Dental treatment that is, in your dentist’s opinion, clinically necessary to protect and maintain good oral health is available on the NHS. This means the NHS provides treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and free of pain.

Band 1 course of treatment - £20.60
This covers an examination, diagnosis (including X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if clinically needed, and preventative care such as the application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant if appropriate.
Band 2 Course of treatment - £56.30
This covers everything listed in Band 1 and above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal therapy and removing teeth (extractions)
Band 3 course of treatment - £244.30
This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 from above, plus more complex procedures such as crowns, dentures and bridges (where they are deemed clinically necessary)
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 have 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 can also get free NHS dental treatment if, when the treatment starts or when you’re asked to pay:

  • you’re 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
  • you’re named on a valid HC2 certificate

Proof of your entitlement

You’ll be asked to show your dentist written proof that you’re entitled to financial help with dental treatment. This will vary depending on your circumstances.

When you see your dentist for a check-up, they will first carry out an examination or assessment.

At your check-up, your dentist will assess your current oral health, any risk of future disease, and advise you on the care and treatment required to secure good oral health. It is important that you try to keep your teeth healthy and clean to maintain good oral health.

At your check-up, your dentist may:

  • Carry out a full examination of your mouth, teeth and gums
  • Ask about your general health and any problems you have had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit
  • Ask about and give advice on your diet, smoking and drinking
  • Ask about your teeth-cleaning habits and give you advice on the most appropriate ways to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy
  • Explain any risks, as well as costs, of all treatment you may need
  • Discuss with you when your next visit should be
You can look after your teeth by following a simple regular routine for your oral hygiene.

Cleaning your teeth

Brush your teeth at least twice a day using:

  • Small circular movements
  • Toothpaste that contains fluoride which helps strengthen and protect your teeth – a pea sized amount on your toothbrush is enough
  • Ensure that you replaced your toothbrush regularly when the bristles get out of shape – usually after 3 months
  • It is important to clean between your teeth each day using dental floss or interdental brushes.

Cutting down on sugary foods and drinks

  • Try to cut down on sugary snacks or drinks. Each time you eat sugar, the bacteria in your mouth react by producing acid which attacks the enamel on your teeth – this causes tooth decay.
  • Also try and have sugary food at mealtimes, rather than snaking during the day – this helps to reduce the amount of time your teeth are under attack
  • It also helps to chew sugar-free gum for 10 to 20 minutes after your meal. Chewing produces saliva, which neutralises the acidity produced by the bacteria and helps restore the natural balance of chemicals in your mouth.

Visiting the dentist

  • Make sure you register with a dentist and go for regular check-ups.
  • The dentist will tell you how often you should have check-ups, as it depends on your age and how healthy your teeth and gums are.
  • Visiting your dentist regularly means that any problems will be caught early, so they will be easier to treat.
Brushing your child’s teeth

  • Brushing your child’s teeth is an important part of their daily routine so they continue the healthy habit as they get older
  • It is important to help your child to brush their teeth, or supervise them until they’re at least seven years old.
  • Start to brush your baby’s teeth using a baby toothbrush as soon as their teeth begin to come through.
  • Your child’s teeth should be brushed twice a day – brush last thing at night and on one other occasion
  • Children only require a small amount of tooth paste when brushing:

–       Children under three years, use a smear or thin film of toothpaste that covers less than three-quarters of the brush.

–       Children aged three to six, use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Fluoride toothpaste

All children should use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can be measured in parts per million (ppm) and this is stated on the back of the toothpaste tube.

  • Children under three should use toothpaste containing no less than 1,000 ppm fluoride.
  • Children between three and six years can use a toothpaste containing up to 1,350 ppm fluoride.
  • Older children can use family fluoride toothpaste that contains 1,350-1,500 ppm fluoride.

In certain circumstances, your dentist may recommend higher ppm fluoride toothpaste for your child.

Visiting the dentist

Take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. NHS dental treatment for children is free. Your child should have regular dental check-ups as often as your dentist recommends.

Cutting down on sugar

It is important to give your child a healthy and balanced diet. Try cutting down how often your child has sugary food and drinks by limiting sugary foods to mealtimes. Your child shouldn’t have food and drink with added sugar more than three times a day as sugar is a cause of dental decay.

N.B. – NHS dental treatment does not include cosmetic treatments that are not clinically necessary, such as teeth whitening. If you’re interested in having any cosmetic dental treatments, please look at our private services page or ask a member of our dental team for further information.