What is a removable brace?
This type of brace can be taken out, which means you can easily clean your teeth and the appliance itself. However, to ensure successful straightening, you should wear it at all other times (even while eating and sleeping).
What is a fixed brace?
Fixed (aka ‘train track’) braces stay firmly in place and are only removed at the end of your treatment by your orthodontist. Brackets are cemented to your teeth and a wire is passed through these to exert a force that will straighten your teeth.
As these braces can’t be taken out, you need to take extra care with your dental hygiene. However, we do sell special brushes that make teeth cleaning easier.
What are retainers?
Made from a clear plastic, retainers are specially moulded to fit to your teeth after treatment. Unlike a brace, they don’t move your teeth, but they do prevent them from reverting back to their original position.
It is very important to make sure you wear your retainers to avoid undoing all the hard work that has gone into achieving your straighter smile.
When can I start my treatment?
Before a brace can be fitted, all your adult teeth need to have emerged. This has usually happened by age 13, although some children can have braces fitted much younger if all their teeth have come through. Equally, some people keep their baby teeth for longer so they may not be able to start treatment until they are older.
Treatment start times for NHS patients is also determined by the length of our waiting list. Your initial screening appointment will ascertain if you are ready and eligible for NHS treatment and you will then be added to our Treatment Waiting List. With Covid-19, the waiting time between initial screening and starting treatment is uncertain, as priorities for managing our existing cohort of patients change as the pandemic unravels.
Outside of our NHS clinics, we have reserved time to see private patients, who can start treatment almost immediately.
How long do I have to wait for an appointment after my dentist has referred me to the practice?
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, for NHS referrals, we had committed to seeing you for an initial screening appointment within approximately 12 weeks from when you are referred by your dentist. Now with Covid-19, the NHS waiting time currently is uncertain, but our referral book is still open to accept new patients. If, at your initial screening appointment, you are deemed ready and eligible for treatment, you will be placed on our Treatment Waiting List.
What happens at my first screening appointment?
This is a short, but invaluable, appointment for NHS patients that enables us to get to know you, assess your readiness for treatment and determine whether or not you are eligible for NHS funded orthodontic treatment. You will also be able to find out about your treatment options.
If you are ready and eligible for treatment, you will be placed on our Treatment Waiting List and if you don’t qualify for NHS funded orthodontics, we can usually let you know at this stage. If you aren’t eligible, or you need to be referred to a hospital, private treatment and any such referral can go ahead without unnecessary delay.
How were you able to see me within 12 weeks when many other practices have such long waiting lists?
Before Covid-19, we had designed the way we work to enable us to see new patients within 12 weeks from referral, although this time could increase from time to time depending on circumstances. During Covid-19 we cannot guarantee how long you would need to wait for your first appointment.
We do have a Treatment Waiting List for new patients who are ready and eligible for NHS treatment but, even if you have to wait some time between your initial screening appointment and starting treatment, we think it’s hugely beneficial for you to be seen as quickly as possible for your first screening appointment so you can understand your options for treatment without undue delay.
What are the criteria for NHS eligibility?
In April 2006, the NHS introduced a new criterion called IOTN (Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need) to determine the type of cases that qualify for NHS funded orthodontic treatment. It is a complex area but, put simply, it means that milder (cosmetic) conditions are not eligible for treatment.
You will be assessed at your screening appointment by a specialist orthodontist who will advise whether or not you are eligible for NHS funded treatment.
What are my options if I am not eligible for NHS funded treatment?
If you are not eligible, the NHS will not fund your treatment but we can still treat you privately. We offer two levels of private service for children that can be started immediately: Silver Service, which is an NHS equivalent service using silver brackets, and Platinum Service, which uses for more aesthetically pleasing tooth coloured or clear ceramic brackets.
If you do decide to have private treatment, benefits will include priority appointment times and the option of having less noticeable appliances.
Do you treat adults?
Yes! An increasing number of adults are discovering the benefits of orthodontic treatment, such as an enhanced smile and boosted confidence. All adult treatments are carried out on a private basis, so if you would like to make an appointment with an orthodontist, just give us a call.
Our Treatment Co-ordinator can also give you more information about adult orthodontics, either over the phone or face-to-face in the practice. When you decide to proceed with treatment, we will prepare a contract between you and your orthodontist but for ease of administration, all fees are paid to the practice.
How much does private orthodontic treatment cost?
The cost will depend on your individual case and the treatment option chosen. We can only advise you of the actual cost after an initial consultation with the orthodontist, but a guide to prices can be found in our Fees section.
We encourage our private patients to pay using our interest-free monthly payment plan. This means you can spread the cost of your investment over the duration of the treatment.
How long will I need to wear braces?
The duration of treatment will depend on what needs doing but, on average, it takes around 18 months.
Can I have ceramic braces or Invisalign if I am an NHS patient?
No, sorry. These are both more aesthetically appealing treatment options that the NHS does not cover. Ceramic braces have brackets that blend in with your natural teeth and Invisalign features a series of clear, removable aligners.
Are you an Invisalign certified practice?
Can private patients make priority bookings?
Yes! If you are a private patient one of the benefits is being able to make bookings for several appointments in advance. This means that you will be able to choose times that suit you well. Additionally, the orthodontists who practise privately also reserve certain times of the week to only see private patients. Either way, we should be able to find mutually convenient times for your appointments.