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Private and NHS dental charges

By Joanna Pearl

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Private and NHS dental charges

We reveal what you can really expect to pay for private dental treatments, and the price differences between private and NHS dentistry.

Woman having a dental checkup


What you could pay for your private or NHS dental treatment is not always easy to find out. So our researchers have collected prices from leading private dental chains Bupa, Dentalcare Group, Integrated Dental Holdings, Oasis and Rodericks in the table below.

We show you the range of private prices these companies charge, rounded to the nearest £5, plus NHS prices. Each UK country has different NHS charges - see under the table below for more information.

You can use this to decide if you're really getting a decent dental deal, or are paying top whack. We've also given you tips on what questions to ask, so you don't get any surprises.

We also contacted private dentistry companies Genix Healthcare and Southern Dental, but they declined to provide pricing information.

We've also got reviews of Best Buy electric toothbrushes and our experts how to choose the best toothpaste and reveal the 14 health products you don't need.

NHS and private dental pricing guide
Dental treatment Also known as NHS price Private price Advice

New patient consultation

New patient dental consultation




Band 1 - £19.70 £15 - £65 Ask how long your private consultation will last, and whether any x-rays are included with it (including the type) as it varies between practices. Subsequent routine appointments are usually cheaper, but do ask for ongoing prices so you know what you're paying in the long term.

Simple x-rays

Simple x-rays

Radiographs Band 1 - £19.70 £5 - £30 As a new patient, you will usually have simple x-rays of the back teeth (called bite-wings). But you may need more complex specialist x-rays to get a view of the whole mouth from ear to ear; the latter may well be more expensive if done privately.

Hygiene clean

Hygiene clean

Scale and polish


Band 1 - £19.70/

Band 2 - £53.90

(deep scaling)


£35 - £100 Check if it’s with a dentist or hygienist, how long for (private hygienist appointments generally last 20-45 minutes), what’s included and the treatment plan.

Amalgam filling

Amalgam filling

Metal filling Band 2 - £53.90 £40 - £190 The cavity in your tooth is drilled so it can be filled with a mixture of metals. Private prices for all types of filling depend on the size and complexity of the treatment you need, for example how many tooth surfaces it covers. Amalgam is hard-wearing and good for the back chewing teeth.

Composite filling

Composite filling

White filling Band 2 - £53.90 £40 - £260 Composite fillings are trickier to do (the tooth surface must be dry as the resin gel is bonded on) and can be less hard-wearing for back teeth that chew and grind. More expensive private ones are lab-made for you. On the NHS, you’re more likely to get them on front teeth, but your dentist decides what you need.

Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment

Root filling Band 2 - £53.90 £95 - £700 If decay gets deep into your tooth and affects the root, a root filling (known as root-canal work) can save the tooth. It’s a technically demanding treatment and you may be referred to a specialist endodontist. Private prices depend on the tooth size and position (back teeth tend to be more expensive) and complexity.

Simple extraction

Simple tooth extraction

Tooth removal Band 2 - £51.30 £55 - £250 Some teeth will be routinely extracted in the dentist’s surgery – known as a simple extraction. Others will need referral to a dentist with advanced skills in surgical treatments because they’re awkwardly shaped or placed, and surrounding bone may need to be removed to free them.

Crown (any material)


Cap on tooth Band 3 - £233.70 £350 - £1,100 Crowns are shaped like natural teeth and fit like a cap over your own teeth. Private prices depend on materials used and time taken. Crowns are lab-made of materials including porcelain (most expensive for a very natural tooth look), porcelain bonded on to precious metal, or all-metal (generally less expensive and used on back teeth).

Dentures (full)


False teeth Band 3 - £233.70 £220 - £1,300 The private price of a full or partial denture will vary depending on what it’s made of, the number of teeth missing and the condition of the remaining teeth. Cobalt chrome dentures rest on the teeth, not the gums, and can fit better than acrylic, although you can have acrylic bonded on to chrome.


NHS dental charges in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland

Each country has its own dental charging system. Wales has a similar banded system to England, with the equivalent of band 1 charged at £13.50, band 2 at £43.00 and band 3 at £185.00.

Northern Ireland and Scotland have the same system: the charge to the NHS patient is 80% of the dentist's fee, to a maximum of £384. So, for example, the NHS charge for an amalgam filling would be from £13.28 to £34.85.

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