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How much will I pay for NHS dental treatment?

If you normally pay for NHS dental treatment, the cost will depend on what treatment you need.

Some people do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment.

Find out who's entitled to free NHS dental treatment in England

NHS dental charges

There are 3 NHS charge bands:

Band 1: £26.80

Band 1 treatment includes:

  • examination, assessment and advice
  • X-rays
  • diagnosis and treatment planning
  • scale and polish (if clinically needed)
  • an orthodontic assessment and report
  • marginal correction of fillings
  • moulds of your teeth, for example to see how your teeth bite together
  • colour photographs
  • putting sealants or fluoride preparations on the surface of your teeth
  • taking a sample of cells or tissue from your mouth for examination
  • adjusting false teeth (dentures) or orthodontic appliances, such as braces
  • treatment for sensitive teeth or roots

Band 2: £73.50

Band 2 includes all treatment in Band 1, plus:

  • fillings
  • root canal treatment
  • removing teeth (extraction)
  • sealant to fill small holes or grooves in your teeth
  • adding to your false teeth (dentures), such as adding a clasp or a tooth, or adjusting them, such as relining and rebasing
  • removing the tip of the root of a tooth (apicectomy)
  • a bite-raising appliance to correct your bite (does not include a laboratory-made appliance)
  • using healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth to cover an exposed root (free gingival grafts)
  • surgery on the tissue connecting your tongue, lips or cheeks to your jaw bone (frenectomy, frenuloplasty or frenotomy)
  • treating severe gum disease, cleaning bacteria from the roots of your teeth (root planing), deep scaling and polishing
  • gum (periodontal) surgery including reshaping or removing gum tissue (for example, gingivoplasty, gingivectomy and operculum removal)
  • oral surgery, such as removing a cyst, soft tissue surgery to the mouth, gums or lips and surgery for buried root, unerupted tooth or impacted tooth
  • oral surgery to remove bone from around a tooth (alveolectomy), to remove bone growths around the teeth (exostosed tooth), or bone resection surgery
  • removing the soft tissue at the centre of a tooth called dental pulp (pulpotomy)
  • splinting loose teeth, for example after an accident (does not include laboratory-made splints)
  • transplanting teeth

Band 3: £319.10

Band 3 treatment includes all treatment in Bands 1 and 2, plus:

  • a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth (bridge)
  • a type of cap that completely covers your real tooth (crown)
  • false teeth (dentures)
  • restoring damaged teeth with inlays, pinlays and onlays
  • orthodontic treatment and appliances such as braces
  • other custom-made appliances, not including sports guards
  • veneers and palatal veneers, which are new surfaces for the front or back of a tooth

You can ask your dentist to explain the charge for your treatment.

Urgent treatment: £26.80

Your dentist will decide if you need urgent treatment for any pain or to stop your dental health getting worse.

Urgent treatment includes:

  • examination, assessment and advice
  • X-rays
  • teeth dressing, which helps gums heal
  • palliative dental treatment for people getting end of life care
  • removing the soft tissue at the centre of the tooth called dental pulp (pulpectomy or vital pulpotomy)
  • fixing a tooth that has been knocked out and any necessary treatment
  • repairing and refixing inlays and crowns
  • refixing a bridge and adding temporary bridges
  • removing up to 2 teeth
  • aftercare, including treatment for infections
  • adjustment and alteration of false teeth (dentures) or orthodontic appliances, such as braces
  • urgent treatment for severe conditions that come on suddenly, such as ulcers and herpetic lesions
  • treatment for tooth sensitivity (sensitive root or dentine)
  • draining an abscess
  • other treatment needed after an injury
  • 1 urgent permanent filling (routine and non-urgent fillings are a band 2 treatment)

Once your urgent treatment is complete, you may be advised to make another appointment for a separate course of non-urgent treatment.

In this case, the relevant NHS charge will apply for the non-urgent treatment.

Treatments not available on the NHS

Cosmetic treatments to change how your teeth look are not available on the NHS.

This includes teeth whitening, as well as braces or veneers that aren't medically needed.

Costs of further treatment

If, within 2 calendar months of completing a course of treatment, you need more treatment from the same or a lower charge band, such as another filling, you do not have to pay anything extra.

If the additional treatment needed is in a higher band, you'll have to pay for the new NHS course of treatment.

After 2 months have passed since completing a course of treatment, you'll have to pay the NHS charge band for any further NHS dental treatment.

Certain treatments are guaranteed for 12 months from the date they were completed.

These are:

  • fillings
  • root fillings
  • inlays
  • porcelain veneers
  • crowns

Treatments provided under this guarantee must be similar or related to the original treatment.

Treatments available free of charge

You do not need to pay a dental charge if:

  • you're having stitches removed
  • your dentist has to stop bleeding from your mouth, for example, after a tooth extraction
  • your dentist only has to write out a prescription – if you pay for prescriptions, you'll have to pay the usual prescription charge of £9.90
  • your false teeth (dentures) need repair - if they cannot be repaired and you need new ones, you'll have to pay for these

The NHS Business Services Authority has more information on the cost of replacement dental appliances, such as dentures, bridges and braces.

Cost of referral to another dentist

If you're referred to another dentist to complete your treatment, the amount you pay is dependent on the type of referral and whether the NHS treatment is carried out as 1 course of treatment.

Your dentist will inform you how much you have to pay.

If you're referred to a private dentist (and you accept this option), you'll:

  • pay the appropriate NHS banding charge to the dentist who referred you
  • also pay a fee for the dental work carried out by the private dentist

Page last reviewed: 5 March 2024
Next review due: 5 March 2027