What is included in each NHS dental band charge?

There are three bands of charges for all NHS dental treatments.

The current dental charges are:

Band 1 dental treatment: £18.50

Depending on what’s necessary, this can cover:

  • a clinical examination, assessment and report 
  • an orthodontic assessment and report
  • advice, diagnosing and planning your treatment 
  • X-rays 
  • moulds (casts) of your teeth, for example, to see how your teeth bite together 
  • taking coloured photographs
  • advice on preventing future problems, such as diet advice and cleaning instructions 
  • applying sealants or fluoride preparations to the surfaces of your teeth 
  • a scale and polish
  • marginal correction of fillings
  • taking a sample of cells or tissue from your mouth to examine (pathological examination)
  • adjusting dentures (false teeth) or orthodontic appliances, such as braces 
  • treating sensitive cementum (the tissue that covers the root of a tooth)

Urgent treatment when you need to see a dentist immediately also costs £18.50.

Band 2 dental treatment: £50.50

Depending on what’s necessary, this can cover everything listed in band 1 above, plus:

  • non-surgical treatment of periodontitis (a severe form of gum disease) – such as root planing (cleaning bacteria from the roots of your teeth) or deep scaling and a polish
  • surgical treatment of periodontitis: such as removing some gum tissue (gingivectomy)
  • free gingival grafts: when healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth is grafted (attached) to your teeth where the root is exposed 
  • fillings 
  • sealant restorations: when sealant is used to fill a small hole and seal any grooves in your teeth 
  • root canal treatment (endodontics) 
  • pulpotomy: removing dental pulp (the soft tissue at the centre of a tooth)
  • apicectomy: removing the tip of the root of a tooth
  • transplanting teeth
  • removing teeth (extraction)  
  • oral surgery, such as removing a cyst (fluid-filled sac)
  • soft tissue surgery to the mouth or lips
  • frenectomy, frenoplasty or frenotomy: surgery to the folds of tissue that connect your tongue, lips and cheeks to your jaw bone 
  • relining and rebasing dentures 
  • adding to your dentures, such as adding a clasp or a tooth
  • splinting loose teeth, for example, after an accident or due to periodontitis – this doesn’t include laboratory made splints  
  • bite-raising appliances (similar to a mouth guard), for example, to correct your jaw alignment – this doesn’t include laboratory made appliances

Band 3 dental treatment: £219

Depending on what’s necessary, this can cover everything listed in bands 1 and 2 above, plus:

  • veneers and palatal veneers: new surfaces for the front or back of a tooth
  • inlays, pinlays and onlays: used to restore damaged teeth
  • crowns: a type of cap that completely covers your real tooth
  • bridges: a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth 
  • dentures 
  • orthodontic treatment and appliances: such as braces 
  • other custom-made applications, not including sports guards

Treatments such as veneers and braces are only available on the NHS if there’s a clinical need for them (not for cosmetic reasons).  

Read the answers to more questions about dental health.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 05/02/2013

Next review due: 04/02/2015