Dentistry is one of very few NHS services you have to pay for. This section explains what you will have to pay for and when you may not have to pay.
All the treatment that your dentist believes is necessary to achieve and maintain good oral health is available on the NHS. This means that the NHS provides any treatment you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain.
Depending on what you need to have done, you should only ever be asked to pay one charge for each complete course of treatment, even if you need to visit your dentist more than once to finish it. You will not be charged for individual items within the course of treatment.
There are three standard charges for all NHS dental treatments:
Band 1 course of treatment – £23.80
This covers an examination, diagnosis (including X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if needed, and application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant.
Band 2 course of treatment – £65.20
This covers everything listed in Band 1 above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or removal of teeth.
Band 3 course of treatment – £282.80
This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 above, plus crowns, dentures and bridges.
If you’re referred to another dentist as part of an existing course of treatment, you should only pay one charge. However, if your dentist refers you to another dentist, this is generally regarded as a separate course of treatment and you will have to pay a second charge. The amount you need to pay will depend on the treatment you need.
If you have completed one course of treatment but you need another treatment, you do not have to pay again if:
You need more treatment within the same or a lower charge band (such as another filling) within two months of completing a course of treatment. As long as you discussed the problem with the dentist during that time, they will try to fit you in as soon as possible. However, if they have to offer you a later appointment, you should not be charged again.
You need repair work or a replacement for certain types of restoration within a year of the original work being done. You should return to the same dentist.
Different dental surgeries have different requirements. Some may ask for the whole payment for your treatment up front, while others will ask you to pay after it has all been completed. Check with your surgery when you come for your initial check-up.