Frequently Asked Questions about NHS Orthodontics
Q. What is NHS Orthodontics?
A. Each year the practice is allocated a contract with a set amount of funding to use for free orthodontic treatment. This funding is available to people under the age of 18 years who require treatment on the grounds of dental health. However restrictions now apply to who is eligible for NHS treatment. In addition, the amount of annual funding provided to us is limited. As a result patients who are eligible for NHS treatment may have to be placed on a waiting list until more funds become available.
Q. Why do some people qualify for orthodontic treatment and some do not?
A. One of our Orthodontic Specialists will assess if your child is eligible for NHS treatment using an assessment scale called the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). This is made up of 5 grades, 1 is the least severe and 5 the most. NHS treatment is available to those who grade at levels 4 or 5 on this scale.
Q. Do all Orthodontists use the IOTN?
A. Yes. All orthodontic specialists who carry out NHS treatment in England and Wales use the IOTN to grade their patients.
Q. Why is the list so long?
A. A large number of patients are referred to us by their dentist for an NHS Orthodontic assessment. Regrettably it is not possible to see everyone straight away given the amount of funding we receive. We therefore use an assessment waiting list system to ensure patients are called for their assessment in turn, which can be up to 40 months. If your child qualifies for NHS treatment and their dental health is of the required standard they will commence treatment.
Q. So what do I do now?
A. We will contact you in writing once your child has reached the top of the waiting list. (Please remember to inform us of any change of address)
We hope this information helps to explain the procedures surrounding NHS Orthodontics but if you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us on 01924 380680 and our staff will be happy to help.