Can I get a brace on the NHS?

Hi a couple of years ago I decided to have braces fitted as I have spacing between the 5 front upper teeth and 2 front bottom teeth. I went to see my dentist who referred me to a orthodontist who after examining my mouth had said I could not get braces because I had gum disease. The orthodontist then referred me to a periodontist as he felt I needed treatment of gum disease before I could have braces. So over the past few years I have been seeing the periodontist and undergone treatment and my gums are now stable. On my last visit to him which was couple of weeks ago, after examining my gums he had told me I am now ready for braces and will write to my orthodontist who had referred me. However when I contacted the orthodontist, the nurse told me I was no longer their patient and they had discharged me in 2009. The nurse also told me I may not be eligible for treatment on the NHS as I am over 18. I felt really upset over this as they had not notified me that they were discharging me and I was under the false hope all this time that I will be seen by them again. I have now made an appointment with my dentist so I can find out a bit more about which steps to take but I am not very confident about how much advice they will give me. What worries me the most is that if I am not eligible for NHS treatment I may not be able to afford treatment as I am on low income. However the spacing between my teeth has effected me greatly. I have low self-esteem and do not like to socialise. I feel quite isolated and low and feel my teeth is having an impact on my well being. I feel quite depressed all the time and also because I spent years treating the gum disease and hoping I could one day get braces. The spacing also affect my speech slightly. The extensive treatment of the gum disease has also widened the gaps between each teeth. I wonder if you can give me some advice as to whether I may be eligible for NHS treatment due to the emotional impact this is having on me and hence my health. Also if I have to go private how much would I have to spend for the sort of treatment I require. I would appreciate if you can help. Thank you
I doubt that you would be eligible due to emotional impact but I would write to your local PCT and state your case and they may make an exception and fund your treatment.
Dr Ian Dunn

Dr Ian Dunn

PurelyPerio Clinic 334, PO Box 334, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 0AG Web: Tel: 01625 419700

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