedures that are evidence-based and are endorsed by NICE guidelines.

When the full treatment is completed we will offer a year of retention supervision under the NHS. Thereafter, recall appointments will only be available on a private basis.

Appliances that are most commonly offered include:

  • Metal braces.
  • Functional appliances.
  • Retainers.
  • Other types.

We do not offer the following treatment options under the NHS:

  • Aesthetic braces including tooth-coloured, lingual braces.
  • Invisalign.
  • Orthodontic micro-implants.
  • Pendulum appliance.
  • Find us on NHS CHOICES

NHS Orthodontic treatment is only available to patients who are younger than 18. Patients required to have a satisfactory level of oral hygiene.

An initial assessment will determine whether there is a demonstrable treatment need as indicated by the IOTN (Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need). The IOTN is a way to select those children who are more likely to benefit from treatment and it provides a way to prioritise limited NHS resources.

Dental problems that generally indicate treatment need include:

  • Front teeth that protrude by more than 6mm.
  • Crowded teeth that are more than 4mm out of line.
  • Abnormal bites causing trauma or significant parafunction.
  • An open bite that is greater than 4mm.
  • Impacted teeth (other than wisdom teeth).
  • Missing teeth (where space closure or pre-restorative Orthodontic treatment is indicated).
  • Extra (supernumerary) teeth.

More minor problems are not funded under the NHS, unless the circumstances are exceptional. If treatment is desired in such cases, it is available on a private basis.

Can we bring our child to see you for an Orthodontic assessment under the NHS?

Ask an NHS dentist to refer your child to us for an NHS assessment.

We have transferred into the area from another county, and my child has braces on. Can we come in to continue treatment?

We require an NHS referral for your child and a copy of the original treatment records, including a confirmation that the treatment was started under the NHS. Further to that we will arrange to see your child and forward a transfer request to the NHS Local Area Team. Please note that the request may be declined, and we may also not be able to take over the treatment immediately if we have an NHS treatment waiting list. You may also choose to continue the treatment on a private basis. For further information click here.

My child has braces and is being seen at another practice in Hertfordshire or Berkshire. Can we transfer over to your care?

This will only be possible with prior approval of the local NHS Area Team in exceptional circumstances.

My child has braces that were placed abroad.
Can we continue the treatment under the NHS?

Continuation of treatment is generally restricted to patients who started their treatment under the NHS and were UK residents at the time, and for British or EU citizens who were under 18 years of age and have had braces placed in an EU country. We require a copy of the original treatment records. Permission needs to be sought from the NHS Local Area Team.

My child has discontinued treatment elsewhere and we would like to have re-treatment?

Re-treatment under the NHS can only be offered three years after completing the last course of treatment. Permission will have to be sought from the NHS Local Area Team since the NHS has limited resources.

Why is there an NHS waiting list?

NHS funding for local dental services is capped and we are only able to treat as many patients as we are paid for annually. If you wish for your child to remain on our NHS treatment waiting list we will provide the treatment as soon as possible.

Can I choose private treatment for my child instead?

Treatment can be undertaken on a private basis and you may contact us directly for an assessment. We offer special rates for treating children as well as interest-free payment options. Click here for information.

I am pregnant. Can I have Orthodontic treatment?

We can offer you a consultation to assess your teeth. However, we cannot start Orthodontic treatment during the pregnancy because X-Rays are necessary to finalise a treatment plan. We have to wait to take the X-Rays and start treatment after you give birth.

I am pregnant and exempt from NHS dental charges. Can I have NHS Orthodontic treatment?

We normally see NHS patients who are under the age of 18 years, whose teeth are severe enough to justify treatment need under the NHS. NHS patients have to referred to us by a dentist. You can use your NHS exemption certificate at the dentist, for treatment that is necessary to keep the teeth healthy during your pregnancy.

NHS treatment is available free of charge to patients who are eligible, and under the age of 18 at the start of treatment.

However, charges apply as follows:

A charge of £84.80 to replace any appliance that is lost or damaged beyond repair.*
A charge of £23.80 for patients who are older than 18 years of age at completion of the treatment or having an NHS assessment.
A charge of £282.80 for patients who are older than 18 years.

*A charge will apply to replace an appliance that does not fit due to insufficient wear, or failure to attend an appointment to have it fitted.

NHS charges must be paid in full. In case of a replacement appliance, the charge is payable when the impression is taken.

Patients who experience financial hardship can apply for a refund from the NHS BSA, by completing a replacement appliance refund claim form FPR17/11. The form must be stamped by us before it is posted together with proof of payment. For further information regarding this form please click here.

The NHS will not provide funding for appointments a year after the brace is removed. Subsequent visits are available on a private basis, at £45 per visit. Replacement of appliances is charged at our private rate.

We reserve the right to employ an external party for collecting outstanding fees in the event of non-payment. This adds costs to the account and could considerably increase the amount owed.

We operate a practice complaints procedure as part of the NHS system. Our complaints system adheres to national criteria.

We do our very best to ensure that none of our patients have cause to complain. Nevertheless, please let us know if you have a complaint or concern about the service you have received.

If you do not feel you can raise your NHS complaint directly with us, you can raise your complaint directly to NHS England at [email protected], 'For the attention of the complaints team' in the subject line. Please note that you cannot redirect a complaint to NHS England after submitting to us.

If you are still unhappy about your NHS complaint, you can contact the Parliamentary Health Ombudsman (England): by calling 0345 015 4033 or visiting

You can also contact The Care Quality Commission (CQC) who regulate private and NHS dental care services in England at They can take action against a service provider that is not meeting their standards.

The General Dental Council is responsible for regulating all dental professionals. You can complain using their online form at, contact them at [email protected], or by calling 020 7167 6000.

A leaflet explaining our practice complaints procedure is available from the receptionist.

We also appreciate any suggestion that will improve your experience as our patient. Click here to help us improve our service by completing a short survey.