Free dental care on the NHS is available only to pregnant women, new mothers who've had a baby within 12 months before treatment starts, children up to the age of 18 and many living on benefits. Everyone else pays.
Some dental insurance policies cover the cost of NHS treatment, while others allow the policyholder to go private.
Currently, there are three charging bands for NHS treatment in England (correct from April 2015):
- Band 1 (£18.80) Covers a basic examination, diagnosis, X-rays, and a scale and polish if needed. Can also cover urgent treatment.
- Band 2 (£51.30) All treatments in Band 1 and additional work such as fillings, extractions, relining of dentures and root canal treatment.
- Band 3 (222.50) All treatments in Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures or bridges.
Private dental treatment
Private dental treatment can cost significantly more than treatment on the NHS. One of the the advantages of NHS treatment is that costs are grouped together and capped under the highest band, whereas with private treatment costs tend to be itemised. For more information about the difference in private and NHS treatment charges, visit our page.