How we help
We help children and young people with dentistry treatment at The Alex. The department of Orthodontics, Paediatric and Restorative dentistry has four fully equipped dental treatment areas as well as an orthodontic laboratory on site.
Orthodontics is a type of dentistry related to the growth of the face, jaws and teeth. Orthodontists are dental surgeons who have had further specialist training.
The key areas of orthodontic provision at The Alex include:
- Consultant advice: providing specialist orthodontic advice for patients who are referred from general dental and specialist orthodontic practitioners as well as other medical and dental consultants.
- Consultant led treatment: treatment for patients with severe malocclusions (misalignment of teeth), and/or complex medical conditions with a high need for treatment. This includes patients with buried and malformed teeth, hypodontia (care for patients with multiple missing teeth), orthodontics and jaw surgery, obstructive sleep apnoea and cleft lip and palate care.
- Multidisciplinary treatments: working jointly with other specialist services to provide the appropriate care when treatment cannot be carried out by braces alone.
- Education, training and research: providing post graduate education and clinical training for future orthodontic specialists and consultant colleagues.
Restorative dentistry provides planning advice for patients with many dental needs including orthodontics, paediatric dentistry, oncology, oral and facial surgery and ear, nose and throat.
It also provides complex restorative dental treatment for patients with head and neck cancer, cleft lip and palate, severe hypodontia (teeth that are missing or not developed) and facial trauma.
Paediatric dentistry improves the oral healthcare of infants, children and adolescents through preventative, educational and treatment services.
The paediatric dentistry service provides advice and treatment for children with special medical, dental or behavioural needs where treatment cannot be provided by primary care dental services.
Getting ready for your appointment
Before your appointment you’ll be sent a medical history form to complete and bring to your first appointment. It’s important that you complete all sections, even if you don’t think it’s relevant to your teeth or mouth.
If you’ve had any X-rays and/or moulds of your teeth in the last 12 months then it would be helpful to bring a copy of these to your appointment or check these have been sent with your referral.
One of the criteria for accepting patients for treatment is excellent oral and dental health. Before attending your appointment, it’s essential that your teeth and gums are clean with no active dental decay.
What happens at your appointment
At the first appointment your child will be seen in the orthodontic new patient clinic. We’ll ask you and them about any concerns and assess the need for treatment. Your child may have X-rays and putty moulds (impressions) taken of their teeth.
If your child is accepted for treatment, we’ll arrange a treatment planning appointment to discuss the treatment options, any other procedures needed and explain the types of braces available. You’ll not have any orthodontic fixed or removable braces fitted at these initial appointments. We may decide that your treatment is better treated by a local primary care specialist in orthodontics and if the position of your teeth is very mild you’ll be discharged back to your dentist.
The restorative dentistry consultant works closely with other colleagues so after being seen you may be referred to our joint orthodontic – restorative clinic, maxillofacial-restorative clinic or the oncology clinic.
Most patients are discharged back to their referring clinician or dentist with a written plan for care. A small number of patients are provided their complex restorative dental care in the hospital.
Private treatment is available in selected cases, you can ask about this at your first appointment.
- British Orthodontic Society
- Your jaw surgery information from the British Orthodontic Society
- Orthodontic retention information from the British Orthodontic Society
- British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Cleft Lip and Palate Association
- Evelina London cleft lip and palate service
- Restorative Dentistry UK
How to refer
Conditions treated include maxillo-facial defects following surgery or trauma, severe hypodontia, cleft lip and palate. There are no pre-referral requirements. Patients can be referred through a written referral.
We’re currently not accepting paediatric referrals at present.
Patients referred to our department must have:
- Significant malocclusions with an Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) of 4 or 5. Further guidance can be found here on the British Orthodontic Society website.
- The complexity of the malocclusion must be level 3b, to justify treatment within secondary care. Further information can be found on here in this NHS England orthodontic information.
- Excellent standard of oral hygiene and dental health. Patients who are not dentally fit will not be accepted.
All referrals must be made via the Dental Electronic Referral Service (DeRS). Please include any relevant X-rays taken within the last 12 months with the patients’ details and date of exposure clearly visible. We’re unable to accept orthodontic referrals from primary care via the post.
Where we are
The Orthodontic department is on Level 4 at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.View the map and directions for The Alex
01273 696955 Ext. 63151