How to Find an NHS Dentist
Since 2006 Primary Care Trusts have been responsible for ensuring people can access NHS dentists. You can search for an NHS dentist by calling NHS direct on 0845 4567 or online at www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories. The changes in 2006 mean that you no longer need to register with an NHS dentist to receive treatment. However NHS dentists can still keep lists of their patient and give them repeat treatments.
Types of Dentist in the UK
There are three types of dentist in the UK depending on if they treat NHS, private or both types of patient. Types of dental practice in the UK:
Private patients only
NHS patients only
NHS and private patients
How Much does NHS Dental Treatment Cost?
Dental treatment on the NHS is free for anyone under 18 and those older than 18 if they are in full time education. If you are on some benefits you will also receive free NHS dental treatment. The cost of NHS treatment depends on what you need to have done. There are three levels of NHS charges:
£16.50 – This includes an examination, diagnosis (including X-ray) and a scale and polish – it also includes urgent treatment.
£45.60 – This includes the £16.50 treatments listed above, plus fillings, root canal work and tooth extractions.
£198 – This includes all of the above, plus crowns, dentures and bridges.
How often should you visit the dentist?
The latest advice from the NHS is that your teeth should be checked according to the needs of your teeth. Previously there was a set period for treatments or check ups. For example, if your teeth are in good condition you don’t need check ups more than at 12 to 24 month intervals.
What should your dentist do for you?
All NHS dentists should give you a good service and there are several things they are required to do:
A proper examination of your teeth and oral health.
Tell you what your options are for NHS or private Medical insurance.
Explain how much the different levels of treatment cost.
Give you a written treatment plan setting out what treatment you need.
Display their charges on a poster.
Tell you how often you need to visit for check ups.
What NHS Dentists Shouldn’t do?
While there are standards setting out what NHS dentists should do, there are also some things they shouldn’t do:
NHS dentists aren’t allowed to charge if you miss an appointment – although they could refuse to offer you further appointments if you repeatedly miss appointments.
Dentists shouldn’t take children NHS only if their parents go private.
What is Private Medical Insurance?
Private medical insurance also known as private health insurance provides access to private medical treatment if you are ill. Private medical treatment covers short-term illnesses or injuries and can include consultations, surgery and nursing care and hospital accommodation. With private medical insurance you will normally stay in a private en-suite room in a private hospital, or in a private room in an NHS hospital. Many private medical insurance policies include cover for private dental treatment.
How to Find the right Private Medical Insurance
Private medical insurance is complicated and it’s essential that you choose the right policy. We specialise in medical insurance cover and will search the market and help you find the right cover at the best price available. Quotes for medical insurance are free and you are under no obligation.