Eligibility for orthodontic treatment 


Not everyone is eligible for treatment within the NHS and funding is limited to those cases that are particularly severe and is entirely dependent on an individuals need.

Your entitlement to treatment will be assessed at your initial appointment and please be aware that a referral to the hospital service does not automatically qualify you for treatment within the NHS.

  • Under 18s
    Index of Treatment Need
    The Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need is a system used universally by NHS providers to decide which cases are severe enough to warrant treatment funded by the NHS in children less than 18 years of age.

    This Index based on a patient’s individual need is an objective and reliable way for specialists to select those children who will benefit most from treatment and is a fair way to prioritise limited NHS resources.

    A simplified summary of the Index of Treatment Need (IOTN) can be found on the British Orthodontic Society website.
  • Adults
    NHS orthodontic treatment to adults is not usually available unless there is a severe dental health issue or complex multi-disciplinary needs.

To navigate the orthodontics section of this website, click on the following links:

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