Can I get Dental Implants on the NHS?

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The National Health Service in the UK does not, in general, pay for cosmetic dental surgery. This means that if having missing teeth is not affecting you medically, it is unlikely you will receive help from the NHS. The National Health Service works on a very tight budget for the level of care it provides, and funding is limited. It is easy to understand why a public funded trust can not provide cosmetic dental treatment to improve lifestyle quality while there are still people in queues for life saving medical procedures!

There are exceptions to the general rule, where there is a medical requirement for dental implants. If you are missing teeth, or parts of teeth, you may be experiencing great pain and discomfort. Issues that can be treated by dental implants on the NHS are more likely to be accident or injury, loose fitting dentures (that can cause sores and blisters) or a congenital defect. General aesthetic issues with your smile (gas, discolouration etc) are less likely to present a medical need for dental implants. If you are eligible for NHS treatment your dentist will make the assessment and be able to tell you. There are debates over the level of service experienced with NHS treatment in comparison to the level of service experienced privately – the biggest difference you will notice is the waiting time. For these reasons even if you are eligible for NHS treatment you may prefer to go privately. This would also mean that if you do have any cosmetic dental issues these can be dealt with at the same time, rather than your treatment being very strictly for medical purposes.

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