I was always interested in teeth even from a young age - strange as it sounds! My parents had good friends who were dentists and I was lucky enough to do work experience with them when I was a teenager. I loved being in the dental surgery with patients and I could see how important the relationship between the dentist and patient was in making the patients feel confident and relaxed - I thought I could be good at that.

After I qualified as a dentist I was drawn to orthodontics as I saw the effects of improving someone’s smile on their confidence. I liked the technical side of it too - the wires, the brackets, the aligners and the mechanics of how they all work still fascinate me today.
I am so lucky to have become an orthodontist as I still enjoy my job every day. I consider what I do to be a great privilege and over the years I have got to know so many of my patients well that some of them are now my friends!

Where did you train?
I was a dental undergraduate at University College Hospital in London and once I had qualified as a dentist I worked in general dental practice for a few years in Yorkshire before embarking on my 6 years of orthodontic training; first at the Eastman Dental Hospital in London, and then in Bristol and Bath. I was lucky enough to be taught by some of the most well respected and pre-eminent orthodontists of this generation. I was delighted when I was appointed as Consultant in Chichester and Worthing as it meant coming home to Sussex, having grown up in Brighton.

What factors should I consider when choosing an orthodontist for my child or me?
In the UK orthodontic treatment can be provided by general dentists, by specialist orthodontists and by orthodontic therapists supervised by a dentist. Specialist orthodontists train for a further three years once they have qualified as a dentist and Consultant Orthodontists for a further six years. If you want to know if your orthodontist has a Specialist Orthodontic qualification you can find out on the General Dental Council website (

Photo: Andy Thomas ART photography, Worthing
Some orthodontists will do every aspect of your treatment; others may delegate some of the tasks to dental nurses and/or therapists. I enjoy seeing all my patients at every visit, from the very first chat about options, through to brace fitting, adjustment and finally-and most importantly- removal of braces. It’s an exciting journey and I want to travel it with you! If it matters to you whether you see an orthodontist at each visit make sure you check this with your dentist before you are referred or with your orthodontist at the first appointment.

Orthodontic treatment involves regular appointments over many months so when choosing an orthodontist make sure they have appointments available at times which will suit you. If you are working you will probably want to find an orthodontist who runs evening and /or weekend clinics. I run my clinics at St. Richard’s Hospital on Saturdays and my clinics at Strand Dental, Worthing on Monday afternoons and evenings.

Sometimes braces break and this can be painful and annoying so you should make sure you will be able to contact your orthodontist for emergency care and advice between your regular appointments. I make sure my patients can contact me directly or through the practice every day.

GDC 64981    BDS MSc MOrth FDSRCS (Orth) (Eng)
© Jo Clark 2015