Your first visit to Orthodontics department

What happens at a new patient clinic?

You will be sent an appointment to attend the orthodontic new patient clinic. This is based on the central outpatients site. Car parking in the surrounding area is for staff use only, so please ensure that you have adequate time to park your car in a designated visitor space.

You will first have to report to orthodontic reception. The receptionist will take your details and confirm your address and telephone contact numbers. They also require the details of your doctor and general dentist.  

An orthodontic assessment is very similar to a dental check up that you have at your dentist. You will usually be seen by a consultant orthodontist, but you may be assessed by an orthodontic registrar, working under the supervision of a consultant. Your first visit is nothing to worry about. We just want to meet you and look at your teeth. We won't be giving you a brace straight away and we won't be taking any teeth out!

​First of all, we'll count your teeth and maybe take an X-ray picture. We will then chat with you to try to find out what you think about the way your teeth look and how you feel about wearing a brace. This orthodontic assessment takes around 20 minutes.

Following your consultation you will either:

  • Be discharged from the orthodontic department and referred back to your dentist
  • Another appointment will be made to discuss your treatment further
  • An appointment will be made for you to attend our orthodontic education clinic prior to your name being added to our treatment waiting list  

As with other specialities in the hospital, new patient clinics are often very busy and you may not be seen at your exact appointment time. We always endeavour to see patients at their allocated appointment time but sometimes a delay is unavoidable.

Please make sure that you have given the receptionist details of your dentist as a letter following your new patient consultation will be sent to both your own dentist and the referring dentist detailing the outcome of the assessment. If you would like a copy of the letter please ask the consultant, who will be happy to arrange this. 

Orthodontic Education Clinic

Following your orthodontic assessment you may be offered orthodontic treatment (braces) here in our department. If so, you will need to attend our nurse led Orthodontic Education Clinic.   

The aim of this clinic is to:

  • Instruct you how to clean your teeth effectively
  • Demonstrate how to care for your brace
  • Discuss the risks associated with treatment and how these risks can be reduced​
  • Show you the sort of braces you might have
  • Ensure you are motivated for a long and complex course of treatment

At your first visit we will complete an oral health assessment and score the plaque on your teeth (with the aid of a disclosing solution).​

Plaque assessment​​​


Caring for your teeth

You may require one or two further appointments at this clinic in order to ensure your oral health is at the required standard for orthodontic appliances. If, at your third appointment, you fail to meet the required tooth brushing standard, you will not be offered treatment in the department as we feel that the risk to your teeth (due to poor cleaning) is too great.

As treatment often takes 2.5 years or more to complete we need to ensure that you have a consistently good standard of oral hygiene to help you avoid you developing tooth decay, gum disease or unsightly permanent  white and brown marks on your teeth.

The team will instruct you on the most effective way to look after your oral health and give you advice on dental care products. 

At the request of the orthodontic consultant, there may be occasions that the dental nurses / educators on this education clinic will take records (impressions, photographs) for further planning. 

At this visit the orth​odontist will:

Take moulds of your teeth

Update your x-ray pictures

Take clinical photographs

The orthodontist will use these records to devise a treatment plan or treatment options. When you have an agreed treatment plan you will be asked to sign a consent form.

Help for smokers wishing to s​​​top smoking

Local Stop Smoking Service's offer a range of services to help people to quit smoking to find your nearest stop smoking clinic call 0800 085 0928 or text 'stokequit' 60777 if you live in Stoke-on-Trent or 0300111 8010 if you live in North Staffordshire. Information is also ​available via the NHS Smokefree website, click here.