Orthodontic treatment is used to improve the appearance, position and function of crooked or abnormally arranged teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can straighten the teeth and move them into a better position.
Healthcare Professionals specialising in orthodontics are known as Orthodontists. You can find a list of all Specialist Orthodontists registered in the UK on the General Dental Council (GDC) website.
What does orthodontic treatment involve?
Orthodontics uses devices such as a brace to correct the position of the teeth. Your exact treatment will depend on the problems with your teeth.
In some cases, you may need to have teeth removed as part of your treatment.
The length of treatment will depend on how complicated the problem is, but it’s usually between 18 and 24 months.
Who needs orthodontic treatment?
Many people have crowded or crooked teeth, or their teeth don’t meet correctly when they bite. These problems can mean the teeth are more likely to become damaged or put a strain on jaw muscles.
In some cases, abnormal development of the teeth and jaw can affect the shape of the face.
Problems with crooked and out-of-place teeth are quite common in the UK. It’s thought around a third of 12-year-olds would benefit from some degree of orthodontic treatment.
How can I access orthodontic treatment?
In most cases, you or your child will be referred to an Orthodontist by your Dentist, although patients who wish to pay privately may be able to seek treatment directly.
NHS orthodontic treatment is free for people under the age of 18 with a clear clinical need for treatment. However, because of the high demand for treatment, there can be a long waiting list for NHS orthodontic treatment.
Private treatment is available for patients who don't qualify for NHS funded treatment, but can be expensive. Depending on the appliance system chosen, the fees range from £2,000 and £6,500.