This snapshot, taken on
17/05/2011
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
 
 
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.
You are here:

NHS dental services

NHS dental treatments

All the treatment necessary, in the opinion of your dentist to achieve and maintain good oral health is available on the NHS. This means that the NHS provides any treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain. It does not include treatments such as teeth whitening or veneers, which you might want to make your teeth more attractive but are not clinically necessary.

Here is a list of what your treatment can include:

Band 1 course of treatment: £17.00

  • clinical examination, case assessment and report
  • orthodontic case assessment and report
  • advice, dental charting, diagnosis and treatment planning
  • radiographic examination, including panoral and lateral headplates, and radiological report
  • study casts including in association with occlusal analysis
  • colour photographs
  • instruction in the prevention of dental and oral disease including dietary advice and dental hygiene instruction
  • surface application as primary preventive measures of sealants and topical fluoride preparations
  • scaling, polishing and marginal correction of fillings
  • taking material for pathological examination
  • adjustments to and easing of dentures or orthodontic appliances
  • treatment of sensitive cementum

Band 2 course of treatment: £47.00

  • non-surgical periodontal treatment including root-planing, deep scaling, irrigation of periodontal pockets and subgingival curettage and all necessary scaling and polishing
  • surgical periodontal treatment, including gingivectomy, gingivoplasty or removal of an operculum
  • surgical periodontal treatment, including raising and replacement of a mucoperiostal flap, curettage, root planning and bone resection
  • free gingival grafts
  • permanent fillings in amalgam, composite resin, synthetic resin, glass ionomer, compomers, silicate or silico-phosphate, including acid etch retention
  • sealant restorations
  • endodontic treatment of permanent or retained deciduous teeth
  • pulpotomy
  • apicectomy
  • extraction of teeth
  • transplantation of teeth
  • oral surgery including surgical removal of cyst, buried root, unerupted tooth, impacted tooth or exostosed tooth and alveolectomy
  • soft tissue surgery in relation to the buccal cavity and lips
  • frenectomy, frenoplasty, frenotomy
  • relining and rebasing dentures including soft linings
  • addition of tooth, clasp, labial or buccal flange to dentures
  • splints (other than laboratory fabricated splints) in relation to periodontally compromised teeth and in connection with external trauma
  • bit raising appliances (other than laboratory fabricated appliances)

Band 3 course of treatment: £204.00

  • laboratory fabricated porcelain or composite veneers, including acid etch retention
  • inlays, pinlays, onlays and palatal veneers, in alloys containing 60% or more fine gold, porcelain, composite resin and ceramics
  • crowns including any pin or post aids to retention:
     - full or three-quarter crown cast in alloys containing not less than 33⅓% fine gold or platinum or palladium
    - full or jacket crown cast in alloys containing stainless steel or cobalt chromium or nickel chromium
    - crown in porcelain, synthetic resin and other non-metallic crowns
    - full or jacket crowns in alloys containing not less than 33⅓% fine gold or platinum or palladium, or alloys containing stainless steel or cobalt chromium or nickel chromium, with thermally bonded porcelain
    - jacket crown thermally bonded to wrought platinum coping
    - prefabricated full or jacket crown, including any pin or post retention
  • bridges including any pin or post aids to retention:
    - bridges in alloys containing 60% or more fine gold with or without thermally bonded facings
    - bridges cast in alloys containing stainless steel, cobalt chromium or nickel chromium, with or without thermally bonded facings
    - acid etch retained bridges
    - bridges in other materials
    - provision of full (completed) or partial dentures, overdentures and obturators in synthetic resin or metal or both synthetic resin and metal, including any cast or wrought metal components or aids to retention
    - orthodontic treatment and appliances
    - other custom made applications excluding sports guards

User543896 said on 10 April 2011

Dear 'pulpfiction', Why don't you tell us when and why you left practising NHS Dentistry? Go on ...

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

pulpfiction said on 06 April 2011

Reading these comments, 2 thoughts occur to me. Firstly, the dentist does not receive £17 for band 1 work. This is merely the patient's own contribution, and you may be assured that NO dentist is on the minimum wage. The NHS provides the dentist with an enhanced payment, the differential coming from the taxes we all pay throughout our working lives. Some band 1 treatments may be completed in 10 minutes, or it may take 1 hour. The current system is surely preferable to having a taxi meter running beside the dentist's chair ?

Secondly, I consider it is wrong for some dentists to be selective with their NHS work. The NHS state quite clearly which treatments are accepted under which of the 3 bands. I suggest that if you have a dentist who eschews, for arguments sake, root canal work, then you should find another dentist and report this malpractice. Considerable thought has gone into these banded treatments. It is not the intention that a dentist charge £47 for every quick and easy band 2 treatment, and then insist upon private treatment for anything remotely time consuming. I believe this is called 'having your cake and eating it' !!

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

User543896 said on 02 April 2011

Response for 'mmco' - A root canal treatment is a highly specialised form of dentistry. It requires a lot of skill, time and specialised equipment. The NHS does not have the funding to provide NHS dentists with specialised equipment and to send them for specialised training. The amount of money the NHS pays the dentists for carrying out root canal treatment does not justify their financing of these specialised equipment themselves, and neither can they afford to spend a lot of time on the patients as it is not financially rewarding. Your GP is well-read and knowledgible about heart problems, but you cannot and should not expect him to perform open heart surgery, unless he is trained as it requires a specialist skill. Ditto with root canal treatment. The best option is to go to a good private endodontist, who will give you a predictable outcome for your treatment.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

User543896 said on 02 April 2011

Response for 'sharpy1' - You say 'lots of people are having them' - can you pls ask them how long ago did they have these bridges made and for how many teeth? The 198 (now 204) is not enough for the dentist to cover the lab fees for a bridge. If your dentist cannot provide it on the NHS then contact your local PCT.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

User543896 said on 02 April 2011

Response to '4marya4' - Thank you very much for the lovely question - the answer to which dentists themselves have been expecting since 2006, and due to which many of them have left the NHS to go fully private. A dentist gets paid only 1 fee/amount - regardless of how much work they do under 1 band. The amount the dentist gets paid is NOT the same as what YOU pay the dentist, whether NHS/private. You have to be reasonable in that you spend much more in a week going to the pub, cigarettes, nails, hair, shopping, etc. as opposed to spending on your health. Ask anyone who has had problems with their teeth that are not limited just to a simple filling. Thank God that you could find an NHS dentist in your area who did that filling for you ( I safely assume it was a silver amalgam filling) and that you could afford it. Getting it fully ptivately would have cost you well over 150 pounds, given the cost of a private consultation/exam/checkup + xrays + filling. Please write to your local PCT/ MP for further information.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

User543896 said on 02 April 2011

Response for 'audacio400' - Is the dentist carrying out your treatment, or the private hygienist? Why do you need 4 visits, assuming they are half an hour each? Making it a total of 2hrs - just to clean your mouth !!! Do you smoke? Do you do twice daily brushing? Do you floss everyday and use Tepe brushes? When was the last time you had your teeth professionally cleaned? Do you need injections for the cleaning? How often do you visit the dentist? How can you expect to pay 17 pounds for a scale and polish to someone who is going to spend 2hours of their time cleaning and polishing your teeth, in addition to the materials they will use and the nurse wages? That is less than minimum wage for the dentist. Please go back to your dentist ASAP and ask for a full explanation as to why you are being treated on the NHS but paying privately.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

audacio400 said on 27 March 2011

Can anyone tell me the charges for a course of hygiene treatmenrt at the dentist. I have been asked to pay £50 for each of 4 visits and wonder if this is correct for an NHS patient.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

4marya4 said on 24 March 2011

I was interested to read about the different 'Bands' for charging. Today I went to my dentist because a filling had come out. They replaced it for me. I was with them for a maximum of 10 minutes. I was charged £45. Apparently, this is because a filling comes into Band 2, and everything in Band 2 costs £45! It seems a pity that there is not more grading within this Band, so that a person having a small filling replaced does not have to pay the same as someone having a mouthful of treatment done!
I wonder if this is a common experience?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sharpy1 said on 23 March 2011

i need a bridge but my dentist said i carnt have them on the nhs yet lots of people i know are getting them on the nhs with no charge whatsoever. my dentist said i could only have 1 if i pay nearly £3000 for 6 teeth when i only actually need 4 teeth on it, why are some people getting them and im not? and reading this page the most he can charge is £198 for any treatment. at the moment i have a pallet with teeth on but these constantly rub and move no matter how many times i get them changed, i carnt eat with them in so cannot eat in front of anyone which is affecting my life. is there anything i can do, and is what my dentist is saying right? someone please help me with this problem. thanks

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sharpy1 said on 23 March 2011

i need a bridge but my dentist said i carnt have them on the nhs yet lots of people i know are getting them on the nhs with no charge whatsoever. my dentist said i could only have 1 if i pay nearly £3000 for 6 teeth when i only actually need 4 teeth on it, why are some people getting them and im not? and reading this page the most he can charge is £198 for any treatment. at the moment i have a pallet with teeth on but these constantly rub and move no matter how many times i get them changed, i carnt eat with them in so cannot eat in front of anyone which is affecting my life. is there anything i can do, and is what my dentist is saying right? someone please help me with this problem. thanks

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sharpy1 said on 23 March 2011

can i get a bridge on the nhs? as my dentist said the only way is paying him nearly £3000 for private treatment but lots of people i know are getting them on the nhs. someone please help with this.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sharpy1 said on 23 March 2011

i need a bridge but my dentist said i carnt have them on the nhs yet lots of people i know are getting them on the nhs with no charge whatsoever. my dentist said i could only have 1 if i pay nearly £3000 for 6 teeth when i only actually need 4 teeth on it, why are some people getting them and im not? and reading this page the most he can charge is £198 for any treatment. at the moment i have a pallet with teeth on but these constantly rub and move no matter how many times i get them changed, i carnt eat with them in so cannot eat in front of anyone which is affecting my life. is there anything i can do, and is what my dentist is saying right? someone please help me with this problem. thanks

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

sharpy1 said on 23 March 2011

i need a bridge but my dentist said i carnt have them on the nhs yet lots of people i know are getting them on the nhs with no charge whatsoever. my dentist said i could only have 1 if i pay nearly £3000 for 6 teeth when i only actually need 4 teeth on it, why are some people getting them and im not? and reading this page the most he can charge is £198 for any treatment. at the moment i have a pallet with teeth on but these constantly rub and move no matter how many times i get them changed, i carnt eat with them in so cannot eat in front of anyone which is affecting my life. is there anything i can do, and is what my dentist is saying right? someone please help me with this problem. thanks

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

mmco said on 22 March 2011

I would suggest that you have private treatment for your root canal as I had mine done on the NHS and it has been royally mucked up. I am now having to pay £600 plus to go private now to have it fixed. I do not know if this is because my dentist was incompetent however, although I had to have a root canal due to an extremely bad dentist when I was younger. Altogether it adds up to me paying money I do not have and if I had my choice over again perhaps I would have gone private if only because he would not have filled up my tooth again when it was still infected, which I do not think was right? I got the feeling my dentist just wanted it over and done with, perhap if you went private they would not be so pressed for time and not want to get rid of you so quickly.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Tia Junior said on 09 March 2011

Our PCT has always been clear on what is and isn't covered by the NHS, but our dentist still always steers us into private treatment. Routine check-ups always contain two appointments, one with the dentist, the other with the hygienist. The charge is £16.50 + £25.00 - clearly wrong, but who wants to fall out with their dentist???

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Misseh said on 02 March 2011

Veneers are available on the NHS as it states for certain circumstances I.e. Mouth Cancer or A serve face injury. Therefore these people will be able to have this option as it's not cosmetic.
It's nice to save a tooth if you can however, you should trust a dentist's judgement. I was in the same predicament as Philmcavity's daughter. I was 18, employed and ended up paying £46ish to get a root canal carried out, the treatment wasn't successful and so I had the the tooth removed - under the same cost. If the tooth isn't visible when smiling. You might as well get rid of it. To save any problems in the future.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

PhilMcavity said on 27 February 2011

My daughter has a cyst under a filling, and is on antibiotics for a painful infection. There are two pins jutting out from the filling and her NHS dentist has said she can either have the tooth removed or have the root removed and a crown fitted. However the crown would have to be private as the dentist said it is complicated because one of the pins is very low to the gum and pressing on the cyst and the cost would be £400-500. She is on a basic wage and has said she'll have to have the tooth removed as the cost is too prohibitive. As she is still young we feel she should try to keep the tooth and have said we'll try to cover the cost, but as this is not cosmetic we don't see why it should have to be done privately. Is this right?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

puzzledpatient said on 21 February 2011

I should like to hear what painfulrootcanaler discovered from the PCT. I too am being steered for private root canal treatment but would like to know that it is available to me, at the highest standard, on the NHS. Being between jobs, but without any benefits, I feel unable to justify spending so much money, £300 or so was suggested, not including the £80 consultation, when this is a medical requirement and should be done to prevent further, more serious problems.
The problem dates to the insertion of a crown, done privately at huge cost, while employed. But how can one prove that and make the case for rectification, at no further cost to myself? Any thoughts gratefully received.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

painfulrootcanaler said on 20 February 2011

I am currently having root canal treatment at the dentist. However I'm very confused at the pricing structure. Currently the dentist is steering me down the path for having private treatment at a cost of £295 (which includes a white filling), he stated the equipment used for private treatment is far superior than the nhs and by going private the outcome will be much more favourable. If I opt to go for the nhs treatment the cost will be £198. But on checking this nhs website for dental costs the cost should be a band 2 at £45.60. Going to contact the PCT for advice tomorrow. Would be grateful if anyone has any comments on this.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Consul said on 16 February 2011

What is the appropriate Band for having a loose crown re-cemented?

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

joulesag said on 10 February 2011

Why is it that veneers are quoted in Band 3 charging, but are not actually available on NHS. Discoloured and broken teeth can have a dramatic influence on confidence and general well being. So why do the NHS decide this treatment is excluded from the service. And why have a price if it's not available.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Last reviewed: 01/04/2011

Next review due: 31/03/2013

NHS dental charges from 1 April 2011

Band 1 course of treatment – £17.00

This covers an examination, diagnosis (eg X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if needed, and application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant. If you require urgent care, even if your urgent treatment needs more than one appointment to complete, you will only need to pay one Band 1 charge.

Band 2 course of treatment – £47.00

This covers everything listed in Band 1 above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or if your dentist needs to take out one or more of your teeth.

Band 3 course of treatment – £204.00

This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 above, plus crowns, dentures and bridges.

Comment on your dentist

Leave feedback on your dental practice

If you have recently visited your local dentist, why not share your experience.

Dental treatments

Different kinds of dental treatment explained, from fillings to implants.

Help with dental costs

Find out what you are entitled to and how to get help with NHS dental charges.

Dental abscess: an animation

Watch this animation, which explains in detail what a dental abscess is, why it occurs and how it can be treated.

Wisdom teeth

A consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon explains why people have problems with their wisdom teeth, the treatments available and the important things to ask before treatment.