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Do I need a referral to see an Orthodontist

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Medically reviewed by: Dr Anthony Lam BDS (Hons), MSc (Lond), MOrth RCS (Edin)

17th June 2020

Orthodontists specialise in straightening teeth. Anyone can visit an orthodontist for an assessment. If you’re paying for your treatment privately, you don’t need a referral from your dentist.

Teeth Straightening Specialists

Orthodontists first qualify as dentists before completing postgraduate training in orthodontics. This usually involves three years additional of full-time study, including theory and hands-on practice. Once qualified, orthodontists can register as specialists with the General Dental Council.

Dentists can also provide orthodontic treatment, but orthodontists are the experts. They usually practice orthodontics fulltime, so they quickly gain a lot of experience treating a wide range of cases.

Orthodontic Gallery has a friendly orthodontic team with impressive credentials. They’ll oversee every step of your treatment to ensure you achieve exceptional results.

When do I visit an orthodontist?

If you’re concerned about the position of yours or your children’s teeth or jaws, orthodontists will have the answers. Using fixed or removable braces, they can straighten out misaligned teeth and bites, sometimes in a matter of months. It’s usually recommended that you wait until all baby teeth have been lost but sometimes early intervention is required. If you visit too early it can be difficult to accurately plan your treatment so we will just place you under review until we can fully assess the position of the permanent teeth.

Most patients want to enhance the appearance of their teeth, while others are looking to improve their function. If you struggle to bite together correctly, braces can improve the way your upper and lower teeth interact.

Straight teeth are also easier to keep clean,  providing easier access to all the surfaces of your teeth. Braces can even reduce your risk of an injury by bringing prominent front teeth into line and can reduce your risk of decay and staining between crooked teeth.

Can adults see an orthodontist?

Orthodontists work with all ages, not just children and teens. Braces have become incredibly popular among adults who may have missed their opportunity to have treatment sooner or who stopped wearing their retainers. Retreatment is extremely common, so don’t feel bad! We will NEVER tell you to stop wearing your retainers, you wear them for as long as you want straight teeth.

Teeth can also become misaligned later in life as part of the natural ageing process. They tend to move forward and crowd together. Some patients think their wisdom teeth are to blame, but that’s rarely the case.


RELATED: Did my wisdom teeth push my other teeth forward?


As the demand for braces has soared, appliances have become more effective and less conspicuous. Invisalign is an extremely popular treatment option. It aligns teeth using a series of clear, custom-made aligners. You can take them out to eat and drink, so it’s incredibly convenient for all ages.

Lingual braces are another discreet option as the brackets attach behind your teeth.

Types of braces

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Before and Afters

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