NHS Funding and Orthodontic Treatment: How it Works - Specialist Orthodontic Group : Specialist Orthodontic Group
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NHS Funding and Orthodontic Treatment: How it Works

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Funding sources can sometimes be a stumbling block for those who want to go ahead with teeth realignment treatment. Depending on the type of programme you choose to go for, specialist orthodontist treatment can represent a significant investment.

Most orthodontist practices will offer a range of funding options. Typically this includes treatment on the NHS.

It’s important to note that only certain patients will be eligible to be treated on the NHS. You will need to meet two criteria:

  1. You will need to be under eighteen years of age
  2. You will need to have a clear clinical need for treatment

Clear clinical need is established by way of a scale known as the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). This is made up of five grades:

  • Grade one: perfect or almost perfect teeth
  • Grade two: teeth with minor irregularities, e.g. slightly protruding upper teeth
  • Grade three: teeth with more significant irregularities that are unlikely to affect the health of the patient, e.g. upper front teeth that protrude 4mm or less
  • Grade four: teeth with severe irregularities that are likely to impact on health, e.g. upper front teeth that protrude 6mm or more
  • Grade five: teeth that exhibit severe dental health problems, e.g. upper front teeth that protrude more than 9mm

NHS treatment is available for children or teenagers whose teeth are categorised as grade four or grade five.

Those with grade three categorisation may also be eligible, but these will be judged on a case by case basis, depending on the overall appearance of the teeth.

If you think you or your child may be eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment, the first step is to talk to a professional. Visit your usual dentist to ask for their advice. If necessary, the dentist can then refer you onto a specialist orthodontist.