Are Braces Included In The NHS?

Are Braces Included In The NHS?
  • Published Date: February 5, 2022
  • Updated Date: April 15, 2022
  • Reading Time: 7 min

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan

We all dream of a smile that’s perfect, a gleaming set of straight teeth. In fact, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in the UK. They want to enjoy the many benefits of having perfectly aligned teeth, such as:

Improved appearance – many people feel their smiles stick out like a sore thumb when they have misaligned teeth. They may even avoid showing off their smile in public. Straight teeth have a much healthier appearance and will make you look better.

Improved dental health – a mouth full of crowded or crooked teeth is harder to clean because there are surfaces that you’re unable to reach. Failure to properly clean teeth can lead to dental caries and a host of gum problems. These include receding gums, gum inflammation and gum disease.

There are zero obstructions with straight teeth, and they can be cleaned across their entire surface. Also, crowded teeth exert pressure on surrounding teeth, leading to tooth damage and tooth loss. This is not a problem when they sit perfectly aligned in the mouth.

Better dental function – some people with misaligned or crooked teeth find chewing uncomfortable. A straight smile helps you chew and break down food properly. Straight teeth allow for the effective distribution of biting forces equally over all teeth. Failure to correct a bite can result in tooth chipping and abnormal wear and tear of teeth.

Less jaw discomfort – one of the symptoms of teeth misalignment is TMJ (temporomandibular joint dysfunction) problems, including jaw pain, headaches, and jaw stiffness. All of these issues can be alleviated once your bite has been corrected.

Increased self-esteem – like having white teeth, straight teeth are a great confidence booster that can help you take your self-esteem to the next level.

Is Orthodontic Treatment Free?

However, there is a catch. Orthodontic bills seem to be standing between many people and their dream smile. A set of perfectly straight teeth can come with a hefty price tag.

Orthodontic treatment is available on the NHS for young people under the age of 18 at no cost. It isn’t usually available for adults, although having braces on the NHS may be approved on a case-by-case basis if they’re needed for health reasons.

So, what can you do if you want to improve the appearance of your teeth but are not eligible for braces on the NHS? Fortunately, getting braces doesn’t have to break the bank as affordable options are out there. Before we get into that, let’s look at the average cost of getting braces in the UK.

Traditional Metal Braces

Traditional metal braces are made from high-grade stainless steel (sometimes combined with titanium). These are attached to each tooth, and a flexible metal wire is threaded through each one to put a small amount of pressure on them. Ultimately, this moves teeth into the desired position. Some people are conscious of how metal braces look, preferring more discreet options. The average cost of metal braces is £1,500 – £3,000.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces have clear or tooth-coloured brackets that are glued to the front surfaces of teeth. Ceramic braces use the exact mechanism as metal braces. Brackets are fixed on your teeth and linked by an archwire which your dentist or orthodontist tightens from time to time. This helps to align your teeth to achieve the desired smile. They are less visible than traditional braces, and people often feel less self-conscious about wearing them. The average cost of ceramic braces is £2,000 – £6,000.

Lingual Braces

These are similar to metal braces, except they’re fixed to the back, or lingual side, of teeth. This means they are hardly noticeable, which is why they are also known as hidden braces. They work in the same way as traditional braces, applying gentle and continual pressure on teeth to help shift them into position. Lingual braces cost more than the conventional type, especially if they’re custom-made to fit each tooth. The average cost of lingual braces is £2,000 – £10,000.

Self-Ligating Braces

A self-ligating braces system encompasses metal brackets and wires, much like traditional braces. They come with a spring-loaded door that holds a metal archwire in place instead of the rubber bands that conventional braces use. This gives them a less bulky appearance. Porcelain, ceramic, and metal self-ligating braces are available, and the average cost is £1,500 – £6,000. 

Clear Aligners

They work as a series of clear tray aligners made of a flexible thermoplastic material moulded to a person’s teeth. There are no wires or brackets, unlike fixed braces. Clear aligners shift all the teeth together instead of each individual tooth. The aligners are adjusted throughout the treatment, and users receive a new set of trays at home every week or two. The average cost of clear aligners are £1,500 – £5,500.

The Cost-Effective Teeth Straightening Solution

As you can see, these costs are high. Fortunately, there is a much affordable way to get a perfect smile, and that’s with clear aligners from Straight My Teeth – an easy, cost-effective and straightforward solution for teeth straightening. A series of almost invisible clear trays fit over your teeth and apply precise force to correct their position.

The cost of treatment is £699, making it one of the UK’s most affordable teeth straightening solutions. And if you don’t want to pay in one go, you can opt for an easy instalment payment plan where you’ll just pay £45 per month for 12 months (with a £359 down payment. Night-time kits are also available for £749 or £50 per month for 12 months (with a £399 down payment).

Getting your clear aligners couldn’t be easier and involves the following three steps:

  1. Take a free assessment to see if the aligner treatment is the right solution for your needs.
  2. Make impressions of your teeth with an impression kit and send them to Straight My Teeth, who will design your treatment plan.
  3. You’ll receive customised trays moulded to your teeth to wear during your daily routine.

The advantages of clear aligners from Straight My Teeth include:

  • No messy or other visible braces
  • No time-consuming visits to an orthodontist
  • Remote monitoring of your progress
  • Low cost
  • Easy payment plan

Get The Perfect Smile Of Your Dreams

So, if you can’t get braces on the NHS for free, consider cost-effective clear aligners to achieve the dream smile you crave. For information and to take the first steps towards having a smile you’ll love, contact the team at Straight My Teeth.

Increase in adults seeking orthodontic treatment. (2020, June 26). Nature.

How Much Do Braces Cost in the UK? Guide to Different Types. (2022, January 18). Dentaly.Org.

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Kishor Kumar Pradhan

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