Can my child have Invisible braces on the NHS?
If you feel that you or your child are unhappy with how their teeth look or function, your first port of call is your dentist. If you don’t have a dentist we would recommend registering with one locally so you are able to attend for regular examinations. Your dentist will then be able to discuss your concerns and identify whether it is an issue that can be corrected by an orthodontist or not.
If your dentist thinks you are eligible for orthodontic treatment they will make a referral and submit it to the referral management centre for our area. At this point, your dentist can provide you with a tracking number to identify whether your referral has made any progress. The tracking system will not identify where you are on the waiting list but it will state where you have been allocated to if your referral has reached that specific stage. Currently, if you are unspecified as to where you wish to be seen, from point of referral to being seen by an orthodontist for an assessment, it is around 18 months. Unless your dentist has specified a practice that they want you to be seen at then it is possible that you could be sent to any practice in Manchester that has the soonest availability.
Once you have been accepted by an orthodontic practice for assessment they will contact you directly to schedule an appointment for your child to be assessed. This appointment will generally take around 30 minutes and may involve having radiographs, photographs and moulds or a scan of your teeth. At the assessment appointment, the orthodontist will identify whether you fall into the criteria that deem you eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment. In certain cases, the orthodontist may inform you that your child is eligible for treatment however it would be best to postpone treatment until they have stopped growing. If this is the case then have a chat with your orthodontist to see if any interim treatment can be carried out.
When the treatment plan is discussed with you and your child, models or photographs will be used to show the type of appliances we will use to align their teeth. The fixed appliances are a silver-coloured stainless steel bracket that can have corresponding silver elastics to ligate the wire into position or we have an array of colours that can be used to brighten them up. Unfortunately, the NHS does not allow the mix of NHS and private treatments so you are unable to change the brackets to a cosmetic tooth coloured bracket and just pay the difference. If you wanted to explore the option of private treatment you are more than welcome. Please rest assured that the silver/metal appliances will do an excellent job at aligning your child’s teeth. The metal brackets are easier to clean too, often making them a firm favourite with parents, as you can see any plaque and food that may have become trapped on the appliance. Clean braces and teeth, along with healthy gums make perfect smiles.
If you would like any further information about NHS orthodontic treatment please don’t hesitate to contact the practice on 0161 884 1481.
- Mohammad Malik