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NHS Dentistry

Which treatments are available on the NHS?

All 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 any treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and free of pain, including:

  • dentures

  • crowns

  • bridges

Dental implants and orthodontic treatment, such as braces, are available on the NHS, but only if there's a medical need for the treatment.

How much will my treatment cost??

If you normally pay for NHS dental treatment, the amount you spend will depend on what clinical treatment you need.

Some people do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment – see Who is entitled to free NHS dental treatment in England?

NHS dental charges

There are three NHS charge bands:

  • Band 1: £23.80 covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further treatment. 

  • Band 2: £65.20 covers all treatment covered by Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions). 

  • Band 3: £282.80 covers all treatment covered by Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.

Band 1 dental treatment: £26.80

Depending on what’s necessary, this can cover:

  • a clinical examination, assessment and report 

  • an orthodontic assessment and report

  • advice, diagnosing and planning of your treatment 

  • X-rays 

  • moulds of your teeth – for example, to see how your teeth bite together 

  • taking coloured photographs

  • advice on preventing future problems, such as diet advice and cleaning instructions 

  • applying sealants or fluoride preparations to the surfaces of your teeth 

  • a scale and polish

  • marginal correction of fillings

  • taking a sample of cells or tissue from your mouth to examine (pathological examination)

  • adjusting false teeth (dentures) or orthodontic appliances, such as braces 

  • treating sensitive cementum (the tissue that covers the root of a tooth)

Urgent treatment when you need to see a dentist immediately also costs £20.60.

Band 2 dental treatment: £73.50

Depending on what’s necessary, this can cover everything listed in band 1 above, plus:

  • non-surgical treatment of periodontitis (a severe form of gum disease) – such as root planing (cleaning bacteria from the roots of your teeth) or deep scaling and a polish

  • surgical treatment of periodontitis – such as removing some gum tissue (gingivectomy)

  • free gingival grafts – when healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth is attached to your teeth where the root is exposed 

  • fillings 

  • sealant restorations – when sealant is used to fill a small hole and seal any grooves in your teeth 

  • root canal treatment (endodontics) 

  • pulpotomy – removing dental pulp (the soft tissue at the centre of a tooth)

  • apicectomy – removing the tip of the root of a tooth

  • transplanting teeth

  • removing teeth (extraction)  

  • oral surgery – such as removing a cyst

  • soft tissue surgery to the mouth or lips

  • frenectomy, frenoplasty or frenotomy – surgery to the folds of tissue that connect your tongue, lips and cheeks to your jaw bone 

  • relining and rebasing dentures 

  • adding to your dentures – such as adding a clasp or a tooth

  • splinting loose teeth – for example, after an accident or due to periodontitis; this doesn’t include laboratory-made splints  

  • bite-raising appliances (similar to a mouth guard) – for example, to correct your jaw alignment; this doesn’t include laboratory-made appliances

Band 3 dental treatment: £319.10

Depending on what’s necessary, this can cover everything listed in bands 1 and 2 above, plus:

  • veneers and palatal veneers – new surfaces for the front or back of a tooth

  • inlays, pinlays and onlays – used to restore damaged teeth

  • crowns – a type of cap that completely covers your real tooth

  • bridges – a fixed replacement for a missing tooth or teeth 

  • dentures 

  • orthodontic treatment and appliances such as braces 

  • other custom-made appliances, not including sports guards

Treatments such as veneers and braces are only available on the NHS if there’s a clinical need for them (not for cosmetic reasons).  

Cosmetic dental treatment

NHS dental treatment does not include cosmetic treatments that are not clinically necessary, such as teeth whitening. Cosmetic treatments like this are used to improve the appearance of your teeth and make them look more attractive, and are only available privately.


If you're interested in having any cosmetic dental treatments, you should ask your dentist how much private treatment will cost. Charges for any private treatment will be added to the charges for your NHS treatment.

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