What happens on the first visit?
Children and Teenagers
Your first visit is nothing to worry about but it is probably the most important one of your whole treatment! You will have the opportunity to meet our team and ask any questions that you might have about orthodontic treatment.
When you arrive at the practice for the first time, we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire that will help us to find out more about you and how you feel about the appearance of your teeth. You will then be shown into the surgery by one of our orthodontic nurses to meet your orthodontist, who will have a look at your teeth and will make some notes on the computer about your teeth. After this assessment we may take a radiograph (X-ray), photographs and impressions of your teeth.
We will then explain how orthodontic treatment may improve the appearance of your teeth and the ideal timing for any proposed orthodontic treatment. You can then consider whether NHS or self-funded orthodontic treatment would suit you best.
If you still have a number of deciduous (baby) teeth present, we may suggest that we see you in a year or two when more of your permanent (adult) teeth have erupted into the mouth.
Should you decide that you do not want to wear a brace, we will explain what is likely to happen if you do not undergo orthodontic treatment.
NHS Orthodontic treatment
All patients under 18 years of age are entitled to an orthodontic assessment which is paid for by the National Health Service (NHS). If you are under 18 years of age and would like an NHS assessment for possible orthodontic treatment, you should ask your family dentist to send a referral letter to Circus Orthodontics. You need to have good dental health in order to be considered for orthodontic treatment. We usually see newly referred patients for an NHS orthodontic assessment within 12 weeks of receiving the referral from the family dentist.
The NHS currently funds orthodontic treatment for those patients whose dental health will benefit from undergoing orthodontic treatment as indicated by the "Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need" (IOTN). The IOTN is essentially a means of measuring and categorising the severity of a patient's orthodontic problem. If the severity of a patient's orthodontic problem is above the "need for orthodontic treatment" threshold on IOTN, then the NHS will fund orthodontic treatment for that patient. There is currently a waiting list to commence NHS orthodontic treatment.
Why is there a waiting list for NHS Orthodontic treatment?
Since April 2006, each orthodontist has a set amount of NHS orthodontic treatment that they can provide in each financial year for those patients who are entitled to NHS orthodontic treatment. The NHS contract for each orthodontist has been determined and implemented by NHS England. Unfortunately, the number of patients who attend our practice requesting NHS orthodontic treatment is far greater than the number that we are allowed to provide treatment for each year. As a result, there is a long wait for NHS orthodontic treatment.
What if I don't qualify for NHS orthodontic treatment or I don't want to wait to start treatment?
You may consider funding your own orthodontic treatment using our interest-free payment plans. There is currently no waiting list for self-funded orthodontic treatment and we will be happy to discuss your options.
Patients who are older than 18 years of age must fund their own orthodontic treatment as the NHS does not provide orthodontic assessment or treatment for this group of patients.
For your first visit, we focus on how you feel about your teeth and which aspects of your orthodontic problem you wish to address. We will take some photographs of you and your teeth. We will also obtain some impressions of your teeth so that our orthodontic laboratory can produce study casts (models) of your teeth. We may also take some radiographs (X-ray) of your teeth.
The specialist in orthodontics will then analyse your study casts, radiographs and photographs and will record the orthodontic treatment options to address the issues that you have with the appearance of your teeth. During your second visit the orthodontist will discuss these options with you in full.