Once most of a child’s adult teeth have emerged, their dentist will be looking for signs of whether they require orthodontic treatment at their next dental check-up. If they can see clear signs that the patient requires an assessment, they will make a referral to a trained orthodontist for a full assessment of their teeth alignment.
At this initial assessment, the orthodontist will use a two-part grading system called the ‘Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need’, commonly referred to as ‘IOTN’ to determine whether orthodontic treatment is necessary and whether this can be completed on the NHS for those under 18. The two parts are broken down as follows:
In order to conduct an IOTN assessment, specialist training is required and all assessments need to be undertaken in a specialist orthodontic practice.