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NHS Orthodontic Treatment

NHS Criteria

Examples of bite problems which will meet the criteria for NHS funded orthodontic treatment:

  • Significantly crowded teeth
  • Reverse bite
  • Protruding teeth
  • Impacted (buried) teeth
  • Missing teeth

Significantly crowded teeth

Do I have to pay for NHS orthodontic treatment?

The NHS funds all the costs of orthodontic treatment for children who qualify according to the set IOTN criteria. The only exception is the charge for replacement of removable appliances lost or damaged beyond repair (£76.90 in 2018).

The NHS contract for orthodontics funds all appliances, adjustments and repairs required during the entire treatment. The practitioner is free to choose whatever technique and appliance s/he wishes within these requirements. S/he is not under an obligation to use or offer any particular appliance. 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.

Examples of bite problems which will meet the criteria for NHS funded orthodontic treatment can be seen on the right.

Protruding teeth

Why is there a waiting list?

Funding levels for orthodontics in Exeter were set by Devon PCT in 2006 reflecting historical needs for brace treatment in this area. Since this time, although the population of Exeter and the surrounding area has grown significantly, the number of orthodontic treatments that can be funded through the NHS has not changed. As a result the Exeter Orthodontic Practice currently has a waiting list for NHS treatment.

We aim to prioritise older patients and patients with severe bite problems where possible to ensure that they do not miss out on the opportunity to have orthodontic treatment

Reverse bite

What can I do if the NHS will not fund treatment for my child?

If your child is not judged to have a dental health need for orthodontic treatment, you may wish to seek treatment on a private basis. The Exeter Orthodontic Practice offers a range of treatments and payments options

Impacted (buried) teeth

How do I get referred for an orthodontic examination?

Most children are referred for a consultation appointment by their family dentist. Adult patients who wish to be seen for a private consultation are welcome to use the self referral form.

Missing teeth