If your teenager needs orthodontic treatment, you will have a number of options open to you.
Patients under the age of 18 who have a clear medical need for teeth realignment are eligible for treatment funded by the NHS. This means that no teenager who needs orthodontic treatment will be excluded from it because of cost.
However, just because your teen is eligible for treatment by the NHS, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to take up the offer. There are benefits and advantages to having NHS treatment over paying privately for your teen’s orthodontic treatment.
The pros of NHS orthodontic treatment for teens
- It’s free! This is the major benefit of NHS orthodontic treatment. For many families this is the only option, and it’s a great one. The treatment is accessible and effective.
- Coloured bands. The NHS offers teens traditional fixed braces with a slight twist: coloured bands! At each brace appointment teens will be able to choose a different set of coloured bands for their brace.
The cons of NHS orthodontic treatment for teens
- The waiting list. Each orthodontic practice is only funded to treat a certain number of NHS patients per year. This will mean that your teen will have a much longer wait for NHS treatment than they would have if they were being treated privately.
- Limited options. Unlike private patients, NHS patients will not be able to choose from a full range of treatment programmes. Invisible braces such as Invisalign are not available on the NHS.
- Regular appointments. With a traditional fixed NHS brace, your teen will need to visit the orthodontist every 6-8 weeks to have it adjusted. If you were to opt for private treatment and Invisalign, you would receive new retainers in the post every few weeks and wouldn’t need to physically attend appointments as regularly.
Are you finding it difficult to decide which type of orthodontic treatment to choose for your teen? Why not book a consultation appointment with us to discuss your options?