John G Plummer & Assosiates Dental Surgeons


NHS Dental Care

Orthodontics NHS


Orthodontic treatment (usually with braces) is most often used to improve the appearance and alignment of crooked, protruding or crowded teeth, and to correct problems with the bite of the teeth.

Why orthodontics is used

The benefits of orthodontics can include:

  • correction of dental crowding and straightening of your teeth 
  • correction of your bite so the front and back teeth meet evenly  
  • reducing the chance of damage to prominent teeth 
  • improving your appearance, including your smile  

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.

Orthodontics can also be used to treat other health problems, such as a cleft lip and palate or cases of mild sleep apnoea.


Who can have orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment is usually only started after most of a child's adult teeth have started to come through. This is usually when they're about 12 years old, but depends on the number of adult teeth and the growth of their face and jaws. Orthodontic treatment for adults can begin at any age, but the treatment options are more limited (mostly Private) 

Treatment also won't begin unless you have a good standard of oral hygiene as orthodontic treatment can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Types of orthodontic treatment

Orthodontics mainly uses braces to correct the position of the teeth. Your exact treatment will depend on the problems with your teeth. In some cases, you may have to wear headgear at night, or have small pins placed temporarily in the jaw as well as a brace. You may also need to have some 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.

Read about the types of orthodontic treatment.

NHS treatment

NHS orthodontic treatment is free for people under the age of 18 with a clear health need for treatment. But because of high demand, there can be a long waiting list. NHS orthodontic care isn't usually available for adults, but may be approved on a case-by-case basis if needed for health reasons.

A rating system known as the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) is used to assess your eligibility for NHS treatment. The British Orthodontic Society's website has more information about the different grades used for the IOTN.

NHS treatment is available for grade 4 and grade 5 cases. Grade 3 cases are usually judged on an individual basis. Treatment may also be made available if the appearance of a person's teeth, jaw or face is of concern.


Every effort will be made to ensure you have your appointments at a time convenient to you. We try our best to see all our patients on time. To achieve this, we rely on all our patients to arrive on time. We are very grateful for your cooperation to enable the practice to run smoothly.

If you have to cancel an appointment, we would appreciate 24 hours’ notice. This enables us to make alternative arrangements and let someone else take up the slot. A fee maybe charged for missed appointments or late cancellations.

First appointment

Your first appointment is for an initial assessment only. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. At the appointment, you will be asked to fill in a medical questionnaire. It may be necessary to take some radiographs to complete the assessment. You will need to remove all ear rings, hair clips or other metallic objects worn on the head and neck areas beforehand to facilitate this procedure. A full explanation of NHS and Private treatment options will be discussed and explained either at this visit or the next. 

You are free to decide if you would like to proceed with the treatment proposed. If you need further information, please feel free to ask any member of our team.


Private treatment

If you don't qualify for free NHS treatment or you don't want to wait for treatment to start, you may choose to have private treatment. 

Private orthodontic treatment offers quicker appointments and material choice. The fee can range from £900 to £6,000, depending on the complexity of the treatment and the type of appliances used, but fees can be higher.

The orthodontist will estimate the treatment cost after an initial assessment of the problem.

Adults can have teeth strainghten as well. Book your free Adult Consultation today. Having your teeth straightened can improve your appearance and boost your self-esteem. Also, straight teeth are easier to clean, so they are less vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. We treat Smiles. Give us a call today to find out how you can have your smile enhanced.We offer a full range of orthodontic care by our highly experienced orthodontic team.

Did You Know?- Research has indicated more likelyhood to be successful in work and social life if judged to have an attractive dental appearance.

New Patient Forms-For your convenience our new patient forms are available for you to download and complete prior to your consultation appointment.

Treatments available - Removable braces, Fixed metal braces, Fixed ceramic tooth coloured and transparent braces, Hollywood style invisable braces including CLEAR INVISALIGN aligners and braces inside the teeth.


Free Consultation