Why is there a waiting list for NHS orthodontic treatment?
The world of NHS dental contracts, can sometimes leave our patients asking us why they can’t start their NHS orthodontic treatment immediately. In April 2006 the introduction of a new dental contract, outlined the eligibility criteria for NHS orthodontic treatment. As well as the number of our patients that can receive funding for orthodontic treatment each year.
In our practice this has led to a disparity between the number of patients who are eligible for NHS orthodontic treatment. Along with the number of patients we are able to refer each year. This has resulted in NHS waiting lists to ensure that patients are seen in the order in which they are referred for treatment.
How Do I Join the Waiting List for NHS Orthodontic Treatment?
Before you can join an NHS waiting list, you will need to be seen by a specialist orthodontist for a free NHS consultation to find out whether you are eligible for NHS treatment. Your dentist will need to refer you for this free consultation, undertaking their own assessment beforehand to determine a need for treatment for dental health reasons. Your dentist referral will either be sent directly to the practice or held on a central system and distributed when capacity for new patients becomes available.
During your free consultation, your orthodontist will be able to confirm whether you qualify for NHS care. If you are eligible for treatment, it is at this point that you may need to join the NHS waiting list.
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. This including self-funded private orthodontic treatment. As the name suggests, private care is not dependent on NHS funding. So you should be able to start your treatment within a matter of weeks and you don’t need to be referred.
To find out more about NHS and private orthodontic treatment at Knighton Dental Practice, please explore our website. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0116 2707803 or via our contact form.