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Orthodontic assessments

There are strict criteria for patients who can receive their treatment on the NHS.

Generally orthodontics is not available to adults, people who have had orthodontics before or those whose treatment need is considered low.

Patients should have excellent oral hygiene and be committed to what can be a very long term treatment – sometimes up to two years.  You can read all about the criteria for NHS orthodontics and more about orthodontics and service provision at the British Orthodontic Society website.

We also have a training course in our learning zone where you can find out more information.

Please note: Patients are only entitled to one course of orthodontic treatment on the NHS as detailed here

Waiting lists

When you track your referral you may see that you have been allocated to a waiting list. There are often long waits for orthodontic treatment on the NHS. At present there is not an appeals process but there is second assessment request policy.

You can access the policy and procedures for this here. Waiting lists for orthodontic treatment across Greater Manchester vary dependent upon demand and capacity in different areas. In some places currently these waiting times may be between 12 months and 2 years. Patients are triaged to ensure that acceptance criteria is met and the decision to proceed with treatment is based upon clinical need only.

The provider will contact the patient directly to arrange an appointment – not the Dental Referral Management Centre. If you have any further queries then these should be referred to the NHS England team at

Orthodontic Referral Dates

We have been informed by NHS E in GM that the date of referral is not the date written on the form but is the date you submit through to the online referral system and is non-negotiable. If referrals are not submitted in time that is the responsibility of the referring dentist so could you please ensure you submit your referrals as soon as clinically appropriate to do so.

You can learn more about the orthodontic referral process using the links below.

Please note that referring very young children without a clear need for early intervention will likely result in a rejected referral.

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