Coronavirus update

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have had to make some changes to the way that we deliver our orthodontic service in order to maintain the safety of our patients and our staff. As a result of this, we are seeing fewer patients per day so please be patient with us.

The department is open as normal. If there is any change to the government guidance which results in us having to cancel routine appointments then we will contact you.

We are planning to resume our orthodontic service at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton from 4 May 2021. Please check your appointment letter carefully to ensure that you know where your appointment is taking place. If you are unsure where your appointment is taking place then please telephone the department on 01642 854281 and our team will be able to help you.

Understandably, we do still have a large backlog of patients due to the department being closed for several months last year. Therefore, we kindly ask that you are patient with us as we are doing our best to accommodate everyone in chronological order.

If you are unable to attend your appointment then please telephone the department on 01642 854281 as soon as possible so that your appointment can be offered to somebody else.

If your brace has broken and needs to be repaired please contact the orthodontic department on 01642 854281. Our reception team will do their best to accommodate you as soon as possible to have your brace repaired – please do not attend the department without arranging an appointment in advance.

To maintain the safety of our patients and our staff:

  • Please do not attend the department if you or any of your household has symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been told to isolate.
  • Patients who are under 18 or vulnerable adults are permitted to attend with one escort only. Please do not bring any other children to the appointment. Older children are allowed to attend the department on their own if their parents are happy for them to do so.
  • In line with government guidance, all hospital visitors are required to wear a face covering and there will be masks available at the entrance to the hospital if you do not have your own.
  • Please arrive at the department no more than five minutes in advance of your appointment time, this is to minimise the number of patients in the waiting room and allow for social distancing.
  • At the entrance to the department you will be required to use alcohol hand gel.
  • Our clinical staff will be wearing masks, visors, aprons and gloves. Depending on the procedure being carried out they may also be wearing a surgical gown. Please do not be alarmed by this, it is only to maintain your and our safety.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the orthodontic department on 01642 854281 and one of our team will endeavour to help you.

The orthodontic department provides advice, and in appropriate cases, orthodontic treatment for abnormalities of the development of the teeth and jaws, and in particular mal-alignment and malocclusion of the teeth.


We provide orthodontic opinions mainly to general and community dental practitioners and less commonly to medical practitioners.

We liaise with specialist orthodontic practitioners in primary care and with hospital consultants including consultants in oral and maxillofacial surgery, restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, paediatrics, plastic surgery and ENT.

We provide second opinions for concerned patients at the request of dental and medical practitioners or consultant colleagues.

This service is now centralised at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. We provide treatment within the hospital department for:

Patients with the greatest need for treatment on dental health grounds

The additional training of consultant orthodontists means that the department is able to treat malocclusions of the greatest severity and technical treatment complexity. These are usually identified from the nationally accepted “index of orthodontic treatment need” (IOTN).

Interdisciplinary treatments


The hospital environment, in particular the close working arrangements with oral and maxillofacial surgery provides the ideal situation for managing interdisciplinary treatments. Examples of such problems will be unerupted teeth, unerupted displaced and malformed teeth and the effects of trauma and pathology on the developing jaws of children and young adults.

We treat in conjunction with oral and maxillofacial surgeons severe skeletal problems by means of combined orthodontic and surgical treatment approaches. We have a particular role in treating patients with clefts of the lip and palate as part of the cleft team with plastic surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, ENT surgeons, speech therapists and paediatric dentists. We also treat in conjunction with general practitioners those problems which need combined orthodontic treatment and replacement of congenitally absent teeth or the restoration of more normal form to abnormally shaped teeth.

Milder Malocclusions

These would normally be treated within primary care rather than the hospital service although some cases will be accepted for treatment when this is required for training of specialists or primary care dentists.


Teeth can change their position throughout life and minor changes will occur post treatment. It is our endeavour, for most patients, to leave the teeth in positions that will be reasonably stable once the supporting tissues have reorganised.The consensus in the speciality is that this takes a year. We, therefore, recommend that at the end of the active phase of treatment with orthodontic appliances retainers (passive less visible braces) are worn for a year.

We are unable to continue supervising retainers beyond this period. Some patients may be concerned about the risk of minor changes occurring and may wish to continue wearing retainers for a longer period. Such continued care and monitoring would need to be provided by the patients primary care dentist under a private arrangement as such prolonged retention is not normally provided by the NHS. A similar situation applies to those few individuals for whom aligned and stable positions of the teeth are not achievable by treatments that are reasonably acceptable. In such cases life long retention may be needed to maintain a functional and aesthetic result.

Related services

You may also be interested in these related services from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: