Should I Choose NHS Or Private Orthodontic Treatment For My Child?
More often than not, parents are aware their child needs braces to improve the arrangement of their teeth before being told by their dentist. In the UK, if your child is seen by a dentist who thinks that the child may require braces, the dentist can refer you to an orthodontist to confirm whether or not the child qualifies for NHS treatment. You do not need to wait for your dentist to refer your child to an orthodontist. If you think your child may need braces, then you can make an appointment to see an orthodontist yourself. Smile101 offer FREE smile assessments to all of our patients.
It’s a common misconception that you must wait for all of your child’s adult teeth to have come through before starting treatment. Orthodontic treatment can start while your child has baby teeth, and the optimal time for your child to be seen by an orthodontist is from 7 years old according to the Association of American Orthodontists.
Here are two young patients of Smile101 before and after treatment.
NHS orthodontic treatment is free for children under the age of 18 who’s teeth meet the requirements, which include a clear health need for treatment. NHS orthodontic treatment isn’t usually available for adults but may be approved if the case is severe and required for health reasons.
To determine whether children are eligible for NHS treatment, the orthodontist will use a rating system called the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). This often involves a series of measurements, an assessment of the stage of dental development, and complexity of the case.
If your child’s teeth meet the requirements Based on the national grading system and qualify for NHS treatment, you will be informed of waiting list times (there currently is no waiting list at Smile101 Orthodontic Centre) and asked if you would like to start treatment.
Your child may not meet the requirements for NHS funded treatment, in which case your Orthodontist may give you information about other options delivered on a private basis.
Treatment available on the NHS:
- Metal Fixed Braces
Private Orthodontic Treatment Options
Private orthodontic treatment is available to anyone should they want/need. When your child is a private patient, you will still require an assessment for the orthodontist to establish the best course of treatment.
When treatment and costs have been discussed you can start your treatment right away.
Unlike NHS treatment, private orthodontic treatment can resolve a wide number of problems with your children’s teeth and at an early stage of development.
It also offers a much wider range of treatment, including:
- Metal Fixed Braces
- Aesthetic Ceramic Fixed Braces
- Invisalign Teen clear transparent removable aligners
- Hidden Lingual Fixed Braces customised to the back of your teeth
- Twin Block Functional Appliances
- Removable Appliance
- Bonded retainer
- Vivera retainers
- Damon System self-ligating systems
- Myobrace early interception Myofunctional braces for children from as young as 5 years of age.
Investing in your child’s smile for orthodontic treatment on a private basis can start from £2,000 depending on the kind of brace being used to resolve the issue.
Benefits of orthodontic treatment
- Straighter aligned teeth have better access for cleaning of plaque and bacteria. Which means healthier are likely to last longer and minimise the risk of gum disease and decay.
- Improvement of an abnormal bite can benefit chewing and speech difficulties.
- Framing the teeth within the lips and face can create a more harmonious smile.
In summary, choosing between NHS & Private treatment is an entirely personal choice for you as a parent as long as your child qualifies for NHS treatment. Don’t feel pressured to go private by your orthodontist. Make sure you ask all the relevant questions (for a list of questions to ask your orthodontist visit our blog post here) and if you are in the Guildford or Windsor area then feel free to contact our expert team and book a free smile assessment with Smile101 to find out more.