Are Dentists Expensive?

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If you are under 18, or a full time student under the age of 19 you will qualify for free NHS dental treatment. You will also be entitled to free treatment if you are receiving income support or Jobseeker's allowance or a pension credit guarantee. However as of 2007, the NHS charges for different types of dental treatment, uses a four band system. The bands range from diagnosis, treatment and maintenance falling in the lowest band, to complex treatments which require a laboratory element, such as dental crowns. Also included are urgent treatments such as x-rays, extractions, a single dental tooth filling and simple treatments and surgical procedures. Urgent treatment and general diagnosis requires patients to be charged £16.50 whereas complex treatments can cost upwards of £100.

In addition, NHS patients are now able to complete a section of their treatment privately. Private care has several advantages including a better choice of materials, high quality laboratory work and more time spent consulting with your dentist. Private dentists tend to offer a larger range of treatments than NHS practices including cosmetic procedures. Due to the changes in the charging system, it is quite possible that private care may cost less in some cases.

If you are seeking cosmetic procedures then the price is influenced by several factors. Firstly, those clinics with a reputation for quality or house state of the art equipment will tend to charge more. Similarly, the qualifications of the dentist who will carry out your procedure and their experience will greatly influence cost. What materials you opt to use in treatment will also impact the cost of cosmetic dentistry. For example, crowns which use a porcelain foundation tend to be much more expensive than metal ones, and are often preferred because they provide greater aesthetics. Similarly, if you opt for a branded product, this will often be much more expensive than those without brands.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »