Does the NHS contribute towards cosmetic dentistry?

Whilst we are fortunate enough in the UK to have the NHS service help us in a variety of situations, when it comes to teeth and cosmetic procedures, people are often met with red tape and restrictions.

If your dentist decides that a treatment is necessary to protect your oral health, then it will be available on the NHS, within three price bands. Such bands are at a much reduced rate compared to a private service and start at £22.70 for Band 1, move up to £62.10 for Band 2 and hit £269.30 for Band 3 treatments. Band 1 consists of an examination, diagnosis and advice with a scale and polish and referral for a follow up appointment. Band 2 is additional to Band A and includes treatments such as fillings, removing teeth and root canal. Band 3 includes more complex procedures such as crowns, bridges and dentures.

However, when it comes to treatments that are non-essential to your health and comfort, the NHS will not cover such costs. Cosmetic treatments such as teeth whiteningveneers and implants are acquired in order to improve the person’s appearance and are therefore not entirely essential. The NHS is stretched already with compulsory treatments and procedures and will therefore not take on cases that are non-essential or urgent. Such treatments will be completed privately, attaining additional costs to the NHS treatment charges. Due to the higher costs of cosmetic dentistry, it is not a feasible option for many people, although there are finance plans available that can help you spread out the costs over months or years.

There are a few treatments however that can be covered. These include a severely chipped tooth needing cosmetic bonding, white fillings for the front five teeth and a porcelain crown for badly damaged teeth. Ask your dentist for advice as to your eligibility for these treatments.

Furthermore, in any case where the dental problem is causing you mental or physical discomfort, you can opt to prove that you deserve to be treated by the NHS. The NHS may consider your case as appropriate if you can adequately prove that it is causing you mental or physical trauma.

So whilst there are a small number of treatments available on the NHS, the majority will have to be carried out by a private dentist. If you have any questions regarding treatments, please don’t hesitate to contact us.