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 14 December 2020, the current dental charges are:


NHS dental charges from 14 December 2020

A message on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care:

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced changes to dental patient charges in England from 14 December
Following a six-month freeze, the dental charges payable from 14 December 2020 are as follows:

  • Band 1 course of treatment will rise by £1.10, from £22.70 to £23.80
  • Band 2 course of treatment will increase by £3.10 from £62.10 to £65.20
  • Band 3 course of treatment will increase by £13.50 from £269.30 to £282.80

Details of the revised charges for 2020/21 can be found in the table below:

Band Description 2020/21 patient charge (from 14 December)
1 This band includes examination, diagnosis (including radiographs), advice on how to prevent future problems, scale and polish if clinically needed, and preventative care (e.g. applications of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant) £23.80
2 This band covers everything listed in band 1, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or extractions £65.20
3 This band covers everything in bands 1 and 2, plus course of treatment including crowns, dentures, bridges and other laboratory work £282.80
Urgent This band covers urgent assessment and specified urgent treatments such as pain relief or a temporary filling or dental appliance repair £23.8

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 £23.80. 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're entitled to free NHS dental treatment if you or your spouse (including civil partner) receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit (in certain circumstances)

Certificates to help with health costs

You can receive free NHS dental treatment if you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • a valid HC2 certificate – which is available for people on a low income
  • a valid maternity exemption certificate

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

People on a low income can include some students and pensioners.

You'll be asked to show your dentist written proof that you do not have to pay for all or part of your NHS treatment.

You'll also be asked to sign a form to confirm that you do not have to pay.

Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).


Please Note
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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