We are proud to be an NHS provider for orthodontic care in our local areas, and work closely with the relevant authorities to offer access for those needing treatment and advice free at the point of service.

Every child under the age of 18 is entitled to an NHS orthodontic examination by an orthodontic specialist and we are in a position to deliver this service to our patients. Not all children qualify for NHS orthodontic treatment, but if you are concerned, it is advisable that you get a referral for your child from your dentist for an NHS orthodontic assessment in order to determine their eligibility and need for treatment.

Private options are always available to you. About 1/3 of children in the age range of 7-17 do require some intervention or treatment, and we are there to help and give up to date professional advice. This advice is relayed to you in plain language and your dentist is kept informed of the outcome.

NHS Orthodontics and the IOTN

Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN)

The accurate use of IOTN requires specialist training. Dr Ilori and his associates do have this expertise. The Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) is used nowadays to assess the need for NHS orthodontic treatment. Children under 18 years are eligible for treatment on dental health grounds if the grade on the IOTN scale is high enough.

NHS orthodontic treatment to adults is not usually available in primary care. We have outlined an easy to understand version of the assessment an orthodontist will carry out:

The Dental Health Component (DHC)

For almost perfection

  • Slightly protruding upper front teeth
  • Slightly irregular teeth
  • Minor reversals of the normal relationship of upper and lower teeth which do not interfere with normal function
  • For greater irregularities which normally do not need treatment for health reasons.
  • Upper front teeth that protrude less than 4 mm more than normal
  • Reversals of the normal relationship of upper teeth which only interfere with normal function to a minor degree; by less than 2 mm
  • Irregularity of teeth which are less than 4 mm out of line
  • Open bites of less than 4 mm
  • Deep bites with no functional problems

For more severe degrees of irregularity and these do require treatment for health reasons.

  • Upper front teeth that protrude more than 6 mm
  • Reversals of the normal relationship of upper teeth which interfere with normal function greater than 2 mm
  • Lower front teeth that protrude in front of the upper more than 3.5 mm
  • Irregularity of teeth which are more than 4 mm out of line
  • Less than the normal number of teeth (missing teeth) where gaps need to be closed
  • Open bites of more than 4 mm
  • Deep bites with functional problems
  • More than the normal number of teeth (supernumerary teeth)

For severe dental health problems.

  • When teeth cannot come into the mouth normally because of obstruction by crowding, additional teeth or anyother cause
  • A large number of missing teeth
  • Upper front teeth that protrude more
    than 9 mm
  • Lower front teeth that protrude in front of the upper more than 3.5 mm and where there are functional difficulties too
  • Cranio-facial anomalies such as cleft lip and palate

The Aesthetic Component (AC)

The NHS does realise that some children need orthodontic treatment just because their teeth look really bad. The Aesthetic Component is a scale of 10 colour photographs showing different levels of dental attractiveness. The grading is made by the orthodontist matching the patient to these photographs. The photographs were arranged in order by a panel of lay persons.

In the NHS, the AC is used for border-line cases with Grade 3 DHC. If the case has a high AC score, NHS treatment is permissible. Dentists will refer patients to us for a specialist IOTN assessment so that we can determine and secure their NHS entitlements. We are currently assessing patients from the ages of 7-18 years.

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