Why do I’ve to pay my dentist once I don’t pay my GP? 

Fees for NHS dental therapy have been launched in 1951 to assist cowl the price of offering therapy. In an identical means costs for prescriptions and glasses have been additionally launched. 

The NHS spends round £2.25 billion on dental therapy a 12 months and sufferers solely pay £550 million of this. So though it could not appear honest that it’s a must to pay for dental therapy, the NHS nonetheless carries the largest share of dental prices. 

How can I pay for dental therapy? 

You possibly can pay for dental therapy on the NHS or as a personal affected person. This can depend upon the preparations you make together with your dentist. In case your dentist’s NHS record is full, or if they don’t see NHS sufferers, they could solely be capable to deal with you privately. In case you can not afford this, your native main care belief will make it easier to discover a dentist in your space that may deal with you as an NHS affected person or you’ll be able to go to www.nhs.uk

There are a selection of how you’ll be able to pay for therapy both on the NHS or privately: 

  • ‘Capitation’ schemes.
  • Personal medical insurance coverage.

You’ll discover extra details about every of those later within the leaflet. 

In case you aren’t positive whether or not you’re being handled privately or on the NHS, ask your dentist earlier than committing to therapy and fee. All the time get an estimate for costs out of your dentist earlier than beginning therapy. 

How a lot does NHS dental therapy price? 

There at the moment are completely different NHS costs relying on which a part of the UK you reside in. 

In England and Wales there are three ‘bands’ of costs, and these cowl a course of therapy: 





One Examination, analysis, x-rays, scale & polish. When you should see a dentist instantly, normally for excessive ache, swelling or extreme bleeding. £23.80 £14.70
Two All remedies in band one plus further procedures resembling fillings, root canal therapy, relining of dentures and extractions. £65.20 £47.00
Three All remedies in bands one and two plus extra complicated procedures resembling crowns, dentures or bridges. £282.80 £203.00

NHS costs in England shouldn’t be greater than £282.80, and not more than £203.00 in Wales, for a course of therapy. 

If you should return to your dentist inside two months due to an issue together with your therapy, and nothing additional is required to right it, then the dentist is not going to cost you once more. 

The utmost cost for a single course of NHS therapy in Scotland and Northern Eire is £384; some remedies would require prior approval earlier than a dentist can start work on you.

Are there some individuals who don’t need to pay?

You’ll not pay for NHS dental therapy should you: 

  • Are beneath 19 and in full-time training.
  • Are pregnant or have a child beneath 12 months previous.
  • Are getting Earnings Assist or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance/Employment and Assist Allowance.
  • Are getting Pension Credit score Assure Credit score.
  • Have an NHS Tax Credit score Exemption Certificates.

All the time verify together with your dentist should you aren’t positive whether or not you come beneath any of those teams. You might also be capable to apply to pay a lowered cost if you’re on a low earnings.   

In case you don’t come beneath any of those teams then you’ll have to pay the complete prices. 

NHS costs change yearly.  

All the time ask for a written therapy plan and an estimate of prices earlier than beginning therapy. 

How a lot does personal dental therapy price? 

Personal therapy doesn’t have set costs, so the prices will range from observe to observe. 

Be sure to agree the price together with your dentist earlier than your therapy begins. The price is normally primarily based on the time you spend within the surgical procedure, the work being carried out and the kinds of supplies used. 

All the time get a written therapy plan and an estimate of costs beforehand. 

So how do I pay? 


You normally pay for therapy, NHS or personal, both in the course of the course of therapy or when it’s completed. You normally pay at reception once you go away. Ask for a receipt to your fee. 

‘Capitation schemes’ for personal therapy 

Capitation schemes are designed that can assist you ‘save up’ for therapy by making a month-to-month fee by direct debit. Your dentist or an impartial firm will run the scheme. There are two kinds of plans: upkeep plans and complete plans. Prices will range from dentist to dentist and can also be primarily based on how wholesome your mouth is. 

A upkeep plan is offered by means of your dentist and is designed to supply preventive care. This would come with a set variety of examinations a 12 months, together with x-rays, and any scale and polishes you want. 

You’ll have to pay additional costs for some other dental procedures and laboratory charges.

A complete plan normally gives limitless dental therapy, however once more might not cowl laboratory charges and a few kinds of therapy (resembling dental implants). You’ll need to have a clear invoice of well being to your mouth earlier than you’ll be able to be a part of most schemes. You might must have a full course of therapy (pay-as-you-go) to realize this. 

Some plans might embrace insurance coverage cowl for unintentional injury and dental emergencies. 

Dental insurance coverage (this will cowl each NHS and personal prices) 

You will get dental insurance coverage your self, or by means of your employer if they provide it. The price will depend upon the extent of canopy you select. 

Dental insurance coverage is normally designed to cowl each routine and unplanned therapy. It might additionally embrace accident or emergency therapy, each within the UK and abroad, oral most cancers cowl, hospital money funds and different objects. 

There are a selection of dental insurers, all offering their very own dental insurance policy. It may be tough to match one plan with one other. The principle issues you could need to take into account when taking out insurance coverage are: 

  • Is there a ‘ready interval’ earlier than you can also make a declare? That’s, how lengthy do it’s a must to pay into the plan earlier than you’ll be able to declare on it?
  • Is the extent of canopy appropriate to your wants and the kind of therapy you could have (that’s, NHS or personal)?
  • What share of the dentist’s prices will you get again?
  • Is there a coverage ‘extra’? In different phrases, do it’s a must to pay for instance the primary £20 of any declare you make?
  • What’s the complete quantity you’re coated for and are there limits for particular remedies?
  • How does the insurer deal with issues together with your tooth that you just already had earlier than you purchased the duvet? 

Personal medical insurance coverage 

You should purchase personal medical insurance coverage your self or it’s generally offered as a profit by your employer. Most schemes don’t cowl atypical dental therapy however will cowl you in a scenario the place you should be hospitalised for therapy. This might be, for instance, having your wisdom teeth eliminated or a damaged jaw handled by a marketing consultant. You want to learn your coverage very fastidiously as you could assume you’re coated for a sure therapy if you end up not. 

Money plans 

These plans are much like insurance coverage. They’re designed so that you can declare again a number of the prices you could have paid for medical and dental therapy both on the NHS or privately. Most of them have limits on the quantity you’ll be able to declare in any membership 12 months. 

You might also be capable to use your money plan for remedies by different professionals resembling opticians, chiropodists and physiotherapists. 

Though much like insurance coverage, money plans aren’t regulated by legislation in the best way that insurance coverage insurance policies are, and don’t cowl the surprising. Subsequently you’ll not get the identical advantages as you’d with dental insurance coverage. 

We advise you to verify how a lot the refunds and advantages are to your particular person plan. 

Loans and credit score agreements 

In case your dental therapy is pricey you could need to take into account a mortgage. With a mortgage you borrow a sum of cash after which pay it again over an agreed period of time, typically with curiosity. There are specialist loans for high-cost objects of therapy resembling cosmetic dentistry and implants.

Which ought to I select? 

The way you pay for dental therapy will rely in your private circumstances and the extent of danger you need to take. You want to see a dentist commonly to maintain your mouth wholesome. Prevention is healthier than remedy, and there might be prices should you go to the dentist commonly. However that is cash properly spent as it would make it easier to maintain your tooth and gums wholesome.

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Want extra recommendation?

In case you want free and neutral recommendation about your oral well being, contact our Dental Helpline by electronic mail or name 01788 539780 (native price name within the UK).

Our Dental Helpline is totally confidential and has helped virtually 400,000 folks since opening over 20 years in the past. Contact our consultants by phone, electronic mail or on-line enquiry, Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 17:00.

Thanks to Johnson & Johnson, who’ve kindly offered us with an Educational Grant for this info. Johnson & Johnson‘s help doesn’t solely permit us to develop and preserve this recommendation on-line however implies that we are able to proceed to offer this vital useful resource as a printed leaflet for dental practices and hospitals to hand out to sufferers and go away in ready areas.