The complex world of NHS dental contracts can sometimes leave our patients asking us why they can’t start their NHS orthodontic treatment immediately.
In the past there was no limit to the number of NHS patients that we could treat each year. And if you came to see us for an NHS consultation, the funding, if required, would be available to begin your treatment almost immediately.
However, things changed in April 2006 with the introduction of a new dental contract, which dictates the eligibility criteria for NHS orthodontic treatment, as well as the number of our patients that can receive funding for orthodontic treatment each year.
In some of our practices this has led to an increasing disparity between the number of patients who are eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment and the number of patients we are able to treat each year, ultimately resulting in an NHS waiting list.
How Do I Join the Waiting List for NHS Orthodontic Treatment?
Before you can join our NHS waiting list you will need to be seen by a specialist orthodontist for a free NHS consultation to find out whether you are eligible for NHS treatment. Your dentist will need to refer you to us for this free consultation, undertaking their own assessment beforehand to determine a need for treatment for dental health reasons.
During your free consultation, your orthodontist will be able to confirm whether you qualify for NHS care. If you are eligible for treatment it is at this point that you may need to join our NHS waiting list. We’ll always do our best to give you an accurate idea of how long the waiting list is and when we should be able to fit your braces; and if at any point you would like an update, our team will be more than happy to help.
Alternatives to NHS Orthodontic Treatment?
While we are big advocates of NHS treatment, it’s important for us to provide you with all your available options, including self-funded private orthodontic treatment. As the name suggests, private care is not dependent on NHS funding, so you should be able to start your treatment within a matter of weeks and you don’t need to be referred to us by your dentist.
To find out more about NHS and private orthodontic treatment at Total Orthodontics, please explore our website. And if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0800 781 0035 or via our contact form.