UK Dentist Prices - Compare NHS and Private Dental Treatment Costs
Note that dental fees can vary widely, and just because a dentists price is high doesn't necessarily mean you are being ripped off, you might well be getting very high quality dental work. Like wise a very cheap dentist may still be providing high quality dental care, but at a lower price. Preventative dentistry is better than cure, both in terms of how hard it hits your wallet and how much it hurts!
Ideally you should visit your dentist every 6 months for a check up. Although the UK government doesn't officially say that anymore and suggests that you are the best judge of how often you should see your dentist. Here's where you can find out about training to be a dentist
Please note that the NHS dentist pricing scheme is fixed by the department of health. Some treatments may be carried out at an NHS practice that are not covered under the current pricing structure and you may have to pay extra for that. At this point the line between NHS and private may blur for the patient. The prices merely give an indication of the cost, and will vary depending on the exact details of the problem!
To help work out the average treatments costs please submit your own dentist prices:
|Dental Work Required||Private Prices||NHS Prices*|
|Large Tooth Filling-Non-white||£101||£47|
|Sedated tooth removal||£145||£47|
|Small tooth filling-Non-white||£76||£47|
|Tooth Scale and Polish||£45||£17|
|Wisdom tooth extraction||£179||N/A|
It can be seen from the figures above that the private prices can be easily be more than double the cost of the NHS ones. Usually more than that even. If these average prices really do reflect the true difference in cost one of two conclusions can be drawn.
- Private dentists are absolutely raking it in.
- NHS dentists have really had the screw turned on them in terms of what they can now charge. The maximum amount you will pay in any continuous two month period for any number of treatments is £204. Basically you only pay for the treatment that is in the highest band. It is likely then that it will be economically undesirable for dentists to treat some patients.
It will be interesting to see if this dental charges gap negatively effects the number of practices offering NHS treatments in the next few years.
*NHS dentist prices have been estimated based on the NHS dentist guidelines. The band may vary depending on the exact dental treatment needed
Due to the number of comments on this page/topic we have moved further discussion to the forum.
"Hi Mindy in CA USA, I think you forgot to mention that in tha US it costs a family $1,300 a month for family health insurance. Health Insurance is going up in the U.S. at rate of 35% a year and most companies are starting to pass on costs to employees or hire part timer employees and offer no medical benefits. Luckily for now, my company pays this as part of my wage package then I have to pay an additional $100 a month and 20% of any medical costs incurred by the insurance company and a higher 50% for root canal dental work. There are 46 million hard working americans who can't afford or don't qualify for medical insurance due to pre-existing conditions which is a national disgrace. Don't knock the NHS cause if you let private enterprise take over they will take everything you own including your house and then deny you coverage given the chance. Also price comparing Dollars into Pounds does not make any sense as Americans earn dollars. So $110 to most americans has the same impact as a Brit paying 110 British pounds. By the way all that insurance money only covers us for $1000 of dental coverage per family member a year and two root canals quoted today by my dentist was $2,280. The grass as far as medical treatment goes, is not greener on the US side of the pond by a long shot. "
Tom, Orlando Fl.
"it cost me a weeks pay for one treatment on a tooth how is that fair on teens with low pay jobs"
"In the Belfast area very few NHS dentists exist (none that I rang where accepting new NHS patients). So I was stuck with either paying £309.75 for private dental work 'off plan' or subscribing to the private dentists own dental plan (@ £15/m plus a one off £10 admin fee) and paying £199. I understand now why some people are pulling their own teeth and using polyfiller!"
"Missed a check up recently which was already paid for by my monthly fee paid direct to the private dentist. How dare they ask for a further £40? What cost is this extra fee paying? Is this normal practice? Is it legal ?"
"I found this list to see if my dentist was ripping me off... seems as private care goes, he is about right. And I avoid fillings by brushing my teeth!!"
"I recently needed a crown to a back tooth and yes I was offered a NHS crown of £194.00 or a private crown of £350.00, you would think thats great.... the NHS crown was only in a horrible tarnished gold... the private surprisingly was white !!! Which do you think I chose ?? Is this right ? "
S.Carter . Essex
"My local NHS dentist in Eastbourne can only offer me a 10 minute appointment - I have a broken molar and apparently will need root canal treatment or an extraction. With only 10 minutes available the dentist says he cannot give me a pain killing injection as it won't kick in in time! So he has to drill without anathestic! On top of this if more than 20 minutes will be required - It will actually take around an hour, they cannot offer me an appointment until mid January of 2008........I am in great pain and my only alternative is to find a private dentist. I have enquired and the private dentist practice have quoted me £500 plus - this is way beyond my means.....Oh, by the way I've been paying NHI health stamps for the past 46 years!!!"
"don't nhs dentists get the cost subsidized by the NHS, so they arent only getting £194 but would get the full amount?"
"I am completely disgusted with dentistry in this country. I often speak to people in other countries and they mistakenly believe that UK is the best for everything, including dental care. I quickly tell them that is not true, in this country visiting a dentistry is no more than visiting a high street shop: if you have money you will buy the best products. I\\\'ve had so many bad expereinces with dentists in this country, but I\\\'ll tell you that next time a dentist damages my health I will take them to court. They will eventually learn from their mistakes."
"I have just come onto the web to see if i can find out how much it will cost me for a root canal as i'm due to have it done today, i cannot afford this, i will asking my dentist to take it out instead."
"I don't understand why the people of the U.K. are so surprised by this. Over the past 5 decades you have built a monster of a social welfare system and the associated tax structure to match. Private dentist must charge high prices to stay in business, you have one of the highest tax systems in world. It would not surprise me that a dentist pays 70-80% of there income in taxes. I live in the US., California to be exact. We have some of the highest taxes in the US, but we are still half of U.K. taxes. Last month I took my kid to the dentist, two filling and a cleaning. One single surface and one dual surface. The total for both filling and the cleaning $110 (about 55 pounds). I had to wait a full 4 days to get an appointment. We have a welfare system here in California it called MediCal. To get an appointment for dental work it is 2-3 months. Assuming you qualify and it is a covered procedure. Mindy"
"I need a crown replacing with possible root canal work. £194 on NHS almost £400 private. Difference is that if I go private I get upto date equipment. This equipment will then be disposed of, NHS way I will get equipment used on other patients with a small chance of contracting CJD. Richer getting better service!!! out of order!!!"
"I believe it is ridiculous that after so much research in biotechnology, nobody discovered a bacterium that fights caries and solve all tooth-related problems at once. Of course dentists have to find another job then..."
"The prices dentists charge are an absolute disgrace! I live in an area with the lowest average take home pay in Scotland and not one local surgery who treats NHS patients - a recent trip cost me 20% of my monthly take home pay for treatment to ONE tooth!"
"My teeth were badly damaged when I was a child and the full extent wasn't known until I was in my late teens - I'll never afford to fix them and I am now stuck with the most awful smile. Great!!!"
"i think the prices of dental treatment are disgusting i have 5 children to feed and clothe and still have to pay that amount of money!!!!!!!!"