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



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

Some people do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment – see Who is entitled to free NHS dental treatment in England?

NHS dental charges

There are 3 bands of charges for all NHS dental treatments.

As from April 2018, the current dental charges are:

Band 1 dental treatment: £21.60

This covers 1 or more treatments (as many as are necessary) from the following list :

  • adjusting false teeth (dentures) or orthodontic appliances, such as braces
  • applying sealants or fluoride preparations to the surfaces of your teeth
  • a clinical examination, assessment and report
  • marginal correction of fillings
  • moulds of your teeth – for example, to see how your teeth bite together
  • an orthodontic assessment and report
  • a scale and polish (if clinically necessary)
  • coloured photographs
  • taking a sample of cells or tissue from your mouth for examination
  • treating sensitive cementum (the tissue that covers the root of a tooth)
  • X-rays 

Emergency treatment (when you need to see a dentist immediately) also costs £21.60.

Band 2 dental treatment: £59.10

This can cover anything listed in band 1 above, plus any of the following:

  • an addition to your dentures – such as adding a clasp or a tooth
  • apicectomy – removing the tip of the root of a tooth
  • a mouth guard to correct your "bite" (doesn't include a laboratory-made appliance)
  • fillings
  • free gingival grafts – when healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth is attached to your teeth where the root is exposed
  • frenectomy, frenoplasty or frenotomy – surgery to the folds of tissue that connect your tongue, lips and cheeks to your jaw bone
  • treatment for severe gum disease – such as root planing (cleaning bacteria from the roots of your teeth), deep scaling and a polish, or a gingivectomy (removal of gum tissue)
  • oral surgery – such as removing a cyst, or soft tissue surgery to the mouth or lips
  • pulpotomy – removing dental pulp (the soft tissue at the centre of a tooth)
  • relining and rebasing dentures
  • removing teeth (extraction) 
  • root canal treatment 
  • sealant to fill small holes or grooves in your teeth
  • splinting loose teeth – for example, after an accident (this doesn't include laboratory-made splints) 
  • transplanting teeth

Band 3 dental treatment: £256.50

This can cover anything listed in bands 1 and 2 above, plus any of the following :

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

Treatments such as veneers and braces are only available on the NHS if there's a clinical need for them (not for cosmetic reasons). Similarly, other cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening, are not available on the NHS.


.  Detailed information about each treatment band can be found on the NHS choices website:


What if I need more treatment?

If, within two months of completing a course of treatment, you need more treatment from the same charge band or a lower one, for example another filling, you don't have to pay anything extra.

However, after two months, you will have to pay an additional band charge.

Emergency treatment

Emergency dental treatment will deal with the problem at hand and the fee for each emergency visit is currently £18.80. You may be advised to make another appointment for a separate course of non-urgent treatment. In this case, you will have to pay a second charge in the relevant treatment band.


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
  • an NHS hospital dental service outpatient (however, you may have to pay for
    your dentures or bridges).

You also do not have to pay if, when the treatment starts, you are

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

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

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