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The treatment process

What to expect

If you're considering orthodontic treatment, or have been referred to an orthodontist by your dentist, it's understandable you want to know what you're letting yourself in for. 

If you come to Harpenden Orthodontics, this is what you can expect as part of your treatment journey with us. 

Your first appointment

It all starts with a first appointment. This appointment is a free, no-obligation consultation with our Treatment Coordinator, Suzanne Nolte. You will be asked about your treatment expectations before undertaking an assessment of your teeth and jaws. This helps us to determine the best treatment options available to you and your eligibility for NHS treatment (NHS treatment only available for those under the age of 18). A screening X-ray will also be taken to assess your growth and development. 

Your fitting appointment

If you have chosen to proceed with treatment, your next appointment with us will be your fitting appointment. Prior to this you will have been given your bespoke treatment plan which outlines the orthodontic appliance we have recommended, the estimated length of treatment time and the cost. At your fitting appointment, your braces or aligner will be fitted to your teeth. We then ask you come in for a visit every six-to-eight weeks so we can track your progress. 

During treatment it is your responsibility to keep your teeth healthy. We will provide you with advice on how to do this, including what foods to eat (or avoid) and how best to brush your teeth with braces on. 


Once your braces have been removed you will need to wear retainers. There are two types of retainers:

  • Removable retainers - these clear plastic trays look a bit like Invisalign aligners and must be worn full time at first and then at nights only. Your orthodontist will advise you on how long you need to wear these retainers for.
  • Fixed retainers - this type of retainer consists of a small metal wire which is fitted to the back of your teeth to keep them in position.

Retention is a vital part of your treatment journey, as retainers keep your teeth in place. 

Loss of appliance

If you lose your appliance during or after treatment, there will be an £85.00 per appliance to replace. If you are receiving treatment on the NHS, this charge will be £73.20 per appliance to replace.

Orthodontic emergencies

If at any point during your treatment journey, you have any breakages or problems, please contact us for help or to arrange an emergency appointment. Please note, when booking emergency appointments, we have to fit patients in where appointments are available.


Thank you for eberything you are doing in Maria’s treatment in such a short space of time, we are truly grateful, thank you.

Mrs and maria trueman

Smile 1

Thank you so much for the wonderful work that you have put into my treatment! Before I had braces I was very aware and self-conscious about smiling. I did not have nice teeth and would feel embarassed whenever I smiled. However, now that my treatment is finally finished I have the confidence to smile a huge smile. Although the process was quite long (because of the state of my teeth) it was definately well worth the wait.

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The next steps to a great smile