It’s important to talk about dental costs. Are they too expensive and is the cost really driving dental patients to see their GP instead of their dentist? Worse still, is the cost (or rather the perceived dental costs) making patients avoid treatment altogether?
There is evidence that NHS charges are making patients with dental problems go to overstretched GPs. Moreover, NHS charges could soon overtake government funding as the main source of income for NHS dentistry.
This is according to new analysis from the British Dental Association (BDA). Patient charges were first introduced in 1951 to lower demand for NHS dentists’ services. And nearly 1 in 5 patients have delayed treatment for reasons of cost according to official statistics.
So how does it all work on the ground at Revive Dental Care?
Well the most important thing is that there are no hidden surprises with the dental costs. Every patient gets a quotation for any dental work needing to be carried out. These quotations are clearly explained and often the option exists to spread the cost over the time of the treatment.
Also, for many, NHS Dental Treatment, in England, is free.
You do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment if, when your treatment starts, you are:
- under 18
- under 19 and in full-time education
- pregnant or you’ve had a baby within the 12 months before treatment starts
- staying in an NHS hospital and the hospital dentist carries out your treatment
- an NHS Hospital Dental Service outpatient (although you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges)
You will get free NHS dental treatment if, when the treatment starts, or when you’re asked to pay:
- you are included in an award of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit guarantee credit or Universal credit (check entitlement after October 31 2015)
- you’re named on, or entitled to, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
- or you’re named on a valid HC2 certificate
If you’re named on a valid HC3 certificate, you may not have to pay for all your NHS dental treatment. HC2 and HC3 certificates are issued under the NHS Low Income Scheme.
However, if you receive any of the following benefits you will not be exempt from paying for NHS dental treatment unless you also fall under one of the categories listed above:
- Incapacity Benefit
- contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Council Tax Benefit
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit savings credit
We don’t want any of our patients to be worried about paying for dental treatment. We would rather have a good conversation with you about costs than see you ignore the treatment or go to your GP.
Whatever the circumstances are, please talk to us and let us see how we can help!
These are the current NHS Dental Costs as at November 2016
There are three NHS charge bands:
- Band 1: £19.70 covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-ray, a scale and polish and planning for further treatment.
- Band 2: £53.90 covers all treatment covered by Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions).
- Band 3: £233.70 covers all treatment covered by Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.
Emergency or urgent treatment
If you require urgent care, you will only need to pay one Band 1 charge of £19.70. Most urgent treatments can be done in one appointment. However, if more than one visit is required and you return to the same dentist to complete your urgent treatment, the Band 1 urgent charge is all that you should pay.
Once your urgent course of treatment is complete, you may be advised to make another appointment for a separate course of non-urgent treatment. In this case, the relevant Band charge will apply.
Visit the NHS website for full details of Dental Charges