For the last generation or two, NHS orthodontic treatment has been a rite of passage for British teenagers. If you went through the process yourself, you may now be expecting your teenage child to do the same.
Unfortunately, with the current funding pressures on the NHS, orthodontic treatment is not available to all those who want it. If you’re currently considering your options, you may want to look at the alternatives.
Many parents have discovered that private orthodontic treatment is a better fit for their teenager. Though there is a cost implication here, for many people this is more than made up for by the greater level of choice.
What are the benefits of private orthodontic treatment for teenagers?
There’s no need to ‘qualify’
In order to receive NHS orthodontic treatment, your teenager will need to have a malocclusion that meets the criteria. This typically needs to be an alignment problem that shows a clear clinical need for treatment. Your teen may not meet this criteria if their alignment issues are more aesthetic.
No waiting lists
NHS practices are limited to the number of patients they can treat each year. So, at many practices, there is often a waiting list for NHS treatment (unless there is an urgent clinical need for your child). Private treatment enables you to start at the time which best suits your family commitments.
More choice of treatment types
The only orthodontic treatment available on the NHS is traditional fixed braces. Though these are very effective, they might not be the right choice for your teen in terms of the treatment experience. If you choose to go private instead, you’d be able to consider alternative treatment types such as invisible retainers, ceramic braces or lingual braces.
Want to take a look at some of the treatments that are only available to teens privately? You can read about Invisalign Teen here.