Our orthodontic service

Our orthodontic service provides specific care to patients who wish to improve the appearance and function of their teeth, but they are unable to be cared for in a primary care setting because of care complications.

We work in collaboration with our other specialist services including paediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery to enable us to provide appropriate care when treatment needs are too complex for braces alone.

Our team:

  • provides diagnostic skills and care of the highest standards for all patients appropriately referred to us.
  • delivers world-leading, compassionate and innovative training at postgraduate and undergraduate levels.
  • provides contemporary, specialised treatment at a secondary and tertiary level.
  • offers a comprehensive treatment planning and diagnostic service to our colleagues in primary care settings for appropriate referrals.

Information for patients

Our orthodontic service is mostly for patients under the age of 18 who require complex orthodontic treatment. We treat some adult patients in our department who:

  • require corrective jaw surgery in conjunction with brace treatment.
  • suffer obstructive sleep apnoea.

No other patients over 18 can be treated for orthodontic problems.

In order to be considered for treatment you will need to be referred. The referral may come from your dentist or from a specialist orthodontist who feels your treatment may need to be carried out in the Dental Hospital.

Orthodontic treatment at Barts Health NHS Trust is offered at the Royal London Dental Hospital and also at Whipps Cross University Hospital.

Your first appointment will be to assess your need for treatment. On completion of your assessment appointment you should be given enough information to understand what is happening next. If we accepted we will give you a further appointment to begin your treatment.

We may decide that your dentist should refer you to a local primary care specialist in orthodontics. If we feel your issue is mild or does not warrant treatment, you will be discharged back to your dentist without a recommendation to have orthodontic treatment.

 

For clinicians

We accept patients for orthodontic treatment depending on the complexity of the treatment needed. 

Patients must be under the age of 18 years with Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) Dental Health Component 4 and 5.

This includes patients having ‘great’ or ‘very great’ need for treatment. Patients will not automatically be accepted by IOTN score and the complexity will first be assessed. For example, with severe crowding only, or hypodontia with only one missing tooth per quadrant, we may discharge them for onward referral to a specialist orthodontic practice. These patients will most likely be eligible for NHS treatment but not in the hospital setting.

Other conditions that we often manage include:

  • Significant jaw discrepancy eligible for combined orthodontic-surgical (orthognathic) care.
  • Developmental absence of teeth (hypodontia) meeting specific acceptance criteria regarding the complexity of the proposed treatment.
  • Cleft lip and palate according to our eligibility criteria.

Our acceptance criteria provides more information on referring to the orthodontic service.