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First impressions are so important. We live in an age where people pay more attention than ever to the way they look. Your smile is unique and makes a strong and lasting statement.

Unfortunately, if you have crooked teeth you may feel too self-conscious to smile much. However, our range of innovative techniques can correct even the most uneven of smiles, in both adults and children as young as six years old, depending on the individual problem. Removable or fixed braces or a combination of the two are the most common form of correction, and, best of all, they tend to be very discrete and often ‘invisible’ so people won’t even know you’re wearing them.

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Orthodontics Braces Petersfield


A dentist may well refer you to an Orthodontist because they feel you or your child may well benefit from having braces. Firstly having braces can help improve a patients’ ‘facial’ appearance. Secondly, and probably more importantly, having Orthodontic treatment can in many cases correct common problems such as crooked teeth, an underbite, an overbite or overjet and an incorrect jaw position.

An underbite is where your front lower teeth sit ‘over’ the top teeth when your mouth is closed. A overbite is the amount that your front upper teeth ‘cover’ the bottom ones when closed. The usual depth is considered to be around 3mm. An overjet is the amount that the front upper teeth sit ‘forward’ of the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. A gap of over around 3mm is often considered suitable for Orthodontic treatment.

If left untreated, they can lead to problems later on in life such as tooth decay, gum disease, recurring headaches and difficulties with eating chewing and even speaking. An ideal time to have braces is between the ages of 10-14 as the head and mouth is still growing and the teeth are accessible. However, depending on the case, some children would benefit from early intervention as young as 6 years old.

More and more adults are also choosing Orthodontic treatment to improve their smiles.

There are a number of different appliances available. The most suitable type of treatment can be discussed with our Orthodontist during consultation.


Your Consultation will be with Dr Heather Illing - GDC No 62935.

Consultations are booked for up to 30 minutes. During your consultation Dr Illing will be checking the skeletal pattern of your mouth/jaw, checking the ‘bite’ and discussing any habits such as thumb sucking in children. She will give her professional opinion as to whether Orthodontic treatment is required and why, and the sort of appliances that might be suitable for your case.

You will then be invited back to attend a Record Taking appointment. The record taking appointment will involve checking dentition development – how the teeth meet, whether there is an overjet, and underbite, crowding etc. Study models and appropriate x-rays will also be taken to enable Dr Illing to get a full image of the bone structure, any missing teeth, and teeth yet to erupt. Clinical Photographs will also be taken to a get a clear picture of your profile and to help with smile design.

A detailed treatment plan letter will be created and provided to you within 7 days outlining everything that was discussed, including treatment options available, benefits, associated risks and a full breakdown of costs.

Following these appointments you will be given a suitable cooling off period in which to reflect and consider all options available to you before embarking on any course of treatment.

Orthodontics Dr Heather Illing Petersfield




Heather is both medically and dentally qualified. She undertook higher specialist training in Orthodontics and has over 15 years’ experience as a Hospital Consultant in Orthodontics, with a specialist interest in Orthognathic Surgery.

Heather initially undertook her undergraduate dental training at Guys Hospital, London and later her medical undergraduate studies at Barts and the London Hospitals, London.

After qualifying in dentistry with Distinction at Guy's, Heather has undertaken extensive postgraduate training. Following her hospital appointments in Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, and in Paediatric Dentistry at the Eastman Dental Hospital, London, Heather was awarded the Primary and Full Fellowships in Dental Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

She began her postgraduate training in Orthodontics at the Royal London Hospital where she gained her Membership in Orthodontics from Royal College of Surgeons England and Master of Science degree from the University of London.

Heather then undertook higher specialist hospital Orthodontic training with the Wessex Deanery and was awarded the Intercollegiate Specialty Fellowship in Orthodontics from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of England, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ireland.

Heather was appointed as Consultant Orthodontist at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, in 2000 and her career has spanned both Private Dental and Orthodontic Practice and NHS Hospitals.

Heather is an advocate of non-extraction orthodontic therapy, taking into account both facial and dental aesthetics. She has extensive experience in passive self-ligating fixed appliance systems and is an Elite Damon appliance user, employing both Damon Clear and DQ systems. She is affiliated with the European Masters of Aligners and a recommended provider of the Invisalign appliance system.

During her career, Heather has published widely and is actively engaged in Clinical Audit and Quality Improvement Programmes. She has been the Lead Clinician for the combined orthodontic/ orthognathic clinic (surgical orthodontics), the Lead for Patient Satisfaction and a departmental Hospital Consultant appraiser.

Heather lives with her family near Petersfield. She is a passionate cyclist and, with her parents having met on a cycle tour of the French Alps, was almost brought up on the rear of a tandem. She is also a keen seamstress and watercolourist, and likes to spend her free time in the hills of the South Downs.

We are fortunate to have acquired her expertise at College Street Dental Centre.

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