What we do
The Alex provides dentistry treatment through its department of Orthodontics, Paediatric and Restorative dentistry. The department 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 undertaken 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.
- Multi-disciplinary 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 multiple 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 aims to improve 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.
Preparing for your appointment
Before your appointment you will be sent a medical history form to complete and bring to your first appointment. It is important that you complete all sections, even if you do not think it is relevant to your teeth or mouth.
If you have 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 is essential that your teeth and gums are clean with no active dental decay.
What to expect while under our care
We have one part-time Restorative dentistry consultant who works closely with other colleagues to offer a multi-disciplinary planning and care. You may be referred to our joint orthodontic – restorative clinic, maxillofacial-restorative clinic or the oncology clinic.
The majority of patients are returned to their referring clinician or dentist with a written plan for care. A minority of patients are provided their complex Restorative dental care in the hospital
Private treatment is available in selected cases and further information can be obtained at your initial appointment.
At the first appointment you will be seen on the Orthodontic New Patient clinic. We will ask you about your concerns and assess your need for treatment. You may have X-rays and putty moulds (impressions) taken of your teeth.
If you/your child are accepted for treatment, we will arrange a treatment planning appointment to discuss your treatment options, any other procedures required and explain the types of braces available. You will not have any orthodontic fixed or removable braces fitted at these initial appointments. We may decide that your treatment is most appropriately treated by a local primary care specialist in orthodontics and if the position of your teeth is very mild you will be discharged back to your dentist.
Patient information leaflets and videos for those considering treatment, undergoing treatment or have completed treatment can be found on the recommended websites below:-
Information for referrers
Conditions treated: maxillo-facial defects following surgery or trauma, severe hypodontia, cleft lip and palate
Pre-referral requirements: none
How to refer a patient (preferred referral methods):
- Routine – written referral
- Emergency – none available
Referral form: none
We are 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.
We are unable to accept orthodontic referrals from primary care via post. All referral 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.
Orthodontic department, Level 4, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton, BN2 5BE