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Help with health costs

Get help with dental costs

Dental charges depend on the treatment you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. You will 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. If you are referred to another dentist for another, separate course of treatment, you can expect a second charge. Some minor treatments are free. 

NHS dental charges

Band 1 course of treatment – £18.80 
This covers an examination, diagnosis (eg X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if needed, and application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant. If you require urgent care, even if your urgent treatment needs more than one appointment to complete, you will only need to pay one Band 1 charge.

Band 2 course of treatment – £51.30
This covers everything listed in Band 1 above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or if your dentist needs to take out one or more of your teeth.

Band 3 course of treatment – £222.50
This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 above, plus crowns, dentures and bridges.

Detailed information about each treatment band can be found in the NHS dental treatments section. 

Who is entitled to free dental care?

You do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment if, when the treatment starts, you are:

  • aged under 18
  • under 19 and receiving full-time education
  • pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
  • staying in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
  • an NHS hospital dental service outpatient (however, you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges).

You do not have to pay if, during the course of treatment, you or your partner, receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit guarantee credit
  • Universal Credit


  • you are named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or you are entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • you are named on a valid HC2 certificate

Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).


Partial help
If your name is on a valid HC3 certificate, you may not have to pay for all your treatment. Checks are made on free and reduced cost treatment claims. If you say you have the right to free treatment when you do not, you may incur a penalty charge. 

You will not be exempt from paying because you receive: Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit savings credit, when paid on their own.

Medical conditions do not exempt patients from payment for dental treatment.

You will be asked to show your dentist written proof that you do not have to pay for all or part of your NHS treatment. You will also be asked to sign a form to confirm that you do not have to pay.

I am on a low income, how can I get help with NHS charges?

If you are on a low income you may be eligible to receive financial help through the NHS Low Income Scheme. To apply for an HC2 certificate, you should complete form HC1, which is available from Jobcentre Plus offices or most NHS hospitals. Your doctor, dentist or optician may be able to give you one, too. You can also get an HC1 form by calling 0845 610 1112.

Whether you qualify for help is based on a comparison between your weekly income and assessed requirements at the time the claim is made. For more information about requirements visit NHS: help with health costs.

You will qualify for a full-help HC2 certificate (which includes free NHS prescriptions) if your income is less than or equal to your requirements, or your income is greater than your requirements by no more than half the current English prescription charge.

You will qualify for a limited-help HC3 certificate if your income is greater than your requirements by more than half the current English prescription charge. The HC3 certificate shows how much you have to pay towards your health costs.

Certificates are usually valid for periods of between six months and five years, depending on your circumstances.

Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

Exemption for pregnant women

Pregnant women and those who have had a baby in the last 12 months get free NHS dental treatment. You may have to show proof such as a maternity exemption certificate (MatEx), a maternity certificate (MATB1) or your baby's birth certificate. However, if you have given birth more than 12 months ago you will not be entitled to free NHS dental treatment. Please note that your MatEx alone only gives exemption from NHS prescriptions.

How do I claim for help with NHS dental charges?

Tell your dental practice you want NHS treatment when you make an appointment, and fill out the form you are given when you arrive. If you do not have to pay, put a cross in the appropriate box.

If you have a valid HC2 certificate or tax credit exemption certificate, write in the certificate number.

If you have a valid HC3 certificate, write in the certificate number and the maximum your certificate says you can pay. You will pay either what appears on the certificate or the actual charge, whichever is the least.

You will be asked to show proof of your entitlement to help with dental costs. If you are not sure you are entitled to help, then you must pay. You can claim a refund, but make sure you keep all receipts.

How can I claim a refund?

Ask your dentist for the NHS receipt form FP64 or a receipt that shows the amount of the NHS charge and the date you paid. If you are claiming on the grounds of low income, complete form HC5 (D): Refund of NHS dental charges  (PDF, 231kb). It tells you where to send the completed form.

If you want to claim a refund for another reason, for example, because you are pregnant, have had a baby in the previous 12 months, are aged under 18 or 18 and in full-time education, you will need to explain why you are claiming a refund. Enclose your receipt and make sure you include your full name and the address of your dentist, and write to:

NHS Business Services Authority
Dental Services Division,
Compton Place Road,
East Sussex, BN20 8AD

Note: refunds of charges for private dental treatment or sundry items such as toothbrushes cannot be made. Where a course of treatment is a mixture of NHS and private treatment a refund of the NHS charge only can be made.


The 132 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Jillian Freeman said on 12 August 2015

I go to the dentist regularly, & with today's appointment.
I've just had the dentist look at my teeth,
Descaled a few and nothing else.
I asked for a polish as I've always had one and was told that's
Not included in cost.
Cost me 18.80. For just a descale
Is this cost fair?

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treborc said on 09 August 2015

I've not seen a dentist now for ten years, and it will be another ten the way it's going, my dentures are now twenty years old are ill fitting to the degree movement makes my mouth bleed.

I simple with my grandson failed to get an appointment it seems dentures and people with dentures are not important.

No dentures has really made me feel ill and I've refused to go out and will not be seen out so if I go out it's after the sun goes down.

I feel so dam low all the time.

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becrio said on 20 May 2015

Hello im 25 years old, and in need of braces my dentist said im in band 5.
I`m on a low income and have no job as i care for my brother,
so have no way of paying for the braces.
Is there anyway i can get it done threw the NHS or some kind of big discount.
It`s ruined my life i never smile or even take pictures, i have a 7 year old son that thinks im always angry :( as i never smile.
I have a big cap between my front teeth and my one front tooth as twisted,
Please can you help.
Thank you Rebecca

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Editor NHS Choices said on 31 March 2015

If you want answers about help with dental costs, join the Help with Health Costs Facebook page where the NHS Business Services Authority will respond to help with health costs questions Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm;

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MadJaples said on 31 January 2015

This is baloney. I have had a raging toothache for at least four weeks now, and despite two dentist appointments, two dodgy temporary fillings, I'm still in agony.
The first time I went, the temporary filling fell out on the day it was fitted. I sat it out the following day, went back on the second day after the first appointment, and explained that the filling had fallen out. The dentist looked at it and said that for £100 he could take the tooth out. I'm unemployed, on ESA, how am I supposed to afford £100 to get this toothache to go away!? There's absolutely nothing clear about what's what with this particular service to me!

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Twinkwolf said on 19 November 2014

I had a crown break and the tooth had to be taken out, the dentist broke an existing bridge whilst doing this. he fixed it back in twice but both times it came off again. I was charged £219 for this then told that there was an 8 week limit and would have to pay another £219 to get a new bridge put in. this does not make sense as you cannot put anything in for 12 weeks after a tooth has been removed and this should count as 1 course of treatment, also as the dentist broke my existing bridge is he not responsible and has to fix it /replace it at his expense

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charliebrown1108 said on 04 October 2014

My wife has a tendency to grind her teeth when asleep and her dentist provided a plastic tooth guard to wear when she is in bed. It subsequently turned out that she would have to pay the maximum nhs band 3 charge of over £200 for this which is just a small piece of rubber/plastic costing coppers, surely this us not correct ?

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Editor NHS Choices said on 01 October 2014

If you want answers about help with health costs, join the Help with Health Costs Facebook page where the NHS Business Services Authority will respond to help with health costs questions Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm;

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CherryDoodles said on 10 September 2014

Quick question; is emergency dental treatment covered under an HC2?

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Green577 said on 04 August 2014

Dear Magic Dancer,

I've just seen this on an NHS website:
"They're sometimes available on the NHS for patients who can't wear dentures or whose face and teeth have been damaged, such as people who've had mouth cancer or an accident that's knocked a tooth out"

Perhaps you could call a few dentist and ask them or associations providing support to people who are or have been in abusive relationships. I doubt this would not be covered at all. Do try ok?

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Green577 said on 04 August 2014

Hi magic dancer,

I am sorry that no one has replied to you yet but I am sure the response is here somewhere. Perhaps you could call several dentists and ask them?
I am sure that some may not know and sadly some receptionist may not even be very patient to try and find an answer but I am sure some will be very helpful.
Otherwise, could you contact associations who provide support from people who are or have been previously in abusive relationships?
I think it's great that you have reached out and that you wish to do something about this in order for you to feel better about yourself.
There is I am sure a solution out there - don't give up trying to find it and don't let people push you over ok? Good luck to you darling

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magic dancer said on 14 July 2014

i was in a abusive relationship were in the end i had to flee with my children to hostels and such places , my partner was sent tto prison for breaking a injuntion, during my relationship i was beaten quite frequentley i had my teeth knocked out some broken with the abuse in the end i was rushed to theatre as i had absesses i woke in hospital with only my two front teeth which have since fell out and 8 bottom teeth , i am so embarressed my daughter who is twelve is embarressed about me i now live alone with her , i wud do anything to have my smile back and to not feel embarressed talking to people which i dont do much of now , is there anyway i can get implants on nhs i am on benefits

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Sosan said on 03 July 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to ask about NHS treatment.
I am on ESA with a really low income. There are spaces between my teeth which cause my be shy even to laugh and talk.
I saw the orthodontists at Kings University. Unfortunately they refused to put braces on my teeth as it seems this treatment is only free for under 13.

I just wondered if there is any other way to get this treatment for adults for free or not.

Should you have any concerns please feel free to contact.


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painmouth said on 30 June 2014

Can anybody tell me I have hsd to have a filling done today no other treatment would I be expected to pay £50.50 I only had my checkup in march my next checkup is in September I paid for march che and assume I will pay again in sept is that right as it seems a lot just to refill a tooth .

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mascotty02 said on 16 June 2014

I feel that as a cancer sufferer I should not have to pay for dental charges, the treatment I have had prior to the chemo therapy, have caused damage to my teeth, I cannot claim for low income support as this is just above the rate, I am a fair paying tax payer and when I need help, I get ignored.

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Shyren said on 13 June 2014

I just got cheated. I am a full time student and I don't know anything about the HC2 form. I paid for my dental treatment this morning and now I have to fill in the HC5(D) form to claim it back. No one told me anything about all these things and how would I know? I am an international student and back in my country things don't work this way. I hope that NHS can provide better services by taking time to really care about the patients and letting them know what they should know.

Doctors shouldn't be shoo-ing patients out of the room. I understand its a government-set quota that they have to see a big amount of patients each day, then reflect to the government. We patients shouldn't suffer all these stress from the doctors and not getting a full or proper treatment/respect from the doctors.

My session with the dentist was awful. He even said to me "whatever you do, be quick." I tried my best to co-operate with him but he was forcing the x-ray film into my mouth so rough that i almost vomited; not to mention the film cut my lips. He spoke so fast that I can hardly understand what he was saying.

When he was doing the polishing he was so rough that my mouth bled. All I asked was a break or at least him being a little gentler but he responded with a scoff.

If this is what I am getting, I would rather pay for a better dentist.

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fifflefoffle said on 07 June 2014

Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone can help me. I have a valid tax exemption certificate but I have misplaced it. I've turned my house upside down at least 5 times looking for it but with no joy. I rang up the tax exemption helpline about a month ago because I needed dental work doing and was told they would send me out a replacement card but it could take up to 6 weeks to arrive, and I was given the certificate number along with the valid from and expiry dates which I was told would be sufficient proof until my new certificate arrived. I immediately made an appointment with my dentist and was seen about 2 weeks ago. I told the receptionist about the tax exemption certificate and she said that was fine but to be sure to bring proof on my next appointment (I thought at the time that was a bit odd since I thought I HAD proof but I thought no more of it). Anyway, when my dentist saw me he told me I would need a crown on my lower right back molar, he put a temporary filling in and said to make an appointment to come back and have the work done. I was given an appointment for this coming monday (June 9th). I received a letter in the post today reminding me of the appointment and again reminding me to bring proof of my tax exemption or I will have to pay, but the card has still not arrived and may take another 2 weeks. Now I'm really worried because I need this work doing but cannot afford to pay £219 for a crown, plus my dentist is not open over the weekend for me to either discuss the situation or to cancel and rebook for in 2 weeks time, and with my appointment being at 9.30am I am really worried that if I phone up on the morning and then have to cancel the appointment that I may be struck off the register as the surgery has a "one strike and you're out" policy :( please help!

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Dotty0000 said on 07 June 2014

I had a tooth fall out today it's horrid right at the front .im scared stiff my other few remaining front teeth are going to fall out .i asked the dentist ages ago could I have crowns but dentist wasnt keen as I'm on jsa and don't pay .can I get crowns in this plus I can't wear a top denture as it makes me very sick help please .i don't smile I can't eat properly I'm depressed about it .

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sadoldbag said on 30 May 2014

Personally, i would pay any price to get rid of toothache
i am on a low income but i think the nhs charges are fair. I only go dentist when agony, keeps costs down.

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Bob42 said on 06 May 2014

I have just been for an appointment for the first time in about 15-20 years regarding an abscess and a broken tooth and at the reception I was advised of the charges.I knew you were now charged for dental work but that you had to pay up front for this before you were even seen is obscene.Not only did I have to wait for the appointment in the first place,5 days,but then to be given this information as well was a complete surprise I thought you were at least given a consultation and or prescription for the abscess.I have worked all my adult life rarely going to the doctor or dentist and have only been to hospital for serious treatment not just walking into the A&E with any ache or pain. It seems if you work,pay your taxes and NI contributions you get penalized by having to pay again whats the use you might as well just get all your teeth pulled out just before you leave full time education and be done with it.Utter disgrace ,Aneurin "Nye" Bevan would turn in his grave if he could see what his NHS had come to.All Labour politicians should be ashamed of themselves to have allowed the NHS go this poor.I do agree that costs have spiraled out of hand and serious cuts had to be made but this basic requirement,a consultation and prescription,should be allowed at least.

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Katielucy84 said on 28 April 2014

I recently had an accident falling off my bike and causing trauma to my front tooth I've been to my dentist and he advised I need to be referred to a specialist for root canal and possible crown to treat the discoloration as my tooth has gone grey. This specialist is private and the costs are approx £800+ for both treatments. I want some advice as I don't understand why these can't be treated on the NHS when they are common NHS treatments. I pay my taxes and NI to access NHS services then I am denied them, please can I have some advice on this as £800 is way too much for me to pay for a trauma incident!

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alina4ever said on 25 April 2014

I have a maternity exemption certificate and currently had a white filling in my tooth and paid for it £125. My dentist only mentioned it last minute that the black filling on NHS would be visible and that she recommends white.
So I had to agree. But my friend who has a maternity exemption certificate too had the white filling free of charge in another dentistry and her dentist says its cheaper then black amalgam anyway and she says I shouldn't have payed for mine. Does anybody know if I can claim a refund in this case?

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Deannewagstaff2005 said on 23 April 2014

I have currently got a white filling at the bottom back molers, currently it fell into a root canal and needs fixing, I am on a HC2 Certificate, my dentist is charging £100 for a white filling to be put into place. I have no idea what to do as a massive silver filling being put into place will kill my confidence that i do not have much of already!!

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chrisn68 said on 17 April 2014

I am currently registered as a private patient with a dentist but my circumstances have changed and I am now claiming Carers allowance and Income Support as I care full time for my wife. The dentist said I can not change to be an NHS patient so I have to remain as a private patient and pay for my dental care. Is this correct? I need my teeth sorting but don't have the money to do so now. This surgery do accept both Private and NHS though they do state they are not taking on new NHS patients at this time. I know I should get NHS treatment on Income Support as I get money for my glasses etc..

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Jamesk01 said on 15 April 2014

It says here you are except if:

"you are named on a valid HC2 certificate "

However the form I was given at the dentist says "*if you or your partner* are named on a current HC2 NHS charges certificate".

My partner is. Will I have to bring the form with me or just fill in the cert number? What other proof if any is required?

Thank you

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teenyqueen said on 08 April 2014

I am a dental receptionist, so can hopefully respond to a couple of the questions here. Unfortunately you cannot get an exemption from NHS dental charges unless you are officially a jobseeker or in receipt of other specific benefits like Income Support or Tax Credit. When I register a new patient I always ask to see evidence of any exemptions, and if this is not possible then unfortunately you have to pay for the treatment. Funding in NHS dentistry is very different from other NHS treatment, and unfortunately dentistry seems to be the biggest area of NHS fraud, so we do have to be very careful with exemptions.

The fee scale for NHS dental treatment is very affordable, considering that for a charge of £50.50 (Band 2) you can have an unlimited number of fillings, root canal treatment, extractions etc if your dentist is confident in providing all the treatment. I would encourage anyone to visit a dentist to get a professional diagnosis as the treatment may be less expensive than people expect. We are mainly a private surgery, but many times patients have only needed a couple of fillings rather than the full works they were expecting.

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RedRevolver said on 05 April 2014

I'm in a very similar situation to UltraViolent. I think I have at least two dead teeth, which may or may not be saved. Thing is, I don't receive benefit support (I lived with my partner until recently, moving out only when he lost his £21k+ job that made me illegible for benefits).

I now live with my parents, but due to other (mental health) problems, I'd prefer not to sign on as I don't think I could cope with the bullying to get a job from the jobcentre (i.e. I could apply for a job every few days, if I even felt capable of doing that). Because of the nature of my mental health problems, I doubt I'd pass an ATOS assessment because I am (for all intents and purposes) physically fit, and my mental health problems does not include psychosis or learning disabilities (although I am vulnerable).

So, I realise that's my life story a bit, but I hope that will help people understand why I can't go on benefits even when living with my parents.

However, my parents don't have much in liquid cash and I can't afford the £200+ complex treatment charge. I was wondering if there's a way to get around this (getting a bank statement, maybe? I only have the one and it's not often used because I don't have any incomings apart from money occasionally gifted to me). I'm worried to get my teeth seen to in case I end up being forced to pay there and then or otherwise denied treatment where I really need it.

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UltraViolent said on 24 March 2014

Hi wondering if anybody can help i'm 26 years old and I am in need of dental care quite urgently but I don't have a job and im not on JSA I never have been, my parents support me but can just about afford to do so, so asking them for the money for dental work is out of the question and I really don't know what to do :(

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Stacey2105 said on 06 March 2014

FALLEN13: If you are named on income support, your dentist cannot charge you. If he has accepted you as NHS patients, he must abide by the exemptions. I suggest you contact the NHS directly if he still refused.

However, if he initially accepted you as private patients, he should have told you that on becoming NHS patients he could not treat you. You may have to look for another dentist in this case.

KDLOO: I have had a look at various pages on this site, for my own benefit, and have seen that the cost of implants can be covered in severe cases, such as where the mouth cannot support dentures. This certainly seems to be the situation for you, so I would suggest contacting the NHS or your dentist to discuss your options.

Here is a question of my own (I am fairly certain, although would like to double check): I am on Income Support. Would I get the cost of a bridge (Band 3) covered?

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FALLEN13 said on 20 February 2014

I haven't been to the dentist in many years due to fear like thousands of other people but now my teeth have got so bad I am struggling to eat could someone tell me if I am entitled to free treatment as my wife claims income support for both of us but the dentist wants to charge me.

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kdloo said on 19 February 2014

hi can anyone help me pls I only have 3 teeth and they are slack now I split with my husband 2 year ago after 30 year of marriage I find it difficult to leave the house now with no teeth I have a top set of denture but they just keep falling out and leave me with blisters my dentist said my gums are to small to hold dentures is there any help I can get with implants or partial implants to hold a denture in place pls help me I feel like my life is over

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nots3 said on 24 January 2014

Welshman, it would very much depend on which tooth needed the root canal. If it's one of the pre-molars or molars then they dentist would likely refer you to an Endodontist and that would cost considerably more than £49. . .

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Welshman_in_California said on 22 January 2014

This probably won't allay the concerns of any particular comment, and is unlikely to be immediately helpful, but I found it illuminating, regarding the current NHS charges.

I am British, currently living in California. My youngest son (American born) is 21 years old. He needs urgent root canal work (intense pain). Luckily for him, he obtained an American health (and dental) insurance policy just a few weeks ago, through his employer. Even with that coverage (usually 50%), the best local quote here in California for his share of the treatment is £1,670 / $2,750.

That is Plan A.

Why would I bother posting this familiar American tale on a British National Health Service web site?

Because of Plan B.

Currently, even booking just 36 hours in advance, a non-stop British Airways return (round-trip) flight from San Francisco to Heathrow is £670 / $1,102 (booking now for next month would cost £545 / $900). He could even stay at the famous Hotel Uncle Mark (my brother lives 25 miles from Heathrow).

A British Dentistry Expedition (Plan B) would save my son around a thousand pounds compared to Plan A, even with that American insurance plan.

He has a Plan A dental appointment at 8:00 tomorrow morning here in California, in part due to the urgency and his work commitments, but also due to the difficult logistics of international follow-up appointments (travel or proxy).

But if he knew that Liverpool are playing Everton in the League next Tuesday, he'd be at the airport already.

So if those NHS fees seem to you to be bordering on extortion, or at least be infinitely more expensive than the free NHS treatment of long ago, please consider that they are far below the actual (and even 50% reduced) free market rate for such services, as seen in places like California. It is even cheaper when adding a 12,000 mile international odyssey, with money left over to visit a historic battle of Red versus Blue (with a pie at half-time).

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boy wonder said on 22 January 2014

I don't know of any dentist in my area who gives scale and polish under the £18 tariff. You have to see an hygienist, who is private, and the cost is usually around £36. If you don't have the treatment, you face getting gum disease.

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loublu said on 20 January 2014

A friend of mine has not visited a dentist for several years and has lost several teeth.They are of no fixed abode so how would they go about accessing some kind of dental care?

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Meldoc said on 15 January 2014

I am under the impression that all my national insurance contributions along with my parents contributions plus my grandparents supporting this country in world war 2 has all been for nothing as dentists have become greedy in their practice to either charge extortionate prices for dental work or simply don't accept nhs patients .
Here's a thought I work in the nhs at a hospital within an A&E dept and I wonder how many of their family use the local A&E depts or call an ambulance when the cause needs it ? Maybe what goes around and all that

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Student84 said on 16 December 2013

Hi am a full time student do I have to pay for a filling? If no do I need to fill a form?

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Anerdnafudd said on 11 September 2013

I would like to know if I could get help paying for a full mouth of implants from the nhs . I don't have many teeth left and I get a lot of problems in the ones I do have . My dentist tried a plate . I have been in tears since . I just can't wear it .please help I'm majorly depressed

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ula1992 said on 29 August 2013

Hello my name is Ula was born in Poland. I live in England longer than six years. I would like to find out if I qualify for free dental treatment.

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jack1991 said on 31 July 2013


I’m 21 years old and have had trouble with a tooth that not in alignment from primary school when i was around 9 years old.

I complained to the dentist for several years which will all be on my dental records and he advised there was no point in having braces as I would grow out of it.

I get regular toothache which isn’t going away.

I have been advised by another dentist the way to fix it is to shave small amount off each lower tooth and fit braces to realign the teeth.

This will cost around £2000.

I have been asking for this to be fixes since I was a child on the NHS

now my question is, as this is in my dental records and has affected me all my life will the NHS pay for the treatment to have this done.

If I had this done when I was 9 it would have been free.

Please advise.

I’m not sure why I should be penalised for 1 dentists bad decision all that time ago and why i should still go through this toothache pain.


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eiktupetlon said on 05 July 2013

Hello I have a query. I am an 18 years(will be 19 in february) old full time student and I was told that I have to get braces due to that my wisdom teeth are moving the rest of my teeth and my jaw hs do to be made wider(with braces). Can I get help with this service or do I have to go private? P.S. I dont get any income support and my parents dont support me. Thank You

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Chanelp said on 04 July 2013

I just turned 18 in April and have type 1 Diabetes and are not very controlled. Can the NHS help me pay for Dentist fees?

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LiluLiluLilu said on 10 June 2013

Hello, my friend is 6 months pregnant and whole of her teeth are moving. If worse comes to worse, and they all fell out, or just few of them, will nhs pay for her teeth to be replaced? I think she is too worried to ask that to her dentist, at the moment she doesn't want any more stress and worry about expense's after baby is born. Any answers will be much appreciated. Thanks for help :)

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Wolf1979 said on 21 May 2013

I'm on income support benefits and I have broken two teeth.

How much would I pay for bridges or removable dentures?

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HannahStreet92 said on 18 May 2013

I have a problem!
I am not working but my partner is, however i am not entitled to receive any benefits. I cannot afford to pay up to £214 to sort my teeth out!

Is there anyway i could possibly receive cheaper dental care??

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Mo983 said on 01 April 2013

Dear Bixter
With due respect, you need to ask the Indian Dentist to come to England and charge you the same rates as he did in India.
It wont work!
In India he does not pay a similar mortgage, utility bills, council tax 40% income tax, CQC registration, his premises are not checked as strictly and try sueing him when it goes wrong.
Yes I am a Dentist, I do agree that patient charges are not appropriate but it is the government who sets it and what we take from you on their orders is deducted from our wages. The government was told by dentists in 2006 it would not work, now they are scrapping it and we hope a fairer deal for patients emerges for April 2014.
We earn more because we spent till 24 years old studying, we take risks and we are liable. we undertake procedures like surgeons, a boob job costs £3000 but actually takes 20 minutes to complete please ask them why?
To be fair to patients I do not understand why eye and teeth treatment are different to other medical procedures which we dont pay for like when you have a heart transplant. We like our job but the government fixes the rules...what can we do?The heart specialist is not on minimum wage either!

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aj15 said on 26 February 2013

I have a missing tooth. And when I visited my dentist to see what treatment options are available he said if I want a bridge then it has to be done privately and for that I have to pay £600 pounds. Could anyone tell me is this treatment not available on the NHS in Band 3 for £204 pounds ?

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viason said on 29 January 2013

Am new in Britain. I do not understand the cost my dentist is asking me to pay. I had a root canal in December. I paid £209 for this service. My dentist asked me to come for a check up to see if everything is okay in January.

I went for this check up and they asked me to pay £17. Should I pay for the check up. What should stop the dentist from asking me to come for check ups every other week?

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User725137 said on 09 November 2012

Nhs dental charges are a "TAX" ie your contribution to this particular aspect of deemed public finance .
It's not related to the actual cost incurred by the dentist.
All monies received are offset from the dentist,s practice income by the government at the end of the month ( actually the PCT) .
So the dentist does not get any richer by collecting the " tax" from you, it goes direct to the PCT.PCTs are under pressure to collect as much PCR - that's jargon for "patient charge revenue " as possible -
The regulations covering what it and what is and what is not " taxable" ie available under the NHS are ambiguous and where un piloted , totally open various legal interpretations ,hence the mess and public confusion .
Why not next time you tax your car at the post office - have a go at the poor lady over the counter ? What can she do??
NHS dentists hate this ridiculous contract , its not fair for dentists and patients alike . You can thank Gordon Brown for the mess.

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ETrundleford said on 11 October 2012

Reading the comments here makes me wish for the demise of NHS dentistry sooner.

Do people really not understand the costs of dentistry?

UK Dentistry is being kept in the 70s by the NHS. Work done in other countries is years ahead of the UK. Sure it costs more, but if any dentist tried to provide NHS quality in any other country they would be bankrupt in weeks, rather than extremely well paid like they are in the UK. People simply wouldn't pay for it because the quality is so poor.

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mimi345 said on 08 October 2012

my dentist wants to charge me £900 to cap two teeth, isnt this excessive? I am also on income support and I cannot afford to pay that much, I thought that a cap cost about £70?

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ZAK21 said on 05 October 2012

I went to have a crown re-stuck. (not yet done)
I was charged £17 for checkup but only received a quick visual and told that a back tooth only had a temporary filling. This was x-rayed and I was told I needed root canal work followed by crown at £209. This I agreed to but after initial treatment a tooth on the other side of my mouth collapsed. The dentist said that the NHS would not cover any work on this tooth within the next four months but it could be fixed privately for £350.
Is this correct?.

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Bethcraig said on 20 September 2012

I have a chipped tooth at the front how much would it cost to be fixed? I'm 18, in full time education and on income support or would it be free?

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advid said on 22 August 2012

...during childhood as soon as you begin to lose your milk teeth and 'big' teeth start to emerge mum takes you to the dentist for a six monthly or perhaps an annual check up....
Within a couple of years the dentist states : 'I'm afraid little Johnny needs a couple of small fillings'... None the wiser - good old Mum agrees and you then begin the never ending trail of every few years - more fillings required or even drilling out old fillings and re-filling...Still none the wiser - you just have to go along with his 'expert knowledge'..
How do I/'we know that a filling is needed ?

Over these many years the filled teeth beging to crumble - can't be filled any more and extraction is the only other step to take...

I'm now aged 65 and I've got gaps where teeth used to be - but either side of these teeth are perfectly good 65 year old 'virgin teeth' - never been filled that are as good as the day they first emerged...

Is this just a long term dental rip off carried out by all (most) dentists in order to give them a very good income through the years...If I (or mum) had never agreed to these fillings in the first place I'm sure my teeth would have been in a far better state than they are today - thanks to my many regular visits over 50 years to dentists...

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Poorly_Me said on 12 August 2012

My brother lost his job.
Since his dentistry work became free he managed to save literally hundreds of pounds by catching up on dental work he had put off.
before eventually finding another source of employment.

He is 8 years my junior.

I've been in work since I've left school and was never fond of (see: hate) the dentist.
As my life progressed I settled down with my partner and had a couple of children.
Unfortunately we are are on just my income alone.
So putting off the dentist when young and foolish, became being unable to afford the dentist now that I am older and respect the need for proper dental health.
As I mentioned I have been a contributing member of society since leaving school.
If my partner earned the same as I we would be considered as "living comfortably" since she has no income the grim reality is we are barely keeping our heads above water.

How is the NHS fair that the jobless of society can get expensive premium dentistry health care for free but since I have never, not been in school, or in full time employment, I am penalised?
I'm not sure but being a full time employed, am I not contributing more into the NHS by way of taxes alone, never mind being part of the backbone of the country that actually contributes to the economy?

Maybe I should just lose my job?
(income difference works out near the same anyway).

Or brave another trip to the studenst at the dental hospital?

Or just keep killing the pain with whiskey and hope the infection dies on its own?

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Ladywriterwriter said on 04 August 2012

Finally has my wisdom out at guys hospital, was under ga out of it, which was good. the dentist refer me so didnt cost me to much, but I see now that crowns etc, of which I had a few years back are over £200 NHS, thats a lot of money even for NHS patients really to just pull up. Its crazy. I dont understand why dental is not free like the GP is, after all both come under NHS.

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CLRLondon1984 said on 10 July 2012

I'm 27, not a student or on benefits, etc, and I'd like to get a brace - 1 of my upper teeth and 1 of my lower teeth have moved since my wisdom teeth came through and are now protruding.

Would it be possible to do this on the NHS, and how much do you think it would cost?

I don't have a dentist at the moment and am finding it hard to find one in London who doesn't automatically refer me to a private orthodentist.

Any advice about prices and dentists would be gratefully received!

I live in East London but would be willing to travel.

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Ladywriterwriter said on 07 July 2012

I do agree with another comment on this page about MHS charges are appalling, the idea of NHS is for people who cant afford private to help them out a bit. But the charges go up and up every year plus only certain treatments are covered as well.

We don't all have thousands of pounds to lay out for treatments or hundreds either. It takes some people ages to save any money with with rises of bills and all.

Dentistry is a very good business to be in. Our teeth cost us a fortune. I don't understand why NHS dentists don't come under the same bracket as a GP which is free to visit.

Lets face it, our GP does not charge when he examines us. Unless we choose to pay privately.

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Ladywriterwriter said on 07 July 2012

Although nhs costs is a lot cheaper then private. I still think even nhs is expensive as not every one can even just pull up over £200 for a crown really. People on low wages and those with lots of bills and other stuff to pay.

You can only get free dental treatment is claiming JSA or ESA or sickness benefits. even on completing HC1 forms it does not always mean you will get any help.

They do not see the entire picture. Its what the persons take home pay of which is left, not their gross pay as they dont even see it anyway.

Some have rotten or loose teeth simply because they cant afford the money for the treatment. Every year its going up as well.

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taxpayersfundedem said on 07 June 2012

I'm afraid I was slightly irked by LesleyKemp's anger (expressed below) at being charged £204, speaking as someone who ended up paying about £700 per crown for a good many whilst living off a research award a few years back with no option but to go privately. I needed extensive treatment admittedly, but have so far paid over £13000 in total and a few of my lower teeth are still in need of crowns.

What was more than slightly concerning was the insistence before discussing treatment options by many private dentists on having a full check-up (at a cost of over £100) including pan-oral x-rays (as I believe they're termed) despite their having no knowledge of the radiation dose my head had already recently received. Having studied radiation dosimetry to a postgraduate level I know this is potentially dangerous (that wasn't what my research award was funding, incidentally - that was for a doctorate in something else).

Anyway, now that I've paid a sufficiently extortionate amount already and am currently unemployed, if I insist that my local NHS dentist (assuming I can find one) crowns - say - four molars with metal (NHS) crowns and he or she attempts to charge me more than £209, how should I go about taking legal action against them? Informed responses would be greatly appreciated!

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Lainey893 said on 23 May 2012

My Husband has just been told he needs a partial denture. I claim income support for both of us. Will we have to pay for this denture? As i know some dentures fall in the category "cosmetic".

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rogerbeaumont said on 06 May 2012

Dentistry seems to be a gamble.

In my experience each dentist seems to have their own 'style' and want to do different stuff to his/her predecessor.

I signed up with a NHS practice after the principal came to give a talk to the cubs I was working with.

He was great, but then he retired. After that the practice gave me a different dentist every couple of years.

At last I got a guy who told me that if I carried on drinking coffee with sugar, "it was all my own fault."

A close friend used a private dentist, so I went to see him.

He told me that what the NHS man had said was rubbish and my problem could be fixed without extractions.

The difference in cost was quite small and I've stayed with him.

Yes he charges more (a broken off tooth is costing £400) but he is a businessman who wants to retain my custom. He charges for what he does, but doesn't advise unnecessary treatment.

My advice, if you can possibly afford it, is to go to a private dentist and stay with him/her.

Unlike the NHS, a private dentist wants you to remain a customer, so will do the best for you at a price you can afford. If that means a cheap extraction, it's your decision. If it's a more costly treatment again it's your decision.

The current NHS position is a charter for being ripped off.

Just my experience,

Roger, aged 63

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Ancientmariner said on 28 April 2012

I am a pensioner and my molars are worn down to stumps. I was de-listed from dentistry for several years and at the hospital they wanted to pull out all my teeth and fit me with dentures. I didn't want this so was forced to do my own fillings with epoxy putty. (unfortunately I cannot remember which brand was the successful one) One of my fillings which must be at least two years old is now leaking and I am getting toothache. I wanted the filling re-done with the proper material. As there was now a dentist in town that was accepting NHS patients I called in and was in the chair for about thirty seconds. The dentist said "Your teeth are worn down to the roots. I can pull it out" I declined his offer and left. Next day I had a bill for £17.50! OK if the dentist spent a minute looking at my teeth (didn't take that long actually) the hourly rate works out at £1050 per hour and he didn't achieve anything! Its the pits, I would like to see a no-cure no-fee system as the present system is no good and is once again a licence to print money.

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pricez said on 02 April 2012

Watch out - the changes quoted above went up again yesterday (1st April 2012)...

Band 1 is now £17.50; Band 2 is now £48.00; and Band 3 is now £209.00!

...based on information I've read elsewhere on the internet.

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LesleyKemp said on 15 March 2012

The NHS dental charges are appalling. I am so cross! £204 for replacing one crown! Excuse the pun but in my humble opinion there needs to be a more sensible scaling of costs. Grrr!

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User647125 said on 20 February 2012

For the attention of anyone asking questions here, as opposed to leaving feedback...
This is not a question and answer page; if you have a question either about your treatment, the cost you've had to pay, etc. the best thing you can do is call the British Dental Health Foundation's Word of Mouth Helpline on 0845 063 1188
I was told by my dentist that they'd run out of NHS appts and couldn't be seen for my follow up appt until the new tax year. I complained to the British Dental Association who told me exactly what to say to my dentist and I was seen within a week and was not charged any extra either.

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Sal83 said on 10 February 2012


I went to see my dentist last week for a check up which cost £17. As im on job seekers allowance, i did not have to pay the fee and presented a letter confirming im on benefits.

My dentist referred me to the hygienist for a scale and polish and was told it would cost £35. I did mention at the time of booking that im claiming JSA and was told to bring the letter again but when i went in today they told me i have to pay the £35 out of my own pocket and that im only entitled to a free check up. Is that right?

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deb10 said on 19 December 2011

i really wouldnt mind paying £204 for all that treatment as ive just paid £48 for a check up!! only to be told that i need 4 fillings.. two would cost me £195 each along with another two tiny ones at £126 each!! and as im really not keen on dentists(even more so now after hearing the prices!) i would like to be sedated at the wonderful price of only £200 an hour and that work would probably take around 4 hours! i had to just get in my car, come home and find a cheaper dentist.... £17 a check up sounds like a fair price to me!!

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laura945 said on 11 December 2011

This is a comments page people!!!
This is not the place to ask questions, all your questions should be asked to your dental practice or call another local practice if you think your one is giving you wrong advice and see what their policies are. This page is for comments so for people to write about their experiences - ie i had a root canal and it's not that bad, or i had a root canal and they broke my jaw. There really isn't going to be a professional who's being paid to answer questions from people who post on here. It even says at the top, these are peoples personal views and the information has not been checked. Also when you write your comment it says at the bottom ' If you need an answer to a medical question, please visit Medical advice now' how much clearer could they make it!

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AAAAAARGHITHURTS said on 09 December 2011

If your struggling getting NHS dentist contact your local PALS = Patient Advice and Liaison Service.
They will place you on the area waiting list hope this helps .

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petemorris said on 15 November 2011

I read most of the comments on here, yet there are NO answers. What's the point of asking a question on here, if nobody is going to answer? Or am I missing something?

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mikeb1965 said on 10 November 2011

One of my back molars broke, so was given a temporary filling.

I was then told i would need a crown & root canal surgery, to the tune of £204

Currently im self employed. Business is very bad so im on WTC & very short of money

Though I have £300 in the bank, most of that will be gone by christmas regardless if i spend it on my teeth or not.

Therefore I cant pay for treatment.

Im now walking around with a temporary filling, waiting for it to fail.

Im about to apply for Low income sceme (HC1) form but worried if i get anything back, it will not be enough to cover most of the £204?

Is or has anyone else been in a similar situation?

What did you get in the end?

I'd be grateful for any feedback because frankly i'm worried sick about this

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nds said on 28 October 2011

I have recently had dental treatment at which I was informed that I would need treatment on a tooth which has already had a root canal. The dentist put off this treatment until I see him again in 6 months. However I am beginning to suffer pain in this tooth. If I go back to the dentist now will I have to pay again.

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User610463 said on 27 October 2011

I worked for a dental group for a year on a work placement.
Since then I have advised many friends and family, having been given an insight into this murky world of NHS dentistry.

The best thing you can do if you have a query is get a second opinion from a more senior dentist and/or if you are unhappy or unsure about the treatment you have had or how much you have had to pay, then CALL YOUR LOCAL PCT.

Dental practices will always be trying to keep their local PCT happy and they are answerable to them.

Dentists and dental practices are under pressure to maximise the number of UDAs they achieve and keep costs down therefore the treatment that they suggest may not be the best treatment for you.

Furthermore some of the treatments (particularly Root Canals) are difficult and relatively more expensive under the NHS for the dentist/practice and therefore some dentists may avoid them in favour of easier treatments that they make equivalent UDAs from such as extractions.

I stress that this is not the case with all dentists but certainly with some. They are only human and it is true that you get what you pay for!

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beccsD said on 25 October 2011

I am pregnant and have a maternity exemption card. I recently went to the dentist as an old filling (from a tooth that broke last time I was pregnant) fell out. The dentist told me that because of the damage to my tooth as a result a filling is not possible and I will need a crown. I thought this would be free with my card but the dentist tells me they have no NHS places left for crowns so not only am I not able to get it free, I would have to pay private cost of almost £300. (at enconomy price!) the dentist said that to get an nhs 'space' for a crown I will have to wait until march 2012. I was given a temporary filling but it was indicated that the sooner I get the work done the better. I really, really can't afford to pay,(especially with a toddler and a baby on the way!) and shouldn't have to, but I don't want to risk making the problem worse if I don't have to. Does anyone know what I am entitled to? Can I get work done at another dentist using exemption without changing the practice I'm registered at? Or will it be ok to wait until March? Please help!

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mena68 said on 16 October 2011

im on income support with my partner and i get DLA and i have quite bad teeth i didnt go see a dentist for many years but when i did i had a check up 1st and he made a plan telling me what he was going to do so 2nd went bac had 4 front teeth out and the dentist put in a brigde that hooked on to the teeth that was left so i now have to go bac nex week just to see all is ok then he will do another imperesion of my gum for the the main bridge as the gum gets smaller as it heals thats why u go bac for the real one,and now my point is i didnt have to pay anything at all like i said because of the benifits im on so if anyone reading this is in the same way and u are being told you have to pay ,ring up somone from the nhs there r a few numbers on this site ,or ring the dss just to check because ive read alot of storys on here and its seems many many folk are being ripped off and the knowing which bad u are in still isnt helping something really needs to be done and from what ive read there are some greedy greedy dentists out there and god no,s they make pleanty ov money as it is,and to all the greedy unfair dentists your making a show of the really nice fair dentists. hope it helped somone good luck..

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a2ed said on 14 October 2011

I apologise if this is the wrong place to post this...

It's been a few months, and i've yet to be able to see a dentist. Every dentist my wife has called up say that they have reached the maximum number of clients on their register or something and won't be taking on any more new clients. Quite ridiculous actually.

I come from singapore, and to see a dentist, i just have to walk into one and make an appointment, and not be told that they've reached the maximum limit. I dare say that i can get better service in a '3rd world' state. Have to say that people here ought to be ashamed of themselves for allowing things to reach this shoddy state. Pretty backward actually.

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pepechihuahua said on 29 September 2011

At the beginning of Aug 2011 I had an abscess in my mouth, I had an emergency appointment which I was charges £17 plus script charges, a week later I went again for a check up charged £17 and referred to another dentist to have the teeth removed via sleep dentistry , two weeks later I had to have another emergency appointment as the abscess had flarred up again( still waiting for appointment to the referred dentist) I was again charged £17, I was asked if I had an appointment for the extraction which they chased up for me. Last week I went to the dentist who was doing the extraction charged £17 extraction date mid November. So far it has cost me £64 and the offending tooth is still in my mouth,and today my abscess feels as though its flarring up again, so it looks like another £17 and script . Am I the idiot here or is this how its done now, from my first appoinment to the day its extracted it will be 15 weeks. Before you ask yes I have asked can't it be done any earlier, the answer no available appointments.

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helen50 said on 22 September 2011

I recently had an exam and was told I needed a scale & polish over two visits. I wasn't given a treatment plan, and was told I needed to pay £17.00 which I did. Upon going back for the second s & p, I was asked for a further £30 as "this is a two part treatment, and therefore is classed as being under 'band 2'. Is this correct, and should I have been given a treatment plan outlining this?

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mountaingas said on 10 September 2011

my dentist has quoted me £180 for a root canal filling on a back tooth pluss the £17 check-up fee, but this website says that it should all be covered in band 2 at a cost of £47. (im an nhs patient) he said that if the work was on a front tooth, then the cost would be £47, could someone please advise me of what i should be or not be paying.

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antmumford said on 09 September 2011


Urgent care is defined as: severe dental and facial pain not controlled by over-the-counter preparations; or dental and soft tissue acute infections.
This is when you should arrange to see an Emergency dentist.

Dental Emergencies are defined as: Uncontrollable bleeding following extraction, Rapidly increasing swelling around throat or eyes, Trauma confined to the teeth and gums.
In these cases you should attend an A&E unit

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antmumford said on 09 September 2011


As an NHS patient you now no longer actually "register" with a dentist, as such.
What you do is see a dentist for a course of treatment. Once you've been treated the dentist is then under no obligation whatsoever to continue to see you as a patient. It all depends on how busy they are at the time. What you'll find is that the dentist is actually being quite reasonable by seeing you/your partner again on occasions after the first treatment.
The dentist is obviously lacking in NHS spaces at the practice so needs to cut down and limit the numbers they see, hence using a missed appointment as an excuse to no longer see your partner.
Each practice have their own way of dealing with excessive numbers, some may say they won't see you anymore straight after the first treatment and some may strike you off after missing an appointment by 2 minutes but there's nothing that can be done as technically you are not registered with a dentist like you are with a GP.

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malacorath said on 09 September 2011

What constitutes emergency/urgent care? i have recently broken a molar which causes regular pain, but every time it gets a filling the filling just comes out within a day or two and now the tooth itself is largely gone, i was just wondering if it would qualify so i could have it out altogether as it causes extreme pain while eating

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notsosure said on 26 August 2011

I had toothache and made an appointment at my dentists, my regular dentist wasn't available so saw another one. He took an xray and said I needed root canal treatment and to make another appointment with my regular dentist. I was charged £17 for this appointment. I then saw my regular dentist who looked at the xray and said she would do the root canal treatment as band c (£204). well it all went a bit wrong and its resulted in having my tooth out and a denture! but my grievance is that I am having to pay two charges for treatment on the same tooth totalling £211. Surely the initial xray was used as part of the treatment of the tooth? Also the denture doesn't fit properly so I have another appointment in two weeks time to check the fit but have been told I have to pay for all of my treatment now. Do I have to do this? any advice would be gratefully received.

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aninaj said on 17 August 2011

My NHS dentist de-registers patients if they fail two appointments - regardless when they were, they could be a year apart (e.g. miss one, attending regularly, miss another). Do you think this is right/fair? I know it's not right to miss one, but my husband has a busy stressful job and missed one by mistake in 2010 and missed another another last week.

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bobbysgirl62 said on 09 August 2011

I had a lower denture made a few months ago but because my gum is thin and lumpy the denture would not stay in so my dentist arranged for another one to be made but a bit deeper. I am having problems with this one as well, I am not enjoying my food as my gum is getting sore because of the denture moving about. It's actually making my life miserable.
My dentist suggested two dental implants so a new denture could be clipped onto the implants but they are very expensive and was wondering if, in the circumstances, the NHS would pay towards them. It is obviously not just for cosmetic reasons that I need the implants, it is simply so I can enjoy eating my food and enjoy life again.

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rayjomo said on 06 August 2011

I had a regular check-up with my dentist on 8 July 20011 and paid the £17 charge.
On 4 Aug 2011 I phoned my dentist because I had an apsis on my gum. The receptionist made arrangement for me to visit a "cover" practice because my dentist was on holiday.
The "cover " practice dentist prescribed antibiotics and charged
£17. I queried this as I had just paid one charge and considered I was covered.
I was told I had to pay again "because it was an emergency "
I have read the available literature on NHS Dental charges and think this second charge is wrong. Am I right and can I claim this back from the "cover" dental practice?

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dentaladvisor said on 04 August 2011

@crownless - if what you say is correct and provided there are no failed to attend appointments by you for these treatments dentist has to give you the crown and rct for the same band . dentist cannot say about the 2 months rule if he himself has told you that a 3 months gap is needed for the crown.

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dentaladvisor said on 04 August 2011

@bill99 - yes that is correct. All emergeny treatments are 17 pounds. Normally if you ara regular in the surgery then the dentist may not charge the amount for urgent treatments but thats upto the discretion of the dentist.

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bill99 said on 01 August 2011

I recently needed an emergency appointment due to severe facial swelling and toothache. I arranged an appointment via NHS direct, who referred me to my local surgery.

I had a consultation, and was given a prescription for antibiotics and an appointment for an extraction approx 2 weeks later. I was charged £17 for the consultation, and told that the extraction would cost £30.

The appointment was postponed as the dentist was ill, and re-scheduled for today. I attended and was told that the amount I had to pay today was £47. I did query this, but was told that an error had been made when the "paperwork" was processed and that the price was correct.

I have now paid a total of £64 for the initial consultation and todays treatment.

Please can you confim if this is correct?


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crownless said on 26 July 2011

Last March i broke a tooth and needed a root canal filling before preparations for a crown could proceed. I was quoted £198 for the course of treatment of filling, preps and new crown. Paid an initial fee of £45.00. Unfortunately after my root canal work the gum became inflamed and I was told that the crown work would be delayed for 3 months whilest the gum settled. Went back in June for the rest of the treatment and was given a new treatment plan for the same work as previous and quoted another £204 (on top of the £45 already paid). When I queried this new cost I was told it was because there had been a gap of over 2 months before recommencement of treatment on the same tooth. Apparently if the gum had not become inflamed and the crown had been fitted in March, then I would have only paid the one band 3 treatment cost of £198. Surely this cannot be in order for them to start a new treatment plan on the same tooth and identical work and charge me for part of it twice. Anyone else had a similar situation?

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Jeff8989 said on 20 July 2011

I'm 16 years old (moving onto higher education so my dental costs will still be covered by the NHS in the new academic year) and have been told by my dentist that it may be a wise idea for me to purchase some retainers: this is because my wisdom teeth are coming through and so the retainers would prevent my other teeth from moving out of line...

I have been quoted £80 for two retainers (upper and lower Jaw )by my dentist, is this the standard rate or am I being overpriced?

Could I request where my retainers be made? As I noticed that my old retainers were quite flimsy (last year the NHS paid for these, following the removal of my brace, but despite my best efforts in maintaining structurally sound and clean retainers, they broke) and were most certainly not worth £80. Also, are there regional differences in retainer quality?

I would be extremely grateful if you could advise me on these matters.


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stargazer49 said on 05 July 2011

can i ask a question please? I have been unable to work after an accident at work left me with a chronic back problem that has led to major surgery, this meant i was on incapacity benefit and didnt qualify for free dental, glasses or prescriptions....anyhow what i need to know is that after i applied for and got due to extreem hardship the exemption HC2 what exactly does this full help cover when it comes to actual dental treatment? Is it 1,2 fillings? 1,2 extractions?, is it crowns etc i need some extractions a gap filling with anything, bridge or denture and i also have a poorly fitted crown at the front of my mouth that not only is crooked and undermines the next crown but its also a different colour! My previous dentist wouldnt take my 4 broken teeth out as she said "they were not bothering me"....! and that was that, i am left with 4 black broken rotten stups that i cant eat on, she promised to fill my gap and went back on that promise, the treatment i got was 2nd rate to say the best, i had a broken tooth just left half broken and filled and for the last several months have had nothing but continuous infections in my jaw above the tooth, im now planning a new dentist but before i go i need to know what my form covers. Because of lack of funds i need to prioratise what treatment i ask for and i dont know where to start. Does this form also cover once only treatment? It may take more than a few visits this time....thank you for any help you can give me, i do appriciate it as ive never heard of or used this type of form before and im now getting desperate for some dental help

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LOZ77 said on 30 June 2011

We have registered with a new NHS dentist since moving house & they won't give us a scale & polish under the same Band 1 charge of £17 with an examination.
We're told we need to book an appointment with their hygenist & also pay a £30 depoist to make an appointment!
At my previous dentist I was always given a scale & polish with the 6 month examination & all under the Band 1 charge.
Are our new dentists allowed to do this?

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kelly1bell said on 29 June 2011

I need quite a lot of treatment on my teeth and as I very nervous patient have not visited the dentist in 20 years except for one appointment to have a front tooth repaired that I broke in half after a fall. I visited the dentist today and have got to have 8 teeth removed, most are the back ones but two are at the side and visable when I smile, they offered me implants and said the cost would be £2200. They didnt make it clear, and I was silly enough not to ask them to make it clear. Also I am on income support so recieve free dental treatment, are bridges available free of charge to me, as they didnt offer this, but when I went as a private patient when I had the repair done 5 years ago, that dentist said a bridge could be fitted along the front 4 of my teeth

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covej003 said on 17 June 2011

i am 15 years old, and i attend the orthodontist, i recently emailed my orthodontist to ask if they could repair my white protective layer and change my retainer earlier than schedueled, they emailed back with 'yes we can' but they said there might be a charge, however i thought i was entitled to free dental care under the NHS because im under 16.?

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keiraTommy said on 16 June 2011

Hi, I'm not sure if this is the proper forum for asking questions, but I'm an American that will soon be attending a British university as a degree-seeking student, entitling me to NHS care. I'm wondering if this includes dental, and to what extent? And, regardless of whether or not it is an additional fee, is sedation an option?

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bindu4076 said on 09 June 2011

I had a similar experience to TimmyK. Paid £16 for initial check-up. Then dentist said I needed to see the hygenist. She can only treat each patient for 15 minutes at a time. So she cleaned my a quarter of my mouth...and said I will have make 3 other visits to clean the rest....each quarter taking 15 minutes each. Each session was £45.00. So... I paid £180 for cleaning and £16 for initial check-up making a grand total of £196.00. Is this normal...or is it daylight robbery. The charges come nowhere near those listed here on this site.

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nuttynicki22 said on 09 June 2011

I require 2 crowns from my nhs dentist. I thought it would be £204 for the whole treatment. However, my dentist has said that she cannot provide 2 crowns under one nhs treatment and that I would need to pay an extra £204 for the second crown. Is this correct?

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mking007 said on 28 May 2011

Do these charges apply to northern ireland as well ?
I have to get a bridge done soon and a crown, and i have been quoted more than £204 at my dentist with nhs included ??

Is the £204 only a discount of the total ? and then dentist charge their fee ?

If its under nhs treatment is £204 the max i should be paying to the dentist ?

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TimmyK said on 26 May 2011

I'm in a bit of a conundrum;- I had a check up by my dentist who recommended i see a hygienist which i did. I paid the £17 for the initial check up and another £45.00 for the hygienist. The problem is (albeit feeling a tad overcharged), the hygienist only has an allocation of 30 mins (not sure if thats the Dentist policy) meaning because i my cleaning would have/did take longer, she stopped at dead on 30 mins and said she could not finish and i need to re-book another appointment in 2 months time and pay another £45.00 fee! Now, i'm sure there something not right there. I rang the said Dentist practise the next day and they did re-affirm that the hygienist can only see you for 30 mins and anything over that you have to re-book. Is this proper practise or do i have a case/course for concern?

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Cruiser84 said on 24 May 2011

I have recently had to see a periodontist can any of his treatment be covered by the NHS I have been told that I need work done that could cost 1200 but he will do it for 800
Do I take this to be a bargain or could I be ripped of here? I was refered to by my NHS dentist after having a checkup, they failed to send out reminders for 3 years, (due to computer system problems) I have had no problems with bleeding gums etc either.

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cathye said on 17 May 2011

i recently visited the dentist and was told i would need two fillings and a deep clean which would be done by the hygenist, after the two cleans the hygenist asked me to go back in a few weeks so she could check my gums, i did this and she cleaned my teeth again saying that she had missed some bits, and then asked me to go back in July. My dentist has rang me to say i owe £47 for this clean, because it is a new teatment. Is this right?

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naykinz said on 17 May 2011


I having a bit of a dilemma and would appreciate any help...

When I was younger I had braces and was told to wear my retainer for a set amount of time which I did. However, My two front teeth and bottom teeth have now moved back to there original position and I am very upset about the way they look.

I am now 19 and currently out of work (claiming jobseekers allowance) which I know entitles me to free check up's etc.. but does this also entitle me to free braces? Or will I have to pay/get some form of discount?

I want to get my teeth straight again so I can smile :(

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yulyia said on 14 May 2011

Hi, I would like to ask if anyone knows anything to help me.
Problem is this, I have a tooth that into a bridge tooth is irritated and I went to the dentist told me to open the bridge from below and take the nerv hi take the my nerves, but after 4 hours became abscess and swollen horribly, leaving the dentist have informed me that I have to pay 200 pounds for the procedure, told them that I have a valid certificate of Tax credit charges, but they convinced me that I have to pay, and I'm registered myself with them as nhs patient, so I paid £ 100 for half the work, the other part should pay them on Tuesday. They made me sign a blank form with which money claim the nhs, signed it and then I wanted the certificate, which sounded strange to pay 200 for extraction of nerve and filling channels, the site says that nhs treatment is free. If anyone has faced similar problem, please advice, Thank you in advance.

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Manula said on 13 May 2011

I was told by my dentist yesterday that it would cost £900 to do a bridge for a mole tooth and £1500-2000 for a replacement.

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jennyno1 said on 13 May 2011

i have been told by a dentist ,that i need bridge work on my three front teeth ,the dentist told me i cant have it done on the nhs is this true ?and that it will cost £1,500

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CrystalJ83 said on 12 May 2011

I had braces as a teenager but my bottom teeth have moved a lot in recent years and have become overcrowded again. I also have a gap appearing at the sides of each of my front teeth. it's making em really self conscious and I'm findng the bottom ones hard to keep clean. I just wondered where i stand on getting braces again and whether they are available on the nhs as I am now in my late twenties?

Also, what are the available options in terms of types of braces? i'm sure things have moved on considerably in 15 years. i'm particularly interested in Invisaligh and lingual braces.

I look forward to your response.

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nineyc said on 11 May 2011

I am currently on maternity leave and have an exemption certificate for dental treatment (I am an NHS patient) and prescriptions.

My baby was born early and when I was at the dentist today I was asked when my baby was born. I told them but said my maternity exemption ran on further because he was born early. The nurse said to me that they would only do 12 months exemption from the baby's date of birth not the expiry date on the certificate! Are they allowed to do this?

I have just read that I am allowed to use it if the baby arrived early.

Hopefully I wont need to go but would like to know I am covered by one of the only benefits I had ever received for the full time I am entitled!

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janne58 said on 11 May 2011

I am just starting tratment on with an NHS dentist and wondered what is the normal waiting time for a set of NHS dentures?

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chloet124 said on 09 May 2011

I am 19, in education and a full time carer for my mum. One of my front teeth got knocked out a couple of days ago and I need a replacement. What help can I receive as there is no way I can pay for the whole treatment on my own?

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User543896 said on 14 April 2011

To 'Pamob' -

There is nothing correct or incorrect about what the dentist can and cannot decide/provide wrt NHS treatment that you need. The dentist will only provide you treatment on the NHS provided that it is profitable for them.

At this stage, you have several options:

1. Seek a second/third/fourth/ etc opinion from other NHS dentists locally. Remember you're coughing up #17 every time for an exam/consultation/xrays on the NHS. Also shop around for private charges (to get a cheaper quote than what you got), making sure that your root canal is done by a specialist (this will cost you many a pretty penny).

2. Speak (quicker/easier option) / write to your local PALS officer in your local PCT (goes by postcode, a simple internet search will work; they generally are named after the area/county/council you live in). If you complain, it will take ages to resolve and your problem will get worse. Instead, ask the PALS officer to find you an NHS dentist locally who will carry out the proposed treatment for you for #204.00 on the NHS (ie option 2- An extraction, root fillings and a new Bridge (3 teeth) .

3. Lack of success in these options will mean you will pay privately for your treatment.

Good luck and do let know how you get on. Cheers@

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Pamob said on 14 April 2011

I am confused! I have just returned from my dental appointment. I have an infection under an existing Bridge which was undertaken some years ago as an NHS patient. The dentist gave me two options:
Option 1) An extraction, removal of bridge and the provision of new dentures - this treatment is as an NHS Patient and the charge is £204.
Option 2) An extraction, root fillings and a new Bridge (3 teeth) - this treatment would have to be paid for by me as a Private Patient. Their estimate for this dental work is £2,220.29

My question is:- "Is it correct that a dentist can decide that this type of treatment cannot be undertaken as a NHS Patient and will only carry out the treatment for me if I pay as a Private Patient? This appears contrary to the information I read in the NHS literature regarding Dental Costs i.e. all of the treatments - extraction, root canal work and bridges are all included in the NHS charges which should be Band 3".

Which NHS body do I need to complain to?

Many thanks.

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rachel2020 said on 12 April 2011

The crown on my premolar fell out and when I visited the dentist, he told me the root has to come out as it has decayed.

I asked if a bridge can be done under nhs , and I was told I can't have it under nhs. He said that it is not a clinical problem. Is that right?

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User543896 said on 10 April 2011

To 'dave001' - The 47$ (sorry my keyboard doesn't have the pound sign) you paid should INCLUDE the filling as well as the check-up and a scale and polish. You should NOT have to pay 17$ and then another 47$ for the filling. Please speak to the practice manager before paying or getting any treatment done. As for the private hygiene treatment, it is probably not profitable to the dentist to spend all that time, effort, materials on you do to a filling and a cleaning for you since the NHS doesn't pay anything extra to the dentist. You're better off with the hygienist who will / should give you your penny's worth rather than with the dentist who will just spray some water in your mouth under the banner of scale and polish.

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User543896 said on 10 April 2011

For 'Olivecracker' - If you are referred to an NHS endodontist (if there is someone by the grace of God) you do not have to pay for your treatment. If you are referred to a private endodontist and you accept the treatment, you will personally have to foot the bill of the treatment and the NHS will not help you with that and you cannot claim a refund for private dental treatment through the HC1 forms. Otherwise, scan around for another dentist who is willing to provide your treatment under the NHS. If unsuccessful in funding yourself and in finding another NHS dentist, then your only option will be to remove that tooth.

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User543896 said on 10 April 2011

For 'info88' - SInce you get WTC, your NHS dental treatment gets funded by the taxpayer. Band 3 provides for a bridge. Sometimes it is not profitable for the dentist to provide complex treatment as the NHS does not pay enough for them to make a profit after the time they spend on a patient, lab charges, overheads, dental materials, etc. Also, a practice owner gets paid much more than a dentist who merely works in the practice. If that is the case, then find out. Also, register with another dentist (since you don't pay for your treatment, and the taxpayer will do so for you) and go for a consultation and see if they are willing to provide a bridge for you as long as it is clinically needed. Otherwise, call your local PCT for help.

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User543896 said on 10 April 2011

For 'arif_mn89' - NHS dental treatment is free (ie paid by the taxpayer) for anyone under 18yrs of age, and for those who are 18 yrs old and in full-time education, until their 19th birthday. Braces are provided on the NHS for those under 16 depending on the severity of their case. Occasionally, you may be accepted for braces if you are above the age limit if it is clinically necessary. If your teeth are mildly crooked, then the NHS doesn't use taxpayer's money to fund your braces. You have to get it privately, since there is no system under which you can pay to get braces under the NHS. There is a long wait in certain areas/hospitals - upto 2 yrs in cases - but you do get put on a waiting list as long as you qualify.

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paigeve said on 10 April 2011

In November I received my partial dentures (NHS) they are terrible and have affected my speech which is terribly embarassing in my job as a legal secretary - my head of department even asked in all seriousness if i had had a stroke!!!! I went back to my dentist at least 8 times to get them adjusted and the last time I went he said there was really nothing that could be done as I had a very high palate and what I needed was a Cobalt Chrome dentures but that unfortunately the NHS did not pay for these and I would have to pay private rates for these. Is there anyway the NHS would pay for even part of the costs? He said it would be £600 for the top and £400 for the bottom which is terribly expensive. Is there any help to be had?

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dave001 said on 09 April 2011

I recently visited my dentist for a 6 monthly check up, paid my £17, was told I needed a clean from the hygienist privately for £35 and that I had a small filling in my front tooth (upper right 1 for the more technical on here) I re-booked and was told I had to pay £47 for band 2 for the filling. Which I did.

However, reading on here I ought to get a scale and polish on bands 1,2 & 3 which to my understanding is just a clean? so why do I need to see a hygienist?

My question is why should I pay once to be told I need a filling, once to have the filling and again to have a clean that seems should be a standard operation? I don't resent paying but I do resent feeling like I am being taken the mickey out of. If anyone can tell me how to approach this I'd appreciate it.

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Olivecracker said on 06 April 2011

I am a full-time student and so am exempt from NHS fees. My dentist says I have a complicated cracked tooth and need to see an endodontist. If my dentist refers me for this treatment that I need, will I have to pay a fee or will the treatment be covered by my exemption certificate?

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info88 said on 04 April 2011

I recently knocked my front tooth out which was a crown, I've been to the dentist & they have pulled the root out. They have said I now have two options:
1. To get a removable denture for free.
2. Pay £900 to get a bridge.
As I am on working tax credits and recieve free dental care, I was wondering if this is correct or should I be able to get the bridge for free.

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Lipzzy said on 04 April 2011

I have had some free treatment ant Guys, but want to register with NHS Dentist. I need quite a lot of treatment (root canal, extraction, crown) on several teeth so I know I will pay the highest band. Will all of the tratment be covered the one time?

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arif_mn89 said on 03 April 2011

Im 21 years old and im a student at university (not sure if this helps or not) How much would it cost to get braces under the nhs? and is there a long wait?

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LA7882 said on 02 April 2011

"Sure2smile"-- As you have paid band2 charges and need Treatment with in 2months of that you will not be charged if your new treatment is under band2 or 1. But in case if your new treatment need falls under band3 then you will have to pay the whole new amount for band3. Which from 1st april is 204£. Best to consult your dentist, who will be happy to help you.

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User543896 said on 02 April 2011

Response to 'renton' - As a pensioner, you have to pay for your NHS dental treatment, unless you are exempt from paying, eg if you/partner receive pension credits, income support, etc as explained elsewhere on the website. If you choose to go to a private dentist, you will not get any help, and you will be responsible for footing the entire bill of the treatment you accept. Hope that helps.

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User543896 said on 02 April 2011

Reply for 'sure2smile': Under the NHS Regulations, you do not have to pay anything if your further treatment falls under the same or lower band. Since 198 is Band 3, and in a higher band than the treatment you had carried out, you will have to pay the cost under band 3 for a crown. FYI the band 3 cost is now 204 - which is what you have to pay. You have to pay the entire amount and NOT the difference. Hope that helps.

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sure2smile said on 20 March 2011

I had band B treatment which finished on 10 feb, less than 2 months ago. Now an old crown has fallen out (not part of the Feb treatment), so this is additional treatment within 2 months, but, will be in a higher charge band. Will I have to pay the full £198 or will I only pay only the extra (ie the difference between the band b of £46.50 and the £198.)
thanks for any replies.

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norm010 said on 17 March 2011

implants are not available on the NHS except in very rare circumstances in Dental Hospitals

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mariej said on 22 February 2011

What would the charge be for implants for dentures on the NHS?

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mariej said on 22 February 2011

Can you have implants for dentures on the NHS?

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renton said on 02 February 2011

As a pensioner, can I get help to pay for new dentures if I go to a private dentist?

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Page last reviewed: 01/04/2014

Next review due: 01/04/2016

Paying NHS charges

Read about rules on exemptions, claiming refunds, and what happens if you're caught claiming refunds dishonestly

Important numbers

Phone 0300 330 1348 for the dental services help line

Phone 0300 330 1343 for the Low Income Scheme help line

Phone 0300 330 1341 for queries about medical exemption certificates.

Phone 0300 330 1341 for queries about PPCs.

Phone 0300 330 1349 for the prescription services help line

Phone 0300 330 1347 for queries about tax credit certificates

Phone 0300 123 0849 to order a paper copy of the HC12, HC5 and HC1 (SC) forms

For all other queries call 0300 330 1343

Your dentist visit

Find out what to expect when visiting your dentist for a check-up, including what your dentist should and shouldn't do

Dental treatments

Dental treatments explained, from fillings to implants, plus how much they cost

NHS dental charges

This section explains the current NHS dental charges including, how to claim refunds