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Why is there an NHS waiting list?

8th January 2019

Your child has had their consultation and you’re keen to start their treatment but the reception tells you “You’ve joined the waiting list, we’ll be in touch to book the next appointments”.  The world of NHS dental contracts often leaves our patients asking us why they can’t start their NHS orthodontic treatment immediately. 

We understand it can often be bewildering!

So here’s why there is an NHS waiting list

NHS orthodontics is different to doctors and dentists and back in April 2006, the introduction of a new dental contract outlined the eligibility criteria for NHS orthodontic treatment. As well as limiting the number of our patients that can receive funding for orthodontic treatment each year.

There is quite a large disparity between the number of patients that have consultations and who are eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment and the number of patients we are able to treat each year. This has resulted in NHS waiting lists to ensure that patients are seen in the order in which they approach us for treatment.

How does your child join the Waiting List for NHS Orthodontic Treatment?

A free NHS consultation with Anthony or Clara is the first step to find out whether they are eligible for NHS treatment. Usually, your family dentist will need to refer them to us for this free consultation, undertaking their own assessment beforehand to determine a need for treatment for dental health reasons.

During the free consultation at Orthodontic Gallery, your orthodontist will be able to confirm whether your child qualifies for NHS care. If they are eligible for treatment it is at this point that they 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.

Are there 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. Private orthodontics does not require a dentist referral and is not dependent on NHS funding. Therefore, treatment can start within a matter of weeks.

To find out more about NHS and private orthodontic treatment at Orthodontic Gallery, please book a Free Consultation with Victoria, our Patient Coordinator.


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