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Orthodontics via NHS referral or private

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Orthodontics via NHS referral or private

edited 13 February at 2:38PM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
8 replies 192 views
TrixATrixA Forumite
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edited 13 February at 2:38PM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
I have wanted for some years to get my teeth straightened but only now can afford to do so. My dentist is keen for me to try Invisalign, which she is qualified to do. I see her as an NHS patient but as it's classed as cosmetic treatment I would be paying for it privately. To be honest I am a bit sceptical as to whether Invisalign is going to give me a satisfactory result and would prefer to get the opinion of an orthodontist who has access to a wider range of treatment options and doesn't have a vested interest in selling me a particular one.

My dentist suggested I should book the Invisalign consultation and if based on that we think that it's not suitable for me she would refer me to an orthodontist. I guess what I would prefer would be to see the orthodontist first. I've been wondering if I should just go ahead and make an appointment with one, but I'm not sure if it makes any difference to the subsequent treatment costs if I get my NHS dentist to refer me? I think there is a reasonable likelihood I might be recommended jaw surgery, and while I'm not at all sure that's something I'd want to go ahead with, there's also no way I could afford it privately.

Replies

  • brook2jack2brook2jack2 Forumite
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    Very sensible to see an orthodontist who can offer many systems and discuss the pros and cons of each one. 
    If your dentist refers you they can share your x rays with the orthodontist which may save on repeat x Rays. 

    You have an an absolute right to see who you like privately , so phone the practice up , cancel the Invisalign consultation and ask who they refer orthodontic patients to (even if it is just children the orthodontist will see adults privately)  and ask for a referral . You can book without a referral if necessary.

    invisalign has many drawbacks and is not suitable for complex problems that require more than the front six teeth to be tilted. 

    If you require surgery the orthodontist will refer you on the NHS even if your consultation has been private. 

    Adult braces are not available on the NHS unless your problems are so severe they need surgery as well. 
  • TrixATrixA Forumite
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    Very sensible to see an orthodontist who can offer many systems and discuss the pros and cons of each one. 
    If your dentist refers you they can share your x rays with the orthodontist which may save on repeat x Rays. 

    You have an an absolute right to see who you like privately , so phone the practice up , cancel the Invisalign consultation and ask who they refer orthodontic patients to (even if it is just children the orthodontist will see adults privately)  and ask for a referral . You can book without a referral if necessary.

    invisalign has many drawbacks and is not suitable for complex problems that require more than the front six teeth to be tilted. 

    If you require surgery the orthodontist will refer you on the NHS even if your consultation has been private. 

    Adult braces are not available on the NHS unless your problems are so severe they need surgery as well. 
    Thanks that's very helpful. Is the ability to share x-rays the only advantage of getting my dentist to refer? If I self-refer, any tips on how to choose a good orthodontist? I'm in London so there are lots of options.

    I think from a conversation with a previous dentist my basic problem is developmental and due to the position of my upper jaw, he said that could only be fixed through surgery. I've read about the surgery and don't think I'm prepared to go down that track, so really my question is how much I could achieve through orthodontics alone. 
  • edited 13 February at 5:20PM
    UndervaluedUndervalued Forumite
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    edited 13 February at 5:20PM
    TrixA said:

    Thanks that's very helpful. Is the ability to share x-rays the only advantage of getting my dentist to refer? If I self-refer, any tips on how to choose a good orthodontist? I'm in London so there are lots of options.

    I think from a conversation with a previous dentist my basic problem is developmental and due to the position of my upper jaw, he said that could only be fixed through surgery. I've read about the surgery and don't think I'm prepared to go down that track, so really my question is how much I could achieve through orthodontics alone. 
    I am sure a dentist like Brook will answer the main point. However you can of course obtain a copy of your records and x-ray by means of a subject access request then take them with you if you self refer.
  • brook2jack2brook2jack2 Forumite
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    Ask your own dentist who they refer to , even if they refer children only all orthodontists will see adult patients privately. 

    If your dentist refers you know they recommend the orthodontist, the communication is there if the orthodontist needs further information about your oral health and history , and can easily ask for any work they want doing first or afterwards to be done. Many treatment plans may include both braces and dental work such as bonding or crowns . 

    Without seeing you or your x Rays it is difficult to say what can be achieved with braces alone but if you have skeletal problems ie jaw discrepancies there is a limit to what can be achieved and any treatment may well be a compromise . It is important that in your discussions you are aware of the limitations that may be involved and a perfect stable result may not be achievable without surgery. However only having an orthodontic consultation will tell you that. 
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    I'd agree fully with Brook.
    If surgery has been suggested in the past - then Invisalign is almost certainly not going to be the best option, and someone who only does Invisalign probably not the best person to advise you.
    On the other hand though - any sort of conventional non-surgical orthodontics is also likely to be a compromise between overall result and the stability of that result once treatment has finished. But a proper orthodontist is going to be the best person to go through the pros and cons of each option.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • TrixATrixA Forumite
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    Thanks both. It sounds like my instincts are right and it would be best to consult a proper orthodontist.
  • edited 16 February at 8:08PM
    MaverockMaverock Forumite
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    edited 16 February at 8:08PM
    What is an NHS Dentist? There hasn't been one in Yorkshire for 20 years or more, at least not oor the working classes.
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    I'm based in Yorkshire, and whilst I haven't done NHS dentistry for a while, I do know that there is no shortage round here for those that prefer it. 'Working class', or otherwise. 

    Those that struggle, are those who have no thought of dentists until something hurts, and then needs one NOW! But that's not restricted to any 'class'! 




    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
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