Bexley Orthodontic Practice - Chapel Road Orthodontics Practice
39 Chapel Road, Bexleyheath, Kent. DA7 4HW
Telephone: 0208 303 6836 Fax: 0208 303 4020
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Bexley Orthodontic Practice - Chapel Road Orthodontics Practice
Bexley Orthodontic Practice - Chapel Road Orthodontics Practice
Bexley Orthodontic Practice - Chapel Road Orthodontics Practice
Bexley Orthodontic Practice - Chapel Road Orthodontics Practice
Bexley Orthodontic Practice - Chapel Road Orthodontics Practice

Orthodontic F.A.Q.'s

Q. Do you accept NHS Patients?

Yes. NHS treatment is available to eligible patients under the age of 18 years, who's orthodontic problem is severe enough to attract NHS funding on the grounds of dental health. However, we recommend that patients are referred to us before they are 16 years old, as you may have to wait for an appointment. Appointment dates vary from time to time, please contact reception for further details. Please visit our NHS page for further details.


Q.Is there a wait to be seen?

A. Private Treatment
There is no waiting list for private patient, treatment can commence immediately.
Chapel Road Orthodontics offers private orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages, providing a comprehensive range of orthodontic services. Treatment can be successful at any age as the biological process involved in tooth movement is the same in adults and children.
Adults are discovering that today’s high tech appliances are discreet and we are able to offer the very latest orthodontic appliances and techniques.

NHS Patient Waiting List
Once you have been referred to us for an orthodontic assessment, you will be placed on our New Patient Waiting List (current waiting times vary, therefore, please contact reception for current waiting times). If you are eligible for NHS treatment you will be placed on our Treatment Waiting List.

We receive over 2,500 referrals a year, therefore, we have two types of waiting lists:
New Patients Waiting List: We shall contact you with a proposed appointment by post, if the appointment isn’t suitable please contact us.  
Our current new patient waiting time is approximately eighteen months, however, this is subject to change.
Treatment Waiting List: We shall contact you with a proposed appointment by post, if the appointment isn’t suitable please contact us.  


Q. What will happen on my first visit?

A. We look forward to making your first visit to our practice an enlightening experience. Our aim is to provide excellent quality orthodontic care to all of our patients, using the latest technology and techniques we hope to exceed your expectations.

We understand that each patient's orthodontic treatment is different, and we promise to give you the personal attention you deserve.

Upon your first visit you will be warmly greeting by our reception team. Forms will need to be completed and you will be taken through the patient journey step by step, enabling you to feel relaxed and at ease.

You will be introduced to the Orthodontist who will discuss your treatment needs, x-rays and impressions maybe taken and a clinical diagnosis regarding the nature of the problem will be discussed with you. If you are accepted for NHS Treatment a detailed treatment plan will be presented to you.

Index of Treatment Need (ITON)

Q. Can I have a coloured Brace?

Certainly - coloured braces have become very fashionable in recent years. We allow you to choose  colours
for your brace, at certain times during treatment, if you are looking after it well.


The brace on the right was coloured for an RAF cadet - red, white and blue!


RAF Colours




Q. Will I have to have teeth taken out?ill I have to have teeth taken out ...?

A. Far fewer teeth are being extracted these days than formerly.

In particular, our Arch Development Technique and the Damon Appliance System have made dental extractions unnecessary in many cases.Damon System

However, some Orthodontic treatments, especially for the correction of protruding teeth, do involve extractions.

If these are required, your own dentist will carry them out. We do not take teeth out at Chapel Road Orthodontics.

We are very fond of non extraction, arch development treatment at Chapel Road. However, this is not suitable for everyone - you have to be in the mixed dentition (still with some baby teeth) and it is a private treatment.

However, the Damon appliance can be used at any age. 

Q.Can I have after School appointments?

A. Private patients can be seen on our evening sessions (normally on a Wednesday) up to 7.00pm and one Saturday a month.

NHS patients need to appreciate that their appointments will be in school time. We currently have 1500 patients under active treatment and they've all "got to come after school"! As I am sure you can appreciate this is not possible.

Do remember that you will only be attending every 8-12 weeks and appointments do not last long. We try to vary appointment times to cause minimum disruption to schooling.

We do not allow advanced block booking.


Q. I'm over 18 - am I too old to get my teeth straightened?

A.You are never too old to have your teeth straightened. We have many patients ranging from their early twenties to their late 70’s!

At Chapel Road Orthodontics, we have a long history of treating adults, with great success.

For more info. see Adult Treatment.


Q. Do you take NHS patients?

A. Yes.

Each year we see around 1,800 new patients, funded by the NHS and we fit over 700 NHS fixed braces.


Q. Is there a difference between Private and NHS treatment?


White BraceGiven that NHS fees are relatively low, there are many treatments that we cannot offer within the NHS, for financial reasons. A good example of this is modern non extraction treatment, which is considerably more sophisticated than the extraction based therapies it replaces.

At Chapel Road Orthodontics, we offer an NHS service of high quality for routine cases in children and this is very well received by our NHS patients.

This picture shows the difference in appearance between a tooth coloured, aesthetic brace (top teeth) and the standard metal appliance (bottom teeth). The white "aesthetic Braces" are available only to private patients.

Key benefits of private treatment:

  • Flexible appointment times
  • Sophisticated appliances
  • Additional clinical time
  • Treatment can commence immediately , no waiting list
  • Use of the most state-of-the-art techniques and materials
  • Private treatment offers all the aesthetic options available

The Damon System and In-Ovation C and In-Ovation L (lingual) braces are the most advanced, most gentle and quickest braces available.

These are used routinely on our private patients.

Click here for further orthodontic options available at Chapel Road Orthodontics.


Q. How much does Private treatment cost?

A. Probably not as much as you might think.

The initial assessment costs £98 and this includes all x-rays and treatment planning.

There are a range of fees, depending on the treatment required. 

All our private fees are fixed and cover all treatment required, irrespective of how long it might take.

For full
details see our private fees page.

Q. Where are you?


A. We are situated right in the middle of Bexleyheath - near the main shopping centre of the London Borough of Bexley.

For detailed instructions on how to find us, click here.


Q. When are you open?


A.We are open:

Opening Hours

Surgery Hours


8:00am – 4:00pm

8:30am – 3:30pm


8:00am - 5:00pm

8:00am – 3:30pm


8:00am - 4:45pm

8:00am – 3:30pm


8:00am - 5:00pm

8:00am – 3:30pm


8:00am - 3:30pm

8:00am – 3.00pm

*We open late on Wednesdays, until 8.00pm however surgery finishes at 7:00pm - for private patients only..

Private clinics are also held one Saturday a month.


Q. Does having a brace hurt?


A. There are several different types of braces and numerous different types of patients and everyone's experience differs.

At least 60% of our patients report no discomfort at all after the fitting of their fixed braces, 30% report some tenderness and around 10% had significant problems.

Every now and again, a patient says that the first few days were painful but this is not very common. It is usually nothing that your favourite pain killer can't cure and in any case, the discomfort will only last for a few days.

Don't let this put you off - it shouldn't be a problem.


Q. What happens when I have my fixed brace put on?

A. It's surprisingly simple.

The metal bands and brackets are glued onto your teeth and the fine wires are placed in them. During this procedure there is no drilling, no needles and no pain!

All you have to do is lie still on one of our comfortable dental chairs and it's complete in no time at all.


Q. Can I wear a gum shield with my brace?


A. Normal gum shields will not fit over a brace. 

The teeth are moving and the appliance is too bulky to allow even a proper custom-made gum shield to be of any use.

At Chapel Road Orthodontics we sell special gum shields designed specifically to fit onto or over your brace - ask the nurse for details.


Q. Does having a brace taken off hurt?


A. Absolutely not.

Don't take any notice of all those "friends" who tell you otherwise.

Modern fixed braces come off really easily without damaging the teeth and it really doesn't hurt!


Q. I don't want a brace but Mum says I've got to have one. What happens?


A. Don't worry. Nothing is going to happen until you're absolutely sure you want treatment too.

At Chapel Road Orthodontics we have a very clear policy for this quite common situation.

At your appointment, all the various possibilities will be discussed with you and your parents.

The first option is always to do nothing and if that is what you really want, after considering all the facts, then that is how it will be!

They are your teeth and your views are the most important. You are the one who has to wear and look after the braces and we need your full and enthusiastic cooperation, otherwise it just won't work.


Q. Can I use an electric toothbrush with my brace?


A. Yes, certainly.

Electric toothbrushes are very useful tools indeed. Of course, you do have to use it thoroughly and get all the plaque off, or it is no use at all. 


Q. How important is it to keep my teeth clean with a brace?


A. It's really important!

Damage due to poor oral hygieneAs a matter of fact, just about the only time we ever see damage to the teeth caused during Orthodontic treatment is when it is due to bad tooth brushing.

Just to prove the point, I've included a photo of the teeth of a notoriously bad tooth brusher, taken just after he had his brace removed. This photo is quite a few years old. These days we'd never let it get this bad. Click on the picture to see a larger image and note how many months of bad oral hygiene have done terrible damage to the teeth and gums.

In fact, our oral hygiene standards are so high, that patients have to demonstrate that they are maintaining an absolutely immaculate standard of oral care before we will even consider treating them.

We stock oral hygiene kits which contain all the products you will require during your orthodontic treatment and sell the Phillips Sonicare and Waterpik water jet flosser.


Q. What are "elastics" and will I have to have them?


ElasticsA. About 60% of our patients will need to wear small elastic bands with their brace.

These are given to you in a small packet and you are instructed as to how to put them on and off - it's easy!

To show you what they do, I've put here a couple of pictures.

You can see that between these two photos, good wear of the elastics moved the lower teeth backwards, relative to the uppers.




Q. Why are my child's teeth so crowded?


Doc H with skullA. This is a question which has fascinated me for many years and so I will take a few lines to answer it - bear with me!

Dental malocclusion (crowded and twisted teeth) is a modern dental plague. It has only existed, to any noticeable extent, since the industrial revolution.

If you had been growing up a few hundred years ago, your teeth would have been naturally straight.

A little while ago, I had the chance to examine many Neolithic skulls, from "The Tomb of the Eagles", Orkney.

These skulls were all about 5,000 years old and to the eye of an Orthodontist, there was one quite extraordinary thing about them - they almost all had perfectly straight teeth! 
Similar findings can be seen in skulls from  excavations of an Elizabethan church vault in Spitalfields, London.

Yet numerous recent surveys have shown that about 60% of modern children need orthodontic treatment for crowded and crooked teeth.

Why the difference? After all, we are genetically identical to both Neolithic and Elizabethan people.

I believe the answer is very simple - diet and air pollution.

Human jaws are designed to work hard, grinding and chewing at rough, semi-prepared food. Burger and mash just isn't the same!

Developing jaws, that are not exercised much, do not grow as large or as strong as they were designed to. Because of this, the teeth become crowded.

Air pollution, which never existed until recently, irritates the air passages, causing asthma (another uniquely modern complaint) and mouth breathing. This, in turn, leads to the developing jaw being held open and therefore growing downwards, rather than forwards. This gives rise to that other classic type of malocclusion - the "goofy look", with a recessive lower jaw.

So that is why it happens. Sadly there is nothing much we can do about this - I can't see children being keen to give up their burger buns for coarse, stone ground, unleavened bread - nor are we going to stop driving cars. 

This does, however, help to explain why non extraction / arch development treatment works so well. In allowing the jaws to grow to their full potential, space is created for the teeth to grow naturally straight, without needing to take out any teeth.


Q. I've got problem with my brace - what should I do?


A. There's a wire at the back of my fixed brace that's digging into my cheek

Sometimes a small length of wire can start to protrude from the back of the brace - this can be quite sore.
If this is a nuisance, contact us (link) - we will trim away the small bit of wire that's causing the problem.

I've broken my fixed brace

Fixed braces are normally quite robust - they have to be to withstand the hammering that they get in the mouth! However, from time to time, a component may break. Usually it's a bracket that has come unstuck from a tooth, an elastic that's come off or a wire that's broken. Don’t panic – contact us (link) for an emergency appointment.

The breakage should be repaired as soon as conveniently possible in order to keep up the forward progress of your treatment.

If you are not in any pain, there is no need to call us outside normal office hours - just ring at the start of the next working day.

General dental emergencies such as broken teeth, toothache, etc. should be directed towards your family dentist.


Opening hours

Contact us


Q. Do you treat patients with oral tongue piercing?


A. No.

There have been many reported cases of severe infections associated with tongue piercing and several fatalities.

It is against our practice policy to treat patients with such piercings.

Any piercing of the body's outer defences against infection is dangerous and ill advised, especially in the mouth


Q. Can I have white brackets with my NHS fixed brace?


A. Unfortunately, the answer is no.

White (aesthetic) brackets are not approved for use in state funded (NHS) treatment in the UK.White Brace on the top teeth - standard metal on the lower

At present, this type of appliance is therefore only available to private patients.

The photo on the right shows the difference in appearance between the aesthetic brace and a standard stainless steel appliance.

It's worth pointing out that they both do exactly the same job - one just looks better than the other, which is why we us aesthetic brackets in all our adult cases.


Q. Do you do "Invisalign" or "lingual Orthodontics"?


A. Yes


q25Chapel Road Orthodontics offers the In-Ovation L - a superb alternative to aligners for patients requiring 6 mm of movement or less. Completely invisible, L MTM self-ligating "quick clips" work within a few short months to give our patients the perfect smile they have always wanted.

A breakthrough in cosmetic orthodontics for patients seeking fast, cosmetic correction of minor misalignments and yet are not willing to wear conventional braces.

    Patient benefits

  • Absolutely undetectable (100% invisible)
  • Small, comfortable to wear
  • Fast results in a matter of months
  • Few practice visits

Click here for our patient information brochure

Q. My child sucks her thumb - how do I stop her?


thumb sucking

A. Thumb sucking is a common habit in young children, which normally ceases by 3 or 4 years of age.
When the habit persists, it can lead to severe distortion of the growing jaws, with the upper front teeth being pushed forward and the lower incisors being distorted backwards.


Reminder PlateA. Fortunately, there is a simple solution for thumb or finger sucking habit - the “reminder plate”.

The reminder plate is a simple, stress free removable appliance, which is worn full time for a month. Thumb sucking will always cease, provided that a child wants to break the habit and wears the appliance as directed.



The effect of this simple device can be remarkable.

Where the thumb was holding the teeth apart, they will improve rapidly once the habit has ceased, if the patient is still young.

a   a

These photos were taken only 8 months apart - note how stopping the habit has allowed the teeth to grow together naturally.

We are able to provide reminder plates for a very reasonable £110 - this includes the cost of 3 visits (impression, fitting and subsequent review) as well as the cost of the plate. The repair of any reasonable breakage within a few months following the fitting of the appliance is also covered.

If you would like your child to have a reminder plate, please contact the receptionist and an appointment will be given for the necessary impression to be taken and the plate will be fitted 1 week later.

A deposit is payable at the impression visit, with the balance on fitting.

It's appropriate here to put in a good word for dummies - those wonderful little devices that soothe our tiny friends - give a baby a dummy and he'll rarely become a thumb sucker and you'll get a good night's sleep!


Q. Do you use Fixed Retainers?


A. Yes we do and with increasing frequency.

When you've had your teeth straightened, the last thing you want is to see them move. That's what "Retention" is for - to hold your teeth straight following treatment.

Removable RetainersTraditionally, removable retainers have been used.

These are worn at night, in bed and are completely effective as long as this goes on.

For many cases, these are adequate.


Where teeth have been twisted or spaced before treatment, fixed retainers are preferable.

aThese are small pieces of very finely braided stainless steel wire, that are fixed to the inside of the teeth and are left in place permanently.

Provided they are kept clean, they cause no problems - after a while you forget they're there.

This is a standard type of fixed retainer for the lower front teeth.


aTwo upper fixed retainers holding previously rotated and spaced upper canines.







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